ADHD diagnoses surge overseas

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnoses are surging overseas, as well as in the U.S. Children may be taking powerful drugs needlessly, warn researchers in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

In Australia, prescriptions for the stimulant Ritalin and other ADHD drugs rose by 72 percent between 2000 and 2011, while in Britain and the Netherlands prescriptions roughly doubled between 2003 and 2008, said the paper.

According to the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one in 11 American children aged 13-18 and one in 25 adults are affected by ADHD.

Ritalin and other drugs are appropriate only for “severe” ADHD symptoms, which occur among about 14 percent of children with the condition, the study noted. Yet 87 percent of U.S. children diagnosed with ADHD in 2010 received medications.

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  1. Stacy in NJ says:

    Never let it be said America no longer is an export nation. We export obesity via crappy dietary research and subsidized agriculture and now mental health “conditions” via suspect diagnoses and prescription medications. Wonderful.

  2. Mike in Texas says:

    In other news, Big Pharma’s profits soars new market sfor drugs opens worldwide, thanks to marketing.

    • Stacy in NJ says:

      That’s right, Mike. It’s all about your preferred boogeyman. It has nothing to do with the integrity (or lack there of) of the FDA or the AMA.

      The truth is it’s a trifecta of corruption and greed combined with incompetence. Pharma is one player in a dysfunctional system.

      • Ann in L.A. says:

        I don’t know how it works overseas, but here parents are also a major driver. I was shocked to learn of some of the kids who go to school with ours who have a “diagnosis”, and I’ve seen parents shop around for help.

        If a kid isn’t perfect, isn’t getting great grades, parents, desperate for solutions, are often happy to find it in a pill bottle. I know one parent who went to multiple doctors for her kid–who definitely has some processing problems, one MD said the kid didn’t need a pill; the other said that a pill would boost a child by 10-20%, and that was enough for the parent.

        Accepting your child as they are, even if that means they might get–¡GASP!–B’s or C’s (which the end of the world for many parents,) is not an option. It’s also easier to get a kid to take a pill than it is to actually use consistent discipline.

        Then there is the underground selling of these pills at highly-competitive schools, where kids buy them so they can study harder. Something is seriously wrong with the world when kids are doing that.

      • Mike in Texas says:

        Agreed, so there’s no reason to insult me.

        • Sure there is.

          The unindicted co-conspirator in the doping too compliance of American boys is the public education system and you’re a staunch and uncaring defender of the public education system. You’d much rather keep the attention on the boogeyman you hate rather then looking at all complicit parties.

          But just like you don’t care whether the kids are learning anything, you don’t care whether the kids are drug-addled. If it makes your job easier it’s a good idea.

          That’s the reason to insult you.

          • Roger Sweeny says:


            You often write as if you can read other people’s minds–and see that they are thinking bad thoughts, making them bad people.

            I think this is bad manners. It also tends to shut down discussion, rather than further it. Sometimes it leads to a silly war of insults.

            I don’t like it when progressives do it (“That’s something a racist would say.”) I don’t like it when anyone does it.

            You’re a smart, informed guy. You can do better.

          • Mind-reading’s a pretty mundane skill Roger. If a middle-aged guy ditches his wife, buys a hot car and starts consorting with hot women half his age who doesn’t read his mind? His motivations are obvious if not particularly admirable.

            If someone who claims to be a teacher tries to load all the blame for over-drugging American kids on the drug-producers aren’t his motivations similarly obvious and similarly lacking in virtue? The drug companies, after all, can’t coerce parents to accept behavior-modifying drugs for their children; that’s ostensibly the parents decision but is a decision that’s very often driven by public education employees. Mike would like avoid that fact.

            Consideration of the motivations that drive public education employees to pressure parents to drug their children are problematic. They might lead to the reaching of conclusions which aren’t quite as supportive of the belief that public education employees are, one and all, deeply concerned with the welfare of children as Mike would prefer people to continue to believe.

            Would you, Roger, care to engage in a bit of mundane mind-reading and delve into those motivations?

