State won’t disclose names of doctors prescribing in youth corrections

VIDEO The state defied an Office of Open Records ruling and took the matter to court to conceal the names of doctors prescribing to kids confined in its six correctional facilities.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services insisted the physicians who care for and prescribe to the state’s most chronic or violent youth offenders would be endangered if their names were made public.

Addicts supplement prescription drugs with heroin, study says

Prescription drug abuse and the heroin epidemic are not separate crises for the American people. A new study shows that heroin users are often boosting a prescription drug habit. Senior investigator Theodore J. Cicero wrote to The New England Journal of Medicine about the study’s findings:

"On the East and West coasts, combined heroin and prescription drug use has surpassed the exclusive use of prescription opioids. This trend is less apparent in the Midwest, and in the Deep South, we saw a persistent use of prescription drugs, but not much heroin." Cicero worked with researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine to anonymously survey more than 15,000 patients in 49 states from January 2008 to September 2014.

Where’s the oversight of psychiatric meds for PA youth offenders?

VIDEO Pennsylvania is lagging when it comes to tracking the powerful psychiatric medications kids get in the state’s youth correctional facilities.

While other states have reformed the way they control and track such medications so that it is done systemwide, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services follows only the total amount paid for the drugs prescribed in its six facilities on a systemic basis.

Troubled kids, powerful drugs

PublicSource built a database of the medications ordered by the six state-operated youth correctional facilities from 2007 through 2013.

The high-security system has been shrinking over the last decade, but the facilities remain to take the state’s most chronic or violent juvenile offenders.

Use this tool to search through the psychotropic drugs prescribed to youth offenders in the state facilities.