The Florida Times-Union
October 8, 2009
TALLAHASSEE — Alarmed lawmakers said Wednesday they plan to push through legislation next year to try to prevent overuse of mind-altering drugs by foster children after the apparent suicide of a 7-year-old boy last April.
Members of the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee from both parties said the state needed to toughen laws and rules for prescribing psychiatric drugs to children in the wake of the hanging death of Gabriel Myers and an ongoing examination by a Department of Children and Families task force.
Jim Sewell, a former assistant commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and chair of the group, presented some of the task force’s findings to the committee at a meeting Wednesday.
But even as they pledged action, committee members and officials with DCF acknowledged that the state has tried before to get handle on the number of children taking psychiatric drugs and how the state goes about getting approval for those children to use the medications.
“It’s the same problem over and over and over again,” said Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico.