Overprescribing child medication: Are parents pressuring doctors?

Overprescribing child medication: Are parents pressuring doctors?
Monday, April 1, 2013 - 6:17pm

According to new research, 11 percent of school-age children are now diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

In a separate study, researchers also find parents are putting the pressure on doctors to prescribe medicine, even if it's not needed.

The findings from the CDC reflect a 16 percent increase in child ADHD cases in the past decade.

It's raising concern among doctors that the diagnosis and medications are overused. 

According to the CDC, about two-thirds of those with a current diagnosis receive prescriptions for medicine like Ritalin or Adderall.

If someone truly needs those medications, they can help tremendously.

But Dr. Gayle Burress, Ph.D., says they can also lead to side effects.

New research also found parents were more inclined to want to treat their child with medication, even if they were told their child didn't need it.

Dr. Burress, who was not available for an interview in person today, spoke with KETK over the phone.

She said in her 30 years of practice, she has seen many parents try and pressure her into writing a prescription when they've been told it's not what the child needs.

"I'm not shy about saying your kid doesn't need meds your kids needs structure," Dr. Burress said. "If you leave your bike outside and it gets run over or smashed or rusted out, we don't run to Walmart and get a new bike. You're gonna have to earn the next one by showing you can be responsible."

Dr. Burress says diagnosing a child with ADHD and ADD is always a last resort for her.

She believes in many cases, home life and parenting can often fix these problems instead of medication.

 For more info: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/health/more-diagnoses-of-hyperactivity-causing-concern.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&





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