ADHD medication prescribing doubles for NZ youth

ADHD medication prescribing doubles for NZ youth: Fears of over prescribing loom
NZ Herald 25 September 2020
Family First Comment: “A study published in today’s New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) found that the rate at which New Zealanders aged 1-24 were being prescribed ADHD medication had doubled from 516 to 996 per 100,000 from 2007 to 2017.”
And what happened in 2007 when this growth began? Oh yes, the anti-smacking law!

Fears loom young New Zealanders with ADHD are being medicated unnecessarily after a study revealed the rate of prescribing has boomed.

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a condition affecting part of the brain responsible for filtering and controlling attention, behaviour, emotion, energy, motor control and judgment. In New Zealand, about one in 20 people live with the condition.

Left untreated, ADHD can cause a significant impact on learning development and social interaction.

A study published in today’s New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) found that the rate at which New Zealanders aged 1-24 were being prescribed ADHD medication had doubled from 516 to 996 per 100,000 from 2007 to 2017.

One of the authors of the study, Stephanie D’Souza, who is a University of Auckland researcher in psychology, said it was alarming as there was no evidence that the rate of ADHD itself had increased over this time period.

She said the jump could be due to more people getting picked up which was a good thing but there was also concern for over prescribing of medication which had been seen overseas.

Another worry was that children were being prescribed medication without the right support network, which was a crucial part of treatment, D’Souza said.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12367564

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