ScienceDaily (Sep. 28, 2011) — The prescribed use of stimulant medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rose slowly but steadily from 1996 to 2008, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)…. They found a slow but steady increase (in stimulant use)– from 2.4 percent in 1996 to 3.5 percent in 2008…. Based on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s National Survey of Children’s Health, the percentage of children age 4-17 years diagnosed with ADHD increased from 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007.
I’m not surprised, but I don’t consider this good news. The percentage of children age 4-17 years diagnosed with ADHD increased from 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007. Will the ADHD “establishment” begin to wonder if something is wrong when it hits 15%? 20%? The only good news is that stimulant use in preschoolers actually decreased between 2002 and 2008. ADHD is real, and many children need help, but we need more careful diagnosis, and treatment that involves more than just taking a pill.