News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

Weaning foster kids off powerful anti-psychotic drugs is a life-long process




Psychiatrist Dr. Edmund Levin, left, and psychologist Nancy Silliphant Forster, right, had a meeting arranged by the Bay Area News Group with former patient Yolanda Vasquez, in Fresno, Calif., in May  2014. They discussed the experiment that tapered Yolanda off psychotropic medications when she was a foster child.
Psychiatrist Dr. Edmund Levin, left, and psychologist Nancy Silliphant Forster, right, had a meeting arranged by the Bay Area News Group with former patient Yolanda Vasquez, in Fresno, Calif., in May 2014. They discussed the experiment that tapered Yolanda off psychotropic medications when she was a foster child.
Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group

Listen to story

08:09
Download this story 3MB

California's foster children are prescribed powerful psychotropic medications at three times the rate of other kids, including some drugs which have not been approved for use with minors.

It's one of the revelations in a months-long series by reporter Karen de Sa for the San Jose Mercury News.

De Sa has joined Take Two to talk about the often harmful effects such drugs have had on children, what it feels like to be under the influence of these pills, and the complex relationships that drug companies make with these doctors to get them into kids' hands.

For the fourth and final part of her series, she explores what happens to these youths once they're off these drugs and out of the foster care system.

WATCH: The San Jose Mercury News' documentary on drugged kids in California's foster care system