This article was originally published by Pro Publica.
When 17-year-old Lexie Grüber first entered the Allison Gill Lodge group home for girls in Manchester, Connecticut, she said it felt less like a home than a business. Instead of family photos, the walls were covered in informational posters and licensing certificates. When her emotions got the better of her, she said, the only conversations she had were with a doctor with a prescription pad at the ready.
Now 22 and a recent college graduate, Grüber came before the Senate Finance Committee this week to testify about the experience. She recalled being medicated to the point that she developed a facial tic. She said she lost basic privileges like phone calls and television time for what she now considers normal teenage behavior.