            As to my ostensible bad manners, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but my responses are a function of the behavior of my correspondent. Treat me respectfully and I’ll reciprocate as I will if you treat me badly.

            Mike’s under no such compulsion. It’s agreement with his views that garners an approximation of civility with any deviation from those views resulting in denunciation.

          • Roger Sweeny says:

            “Would you, Roger, care to engage in a bit of mundane mind-reading and delve into those motivations?”

            I think everyone has mixed motivations. Everyone. Now, lots of times I think, “Why doesn’t that person agree with me when what I’m saying is so true?” And I wonder about motivation. And I can come up with all sorts of reasons. But I just don’t like shutting things down at that point and saying, “Of course, you believe this lie because …”

            I would not want them to do that to me, so I feel it is only fair that I don’t do it to them.

          • Everyone may indeed have mixed motivations but all motivations are not created equal to paraphrase the Declaration of Independence.

            A surgeon may be a greedy SOB who cares not a whit for his patients but if he’s good at his profession his greed is a motivation with which few need concern themselves. Conversely, if a mugger beats you unconscious and steals your wallet how important is it to you that he did so to feed his children?

            It should be obvious from our exchanges that I’m not interested in “shutting things down”. Quite the contrary. But, I do insist on being treated with the degree of respect I accord anyone who wishes to have a civil exchange of views.

            Mike isn’t such a person. I would rather that he were but he’s not. He’s an ideologue who disdains anyone who doesn’t see the world as he sees it and is unhesitating in making his disdain known. The unquestionably noble nature of his ideology justifies disdain but it also justifies dissembling and misrepresentation. So, I don’t say “Of course you believe this lie because…” but “Of course you lie because you believe this…”

            You are free to offer an alternative hypothesis, and supporting evidence, but merely asserting that there are other, possible explanations is hardly an indictment of my hypothesis.

          • Roger Sweeny says:

            This may sound ridiculous, but if Mike is disrespectful and uncivil, why not resist the temptation to respond in a disrespectful and uncivil manner? Set an example by treating him how you would like to be treated.

          • Mike in Texas says:

            From the Merrian Webster website:

            fact: something that truly exists or happens

            You should learn this definition, Allen, then your “arguements”, which currently lack any facts, would be enhanced.

  3. Mike in Texas says:

    Don’t bother trying logic and facts with Allen, he is immune. He makes claims in the hope that if he repeats something often enough they will become true. He is forced to make things up and lie because he cannot accept the fact that I, as a teacher with more than 20 years experience, know much more about teaching and learning than the newscasters on FoxNews.

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      Am I the only one who thinks of this?

    • Apparently, 20 years as a teacher still isn’t enough time to cause you to come to terms with the fact that the organization by which you are employed is indifferent to your professional skills, such as they may be.

      Good or bad, it’s all the same to your principal and your superintendent. If they don’t place any value on your professional capabilities why should anyone else?

      To answer your question Roger, the Golden Rule.

      I am under no obligation to treat someone better then they treat me and the hope that by setting a sterling example I’ll raise up the scat-slingers and the insult-hurlers to my thus demonstrably elevated level is a fool’s errand.

      By the way Roger, your posts have a certain teacherly tinge to them. How do you deal with the fact that the public education system in general, and perhaps your school district, are systemically indifferent to teaching skill?

      Mike won’t deal with the question but perhaps you will?

      • Mike in Texas says:

        Mike won’t deal with the question but perhaps you will?

        Mike has no problem dealing with the question, but the answer is something I’m sure you want understand.

        I don’t work in a school, or a district, that is indifferent to my teaching skill.

        • Is there a fact somewhere in that post Mike?

          If there is, feel free to highlight it since your unsupported assertion doesn’t qualify as a fact anywhere but in your childish imaginings.

          Roger, Mike’s “cuz I sez so” reply doesn’t let you off the hook.

          The more-or-less recent spate of teacher and school accountability laws make it clear that there was no mechanism previously for determining whether schools and teachers were doing their job. The inescapable conclusion to be drawn from that fact is that, up until the advent of those laws, whether schools and teachers were doing a good job was immaterial.