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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Facts & Figures: Large Number of Teens Taking Medications for ADHD

From Smart Kids with LD

January 7, 2014

A new study has found that approximately 6% of U.S. teens take psychiatric medications for mental health conditions, including ADHD.

According to an article about the study on the HealthDay Web Site, “Teens aged 12 to 19 typically took drugs to treat depression or ADHD, the two most common mental health disorders in that age group. About 4 percent of kids aged 12 to 17 have experienced a bout of depression, the study found."

"Meanwhile, 9 percent of children aged 5 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD…”

Other findings from the research done by a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include:
  • Males (4.2%) were more likely than females (2.2%) to take medication for ADHD
  • Females (4.5%) were more likely than males (2.0%) to take medication for depression
  • White teens (8.2.%) were more likely to take medication than Black (3.1%) or Mexican-American (2.9%) teens
  • Approximately one-half of adolescents reporting psychiatric medication use had seen a mental health professional in the past year
“Adolescents and children do take psychiatric medications,” said study author Bruce Jonas, an epidemiologist at the National Center for Health Statistics. “It is not the majority, but it’s also not rare.”

As to what’s behind the numbers, Jonas speculated, “In my opinion, it’s an increase in the diagnosis of various conditions that these medications can be prescribed for.”

For more details, access the December, 2013 NCHS Data Brief on the CDC Web Site.

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