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MIAMI – A month before a South Florida foster child live-streamed her suicide on Facebook Live, the dosage of an antidepressant given to her was doubled by a doctor.
The Miami Herald reported Sunday that Zoloft, the antidepressant prescribed to 14-year-old Naika Venant has a critical warning that it increased the risk of suicide in children.
The drug had a “black box” warning that is U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s strongest advisory.
A spokesman for Zoloft’s parent company, Pfizer, says the black box warning includes a note to families and caregivers about monitoring patients for suicidal thoughts or unusual changes in behavior.
Florida Department of Children & Families Secretary Mike Carroll told the Herald that the agency doesn’t prescribe medications for children in its custody, only doctors do.
Mom of teen who broadcast suicide on Facebook blames foster care — ( NEW YORK Daily News)
“I am sick and devastated. I have trusted Florida foster care people to care for my baby. Instead she kills herself on Facebook,” mother Gina Alexis said while crying during a news conference with the Miami Herald. “I have to bury my baby.”
Venant has been under state care since 2009, The Herald reports.
After a police investigation, evidence revealed Venant had been sexually abused by a 14-year-old boy who resided in the same home.
“We first need to look more than anywhere else at what is going on in our backyards in Florida,” Talenfeld said during the conference.
“Facebook is a method of communication, a method where the message was sent, but the reality is Facebook didn’t rape her. Facebook didn’t fail to provide her services. Facebook didn’t take her into care promising her a better life.”
A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Children and Families declined comment on Venant’s records, citing legal confidentiality concerns.
The department’s secretary Mike Caroll said further investigation is underway.
Police looking into sexual abuse claim made during online suicide
“This is an extraordinarily complex case that deserves our careful examination. Our review will survey all of her interactions with the child welfare system and the multifaceted circumstances surrounding this tragedy.”