Number of children given drugs for ADHD up ninefold with patients as young as THREE being prescribed Ritalin
Posted: 12 Jul 2013 01:16 AM PDT
Nearly 800,000 children were given ADHD medication last year, says the NHS
Doctors are prescribing drugs instead of more expensive treatments
Prescriptions for ‘chemical cosh’ drugs to treat hyperactivity have risen almost nine-fold, with claims that children as young as three are taking them.
The number of drugs prescriptions to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has leapt from 92,100 in 1997 to 786,400 last year, say NHS figures.
It is feared that youngsters are being given them instead of more expensive counselling and other treatments.
Some parents are also believed to be pressurising GPs for drugs to help boost performance at school.
Psychologists yesterday demanded tougher regulations and a significant reduction in the prescription of psychotropic drugs, including Ritalin.
Health guidelines say they should not be given to children under six. Symptoms of ADHD include an inability to concentrate and restless or impulsive behaviour.
Experts claim that cuts in funding for recommended treatment, including counselling, are leading to increased prescriptions.