Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ritalin use soars fourfold as child psychologists warn of untested drug cocktails

Source: The Observer

Ritalin use for ADHD soars fourfold as child psychologists warn of untested drug cocktails. Pupils as young as three are at risk, warn experts as prescriptions soar. More youngsters are being prescribed Ritalin for ADHD despite clinical guidelines to the contrary, say child psychologists .

Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt, who until recently sat on the education select committee, said there were natural alternatives that could help combat ADHD. She highlighted a report commissioned by the RSPB that suggested activities in a natural environment appear to improve children's symptoms by 30% compared with urban outdoor activities, and threefold compared to playing indoors. But Munt said many young people were prevented from enjoying the outdoors because of reasons such as lack of school playing fields and the distractions posed by video games, smartphones and social networking.

"It is extremely alarming that in the decade up to 2010, prescriptions for Ritalin quadrupled," she said. "Statistics show that 90% of prescriptions for this powerful drug in 2004 were used to combat behavioural problems in school-age children. I am shocked that there has been such a huge explosion in use."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Observer

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