ADHD's Wider Definition Could Lead to Unnecessary Treatments

Posted on November 8, 2013

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder characterized by the inability to focus and a lack of control over behaviors often leading to an overactive state. ADHD is often diagnosed in children, who are usually prescribed stimulant drugs to control their behaviors. Even though these drugs might help some children, researchers have found that the risk of drug abuse can be extremely high in some cases. Now, with the broader definition of ADHD, experts in a new report expressed their concerns that more and more children will be diagnosed and subsequently prescribed medical treatments that might not be necessary.

In this report, the researchers estimated that the new and wider definition of ADHD would lead to more inappropriate diagnoses with prescribed treatments that might not be needed. The team stated that these medical treatments could even harm children and would cost the United States $500 million. The researches believe that a wider definition "devalues the diagnosis in those with serious problems."

The researchers found that in Australia from 2000 to 2011, there was a 73 percent increase in ADHD medications. In Britain, these medications also increased two times for children patients and four times for adult patients between 2003 and 2008.

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Category(s):Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development

Source material from Counsel Heal