Psychiatric drugs surge among kids. (Behavior).During the early 1990s, the numbers of children and teenagers in the United States receiving prescriptions for psychiatric drugs rose markedly, a new study finds.
Julie M. Zito of the University of Maryland, Baltimore University of Maryland, Baltimore, (also known as UMB) was founded in 1807. It is one of the oldest universities in the United States and comprises some of the oldest professional schools in the nation and world. and her coworkers analyzed medical data on nearly 900,000 youngsters enrolled in Medicaid programs--in an unnamed mid-Atlantic or midwestern state--or in a large health maintenance organization (HMO HMO health maintenance organization.
A corporation that is financed by insurance premiums and has member physicians and professional staff who provide curative and preventive medicine within certain financial, ) in the Pacific Northwest. Psychiatric-drug use tripled at the HMO and in the midwestern state, while it doubled in the mid-Atlantic state.
The overall proportion of kids and teens taking at least one psychiatric drug rose from 2.5 percent in 1987 to 6.2 percent in 1996, the scientists report in the January Archives of Pediatric pediatric /pe·di·at·ric/ (pe?de-at´rik) pertaining to the health of children.
Of or relating to pediatrics. and Adolescent Medicine. This new rate of psychiatric medicine use nearly matches that of adults.
Ritalin and other stimulants for treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
A condition in which a person (usually a child) has an unusually high activity level and a short attention span. People with the disorder may act impulsively and may have learning and behavioral problems. were the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs for children in 1996, followed by antidepressants and anticonvulsants Anticonvulsants
Drugs used to control seizures, such as in epilepsy.
Mentioned in: Antipsychotic Drugs, Osteoporosis used for mood disorders.
The researchers say it's unclear whether the rising use of psychiatric medications among children reflects mainly a growing emphasis on comprehensive mental-health care at early ages or an increasing reliance on drugs alone, without any talk or behavior therapy.--B.B.