PolicyLab announces the release of two interactive maps featuring national and state-level trends in psychotropic medication use among children in foster care. The safe and limited use of these medications is a current federal priority following research revealing high prescription rates of these medications among children, with exceptionally high rates among children in foster care.
Of particular concern has been polypharmacy, the use of 3 or more classes of psychotropics at once. Additionally, the use of antipsychotics, a class of psychotropics, has been increasingly monitored in recent years due to rising use in children despite limited safety information. PolicyLab’s maps feature national and state-level trends in polypharmacy and antipsychotic use for children in foster care from 2002 to 2009. The data in the interactive maps can inform oversight and monitoring efforts as states work to ensure safe use of these medications among children.