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Survey finds an 'over-reliance' on medication to treat ADHD

Survey finds an 'over-reliance' on medication to treat ADHD
From BBC - April 16, 2018

Families of children with ADHD are warning that too often medication is the only option they are offered to manage the condition.

A survey of parents across Scotland found evidence of delays in diagnosing ADHD and inadequate support afterwards.

The Scottish ADHD Coalition also uncovered concerns about inadequate training of school staff.

The Scottish government said medication was offered in accordance with good clinical practice.

It was often accompanied by non-drug treatments such as counselling, it added.

About 5% of schoolchildren have ADHD, a neuro-developmental condition which causes hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention.

However, only 1% (9,000) children are known to have the condition north of the border. The Scottish ADHD Coalition believes it is under-diagnosed in many areas.

And in its latest report on ADHD services in Scotland, it raises concerns of an over-reliance on medication in treating the condition.

In a survey of more than 200 parents, 93% said their child had been prescribed medication for their condition and it was helpful.

But in many cases it was the only treatment offered. The survey also found:

Geraldine Mynors, the coalition's chairwoman, said many children could benefit from more support to address a complex range of difficulties.

"The voices of parents coming through this survey are very clear: there is an over-reliance on medication as the only treatment available to manage ADHD," she said.

"Excellent parent training programmes such as Parents Inc, developed by NHS Fife, are all too rarely available to give parents the long term skills that they need".

'Life is very fast'

Avril Sinclair set up the Brighter Days support group for families living with ADHD in Livingston, after two of her four children were diagnosed with the condition.

"Life is very fast," she said. "We are always on the go. We try to keep to a routine but it's difficult, it's got a lot of challenges."

Her eldest son, Rhys, was seven when he was diagnosed with ADHD after experiencing problems at school.

She said he benefited from medication as well as a range of specialist help, including play therapy.

When his younger brother Ryan was diagnosed with the same condition, Ms Sinclair said the family decided not to give the youngster medication.

She said her experience of dealing with Rhys means she knows how to cope with Ryan's condition.

What is ADHD?

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