Foster Kids and Meds: Doctors Questioned

ABC News asks why foster care children are being prescribed so many drugs.
5:47 | 12/02/11

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Transcript for Foster Kids and Meds: Doctors Questioned
Now to that ABC news exclusive a one year investigation into Foster care children. As you heard here last night so many of them over Medicaid of the multiple powerful mind altering drugs. Often used for disorders the children don't have. Critics say it is happening because of -- behind unholy convergence. Our tax -- Medicaid dollars pay for the drugs. The pharmaceutical companies see a market. And a lot of times doctors can move through many patients fast. ABC -- enough time to set -- to find some of the doctors and asked them questions. Yeah battleground polls and spend as far last night we introduced you to some of those -- Who told stories of being on five drugs at a time in Foster care including drugs for severe mental disorders like schizophrenia. Drugs that can carry -- side effects like -- reversible -- even increased risk of suicidal tendencies. So we wonder. Describing these drugs -- why are they prescribing them at such high rates to Foster children. What you want to talk about homelessness than a year searching for answers has -- and information and tracking down some of the doctors who write those prescriptions. Meet Gabriel Myers he'd just turn so. Both his father and mother had ended up in jail so little Gabriel -- ended in Foster care moved from home to home. Soon he began acting out. He was sent to see this man that you worked a lot of kids is doctor so -- wanting a psychiatrist seen here on local TV who prescribed Gabriel a powerful mix of mind altering drugs. Sometimes after just F five minute visit then one afternoon Gabriel did the unimaginable. -- He locked himself into a bathroom in a Foster home screaming I deserved to die. Then standing on the edge of the tub he hung himself with the shower hose. What would drive a seven year old to kill himself. Eventually the investigation turned to the drugs prescribed by doctor -- money over just two month period and some improvements approved. And so it's so we tracked down doctor plunged one. But he did not want to talk to us on camera. The drugs he prescribed him off label and they Wear black box warnings that say that they his. Cause suicidal tendencies six duties happened. But that does not mean that everything he's done so doctors are responsible -- because he had in the business of taking -- on these children. That -- -- music but each time duty stand with little Gabriel. It's Foster father taken effect five in. -- -- -- It's time he's proven that I don't have the record right now Mike. Later doctor -- -- told us it is possible he only spend five minutes with Gabriel wildly adjusting his -- Gabriel's death was ultimately ruled an accident and the Florida has since kicked doctor opens wanna out of the Medicaid program. But for every -- real there are hundreds of other children calling out for help. This woman we'll call and is a former state social worker she's dealt with hundreds of kids in Foster care and has anyone looking out 70. And if you tried to speak out and say anything about you're basically told to shut -- she -- we protect her identity. Why he think -- medicating these children. It's much easier to Medicaid -- child but it is too. Paid 200 dollars an hour -- with their best to talk through their problems with them. And some states have now started requiring a second opinion by a doctor before some medication is dispensed. And in Florida where Gabriel Mayer's diet they are now kicking -- prescribing doctors out of the Medicaid problem. Still critics say too many Foster care children are being pushed through the system -- with him. And Sharon and I of course teamed up for this investigation. And as you know -- we also tried to take our questions. To the US government only -- agencies referring us to each other. The secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services declined our request for an interview about. We did sit down with Robert Nelson of the federal drug administration which regulates drugs in this country and ask him. Who is going to lead this charge. -- who scored the group. It's seems as if every time we talk to someone -- someone else's. Well then the local Foster care systems that have to put in place at -- time to issue a wake up call about the use of these drugs in children. I certainly think people should be well aware of what's going on -- Begin to look into -- I'd be curious to hear what you think the wake up call would be with a month. -- the FDA. I know this is an issue that it has been discussed and Odyssey we're well aware of it. Whether. FDA advisory or some sort of announcement was it would have an impact -- -- would be a possibility to consider you're sitting at home at night alone. Which agency do you plan. Well. I think we all have to papers. That we all need to work together so problem. The FDA got back to us after that interview and said the current warnings on the powerful anti psychotic are prominent enough. And as of now the FDA has no plans to -- any further warnings. And tomorrow night -- and I will bring you a special 20/20. With some amazing ways people are finding to care for Foster care children and heal them without all those drugs.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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