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Rape Victim Was Heavily Sedated By "Chemical Restraints", Records Show
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 30, 2003

ORLANDO, FLORIDA--A woman who is pregnant following a rape in an Orlando group home was taking three powerful anti-psychotic drugs at the time of the attack -- even though she does not have a mental illness, the Orlando Sentinel revealed Thursday.

The 22-year-old woman, known in court as J.D.S., reportedly has mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and autism. Officials say she was probably sexually assaulted on numerous occasions. She is more than six months pregnant.

According to records shared by a former caregiver, J.D.S. was prescribed 5 milligrams of Haldol twice a day, 100 milligrams of Thorazine three times a day and 5 milligrams of fluphenazine twice a day. The drugs are usually prescribed for people who experience psychosis, and are typically used on a short-term basis.

The caregiver said the doctors prescribed the medications for J.D.S. several years ago because she was "a hyperactive child". When she turned 18, she no longer had a guardian to question the use of these medications.

The caregiver said she recommended the doctor increase J.D.S.' dosage of Thorazine some time last year to "keep her more sedate".

"That kept her calmed down," the woman said.

Such medications have been used for years in institutions as "chemical restraints", to control a person's behavior. Some experts say the use in nursing homes and group homes is on the rise.

"It's a massive substitute for offering services," said retired psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin.

Breggin explained that it is common for people taking anti-psychotic drugs to be abused, because the drugs can keep the person from screaming or fighting back.

"They are rendered much less able to protect themselves," he said.

J.D.S. apparently has become much more responsive in recent weeks as her drug regimen has been dramatically reduced.

Related articles:
"'Chemical restraint' drugs were prescribed even though J.D.S. is retarded, not psychotic" (Orlando Sentinel)
"Judge OKs Plan for Disabled Rape Victim" (Associated Press via Yahoo! News)


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