Rise of european behavior controlling drug
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Tue 21 Dec 2004
Rocketing rise of behaviour-controlling drug
THE number of Lothians children prescribed with the behaviour-controlling drug Ritalin has risen more than sevenfold in the last seven years, it emerged today.
But the dramatic rise was smaller than the ten-fold increase recorded across Scotland as a whole.
NHS watchdogs said a review would look into why prescription rates vary among health boards throughout the country.
The drug is given to children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A report by the body NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (QIS) said prescribing of the drug, officially known as methylphenidate, rose "notably" between 1996 and 2003, from 69 to 603 prescriptions per 10,000 of the population aged from six to 14. In Lothian, 75 prescriptions per 10,000 children were written in 1996 and, by last year, it had risen to 541.
Around one in 20 children in Scotland has ADHD, the key symptoms of which are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour.
It is estimated that around half do not grow out of the condition and it carries longer-term risks of other problems including anxiety, depression and suicide.xiety, depression and suicide.