One in seven American children on Ritalin for ADHD
One in every seven American children under the age of 18 is regularly taking a stimulant such as Ritalin to treat their ADHD (attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder). The number has rocketed by 66 per cent in the last 10 years as more children are being diagnosed.
Out of a population of 73m million under-18s, 10.4 million are now taking Ritalin or another psycho-stimulant drug, according to figures for the year 2010. Around 6.2 million under-18s were being diagnosed with ADHD 10 years earlier.
ADHD is now a common diagnosis among children and teenagers, say researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Indeed, any child who has trouble paying attention, controlling any impulsive behaviour and being ‘overly active’ will probably be labelled as ADHD, and prescribed a stimulant, which appears to have a paradoxical effect.
(Source: Academic Pediatrics, 2012; 12: 110-6).