Thursday, June 21, 2012

Use of ADHD Drugs Grew By 46 Percent in Children From 2002 to 2010

By Join Together Staff | June 19, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Mental Health, Prescription Drugs, Research & Youth

Use of drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children jumped 46 percent from 2002 to 2010, according to a new report in the journal Pediatrics. Ritalin was the top drug prescribed for teenagers, with more than four million prescriptions filled in 2010.

“What the article is suggesting is that the number of children that we are treating for attention deficit disorder has gone up,” said Dr. Scott Benson, a spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association, told Reuters. “For the most part I think the overall increase reflects a reduction in the stigma. It used to be, ‘You’re a bad parent if you can’t get your child to behave, and you’re a doubly bad parent if you put them on medicine.’”

Overall, the number of drugs prescribed to children in the United States dropped slightly from 2002 to 2010. Antibiotic use and prescription painkiller use both decreased 14 percent. Prescriptions for allergy medications, cough and cold medicines and antidepressants also dropped.

The report found 263 million prescriptions for minors were filled in 2010, down 7 percent from 2002. When population changes are taken into account, that corresponds to a 9 percent drop, the article notes. Adult prescriptions rose 11 percent during the same time period.

A recent article in The New York Times noted a growing number of high school students are using ADHD drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, to help them get better grades. Teens get them from friends, buy them from student dealers, or pretend to have ADHD in order to get prescriptions.

1 comment:

  1. Let me point out the fact that adolescents who are CORRECTLY diagnosed with ADD-ADHD are FAR LESS likely to abuse and become addicted to Alcohol, cigarettes, or illegal drugs when they are treated appropriately with ADD medication. It is also rare for people with ADD to abuse or take more medication than prescribed. HOWEVER, they may be prone to selling it to other students rather than taking it themselves. This could be prevented with appropriate monitoring and handling.

    There is no question that Drs are prescribing ADD meds without comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. It is also necessary these days for Dr's to know how to screen for kids, (with the help of their parents, at times) who are trying to fake symptoms in order to get meds.

    Lets keep it in perspective and not throw out the baby with the bath water.

    If I may continue, the biggest drug problem in Portland is Heroin abuse. Portland has the 3rd highest rate of Heroin abuse among 16 to 24 year olds in the Nation! It starts with kids taking pain meds from home medicine cabinets for "fun", becoming addicted and then turning to Heroin because is it cheaper and provides a faster, more significant high. It is horribly, horribly difficult to get and stay clean from Heroin. If you have loved ones who are addicted, please go to an Al-anon meeting, you will never regret it.