According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute, about 4 percent of the general youth population has received prescriptions for these drugs during the past decade. By comparison, the numbers for children in foster care fall between 13 and 52 percent. This study corroborates the findings of similar studies conducted in Texas and Georgia during the same time period.
There are several debatable factors that can explain the disparity in prescription rates between children in foster care and the general youth population. While foster children may appear to suffer from a higher rate of behavioral and mental health concerns, many of these behavioral issues arise as a natural response to trauma and domestic stress, and are being improperly diagnosed as mental health disorders.