“This is a major concern. Antipsychotics are strong drugs with serious side effects such as obesity, diabetes and sedation, and these tend to be worse in young people. Despite this, these drugs are increasingly used in situations where other treatments may be safer and more appropriate,” said Karanges. Use of the main ADHD medication Ritalin jumped 35 percent in Australia over four years. The authors detected trends suggesting that increasing numbers of Australians are continuing to use ADHD medications beyond childhood and well into adulthood. This may reflect the increasing popularity in the diagnosis of ‘Adult ADHD’. “We need to have a national debate about what is driving this phenomenon,” said Professor McGregor. “Why are we so reliant on meds for our mental wellbeing? We also need to debate whether the benefits of medication outweigh the hazards, particularly in children and in those suffering only mild to moderate psychological distress.”

– Verity Leatherdale

via Australian children and adolescents increasingly use psychotropic drugs.