The American Academy of Neurology is warning doctors around the country to stop prescribing ADHD medications to healthy children to give them a boost in their schoolwork.
“Doctors caring for children and teens have a professional obligation to always protect the best interests of the child, to protect vulnerable populations, and prevent the misuse of medication,” report author Dr. William Graf, a professor of pediatric neurology at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., said in a news release. “The practice of prescribing these drugs, called neuroenhancements, for healthy students is not justifiable.”
Medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most prescribed in the country. The disorder causes problems like overactivity, inattention and poor impulse control.
The disorder is typically treated by psychostimulant drugs. Despite the name, actually have a paradoxical, calming effect on people with ADHD.
Drugs like Ritalin and Adderall are given to about three million children a year, according to 2008 estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In recent years, a growing number of students have used the medications as “study drugs” to take before tests, and in turn, more parents are requesting ADHD drugs for kids who don’t meet the criteria for the disorder.
A June 2012 study in Pediatrics found the number of ADHD drug prescriptions for children under 17 climbed 46 percent from 2002 to 2012. Methylphenidate — a psychostimulant drug for ADHD sold generically or as Ritalin and Concerta — was the top prescription dispensed to adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17.
Read more at CBS NEWS.