Unnecessary And Accidental Use Of ADHD Drugs Increases Over 60%, Study Suggests

(CNN) — Exposure to common medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has increased by more than 60% in US children and adolescents, according to a new study. The study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, looked at all calls to US poison control centers for unintentional or intentional exposure to ADHD medications between 2000 and 2014 among children and adolescents. The researchers found that the number of calls increased from 7,018 in 2000 to 11,486 in 2014 — a 64% increase. According to the study’s authors, “exposure” refers to the unnecessary ingestion, inhalation or absorption of these medications. “What we found is that, overall, during that 15 years, there was about a 60% increase in the number of individuals exposed and calls reported to poison control centers regarding these medications,” said Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a leading author on the study. The new research comes one day after Oliver North, the National Rifle Association incoming president, suggested on “Fox News Sunday” that the drug Ritalin — which is commonly used to treat ADHD — is partially responsible for the recent increase in gun violence in the US. Of the approximately 156,000 calls received by poison control centers during the study period, approximately 82% were considered unintentional e...
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