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Who are the doctors prescribing powerful drugs to foster kids?




For Joymara Coleman, a 24-year-old student from Hayward, Calif., the medications she was prescribed in foster care
For Joymara Coleman, a 24-year-old student from Hayward, Calif., the medications she was prescribed in foster care "took away the essence" of who she was. Coleman was photographed at her Hayward apartment on Aug. 11, 2014, with two of the psychotropic medications she was prescribed while in foster care. She no longer takes Abilify or trazodone, but keeps them in her apartment as a reminder of what she has overcome. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)
Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group

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Children in California's foster care system are prescribed powerful psychotropic meds more than three times the rate of other kids.

Investigative reporter Karen de Sá has been examining the practice for her series "Drugged Kids" at the San Jose Mercury News

She's spoken with former foster kids who said these medications posed serious problems for them, and dug deep into the pharmaceutical companies making these drugs.

Her investigations have even inspired lawmakers to pass legislation limiting psychotropic drugs in foster homes, including a group of bills in the state senate right now.

Take Two talks with de Sá, now at the San Francisco Chronicle, for her latest installment that focused on the doctors who are prescribing these medications, as well as psychiatrist Dr. Michael Barrett who explains why he recommends these drugs for some patients.