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Mental Health Care for Foster Children

This article is part 1 of 8 in the column Children of the State

The children in America’s foster care system face a tremendous amount of psychological stress.

Many have been removed from traumatic home situations because of neglect or physical or sexual abuse. Their life in foster care often includes uncertainty, frequent moves, and other difficulties that cause psychological stress. Data collected by the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) estimates that “approximately half of youths aged 2 to 14 years with completed child welfare investigations had clinically significant emotional or behavioral problems” (GAO-12-270T).

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) states Read more

Overuse of Medication in Foster Children

This article is part 3 of 8 in the column Children of the State

If you are a foster child getting medications for emotional and mental health issues in the United States you may be getting more than you need. A 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) showed that foster children in five surveyed states “were prescribed psychotropic drugs at rates 2.7 to 4.5 higher than were nonfoster children in Medicare in 2008” (GAO-12-270T). This was true for all three age ranges examined, from birth to age 17. In a follow-up 2012 GAO nationwide survey, 18 percent of foster children were taking at least one psychotropic medication (GAO-14-651T). Many were taking multiple medications concurrently.      

One major reason for this problem is polypharmacy, or the use of multiple medications by a single patient, often to treat the same condition. Approximately 13 percent of foster children Read more

On Coaching Millennials: A Guest Interview with Jess Hopkins

This article is part 5 of 10 in the column Simple Words

I had the pleasure of meeting Jess Hopkins when she gave a seminar at a Positive Parenting Event. Her talk led to a lot of constructive discussions in our home about how to support both of our children, dyslexic or not, in the cut-throat academic life ahead of them. In addition to causing us to discuss topics already on our “Learn More About” list, her comprehensive presentation gave us easy-to-apply tools to begin implementing self-compassion in our daily lives.

Jess is a twice-certified life coach, holding dual masters degrees in counseling psychology and applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. As a coach, she helps teens Read more

Study Shows Childhood Emotional Abuse Linked to PTSD and Opioid Abuse in Adults

This article is part 10 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

Children who experience emotional abuse are more likely to struggle with post-traumatic stress and opioid misuse as adults, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Vermont.

Though previous studies have shown there is a relationship between abuse of all kinds and substance misuse, this is the first to specifically connect emotional abuse and opioid use, the researchers said. Read more

Hospitalizations for Opioid Poisonings in Youth Jump 165 Percent in 15 Years

This article is part 3 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

A new study reveals the number of young children who were hospitalized from opioid poisonings more than doubled between 1997 and 2012. The study, published at JAMA Pediatrics, looked at youths between the ages of 1 and 19.

Among the findings: Between 1997 and 2012, a total of 13,052 prescription drug–related hospitalizations were recorded around the nation. The yearly incidence for opioid poisonings for those between the ages of 1 and 19 rose by 165 percent; for those between the ages of 1 and 4, it rose by 205 percent. Those between the ages of 15 and 19 saw an increase of 176 percent in hospitalizations from opioid poisonings during this time frame. Read more

Teen Drug Use: It All Starts With Smoking

This article is part 12 of 15 in the column BeAKidsHero™

Ginger Kadlec: Be A Kids Hero Logo

 

 

Trying to stay informed about the illicit temptations thrown at kids can leave a parent—or anyone working with children—begging for mercy. I’m in that boat as I try to keep up with the latest teenage drug trends.

Seeking information and guidance, I turned to Sheriff Michael Nielsen of Boone County, Indiana, where my hometown is located, for a crash course in teenage drug use. Sheriff Nielsen graciously shared some basic facts he learned while working with teens and young adults in our community.

“It all starts with tobacco use,” Sheriff Nielsen said. “Smoking leads to alcohol, which leads to marijuana, which leads to harder drugs.” The Sheriff is candid about his former addiction to tobacco and its hold on people who use it. He adds, “As strong as tobacco is, just think of … the power drugs have over people.”

To better understand the issue, here are the drugs of choice for kids and teens: Read more

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