Florida Girl Who Died in Facebook Live Hanging Prescribed Powerful Psych Drug
Attorneys, advocates, psychiatrists and healthcare providers who work with foster children under the care and watch of the Florida Department of Children and Families have learned through the years the perils of prescribing powerful psychotropic medications. Several years ago, Gabriel Myers, a 7-year-old boy also under the care of DCF, hanged himself while on a “cocktail” of psychotropic medications known to heighten the risk of suicide when used by children.
So when Naika Venant hanged herself while streaming on Facebook Live earlier this year, child advocates wondered what might have driven the girl to do so.
Investigators have learned that Naika was prescribed Zoloft. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns with a “black box” label that children should not use the powerful anti-depressant. A Miami psychologist who in 2015 examined Naika reportedly said as much. Given the psychological struggles the young girl faced, the psychologist noted, drugs might push her further from the calm she so desperately needed. That calm never came.