ADHD diagnoses on the rise

ADHD medication prescriptions have gone up significantly in recent years.According to the third National Survey on Children’s Health, which evaluated school children between the ages of 4 and 17 over the course of 2011 and 2012, there was a significant increase in the number of kids who were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) over the past decade.1

ADHD diagnoses up 42 percent

The survey was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it found that approximately 2 million more children had been diagnosed with ADHD in 2012 than had been in 2003. A total of 6.4 million children received the diagnosis in 2012 and the parents of 3.5 million of those children reported that their kids took medication to control the symptoms of ADHD,2 which should hold particular interest for pharmacy technicians.

“This finding suggests that there are a large number of young children who could benefit from the early initiation of behavioral therapy, which is recommended as the first-line treatment for preschool children with ADHD,” Susanna Visser, a researcher from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Reliance on medication versus therapy

With that increase in diagnoses has come an argument over whether medication or therapy, or a combination of the two, is the best way forward for children who suffer from ADHD. The CDC advocates behavioral therapy as a first-line treatment, especially for younger children.

ADHD is the most common childhood neurobehavioral disorder in the United States, with 11 percent of the school-age population reportedly suffering from its effects. The CDC has declared its desire to not only expand proper treatment of the syndrome, but to eradicate it completely.

“The number of U.S. households impacted by childhood diagnoses of ADHD is growing. When children diagnosed with ADHD receive proper treatment, they have the best chance of thriving at home, doing well at school, and making and keeping friends,” Visser went on to say in her statement.

1 Jha, Nupur, “Significant Rise Observed in ADHD Over the Past Decade,” Science World Report, Nov. 25, 2013. http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/11138/20131125/significant-rise-observed-adhd-over-last-decade.htm
2 Ellis, Marie, “ADHD Diagnosis Increasing in the U.S., CDC Says,” Medical News Today, Nov. 25, 2013. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269311.php