In UK, Doctors under fire as an alarming numbers of children are given drugs to combat depression and ADHD

Shadow Health Minister Anne Milton said doctors should be opting for non-drug treatments rather than reaching for the prescription pad. ‘This data shows that increasingly health professionals are prescribing drugs to treat child mental health problems, when evidence suggests that talking therapies can have an equal, if not better effect.

Jenny Hope
Daily Mail
October 30, 2009

The number of prescriptions being given to children with hyperactivity, depression and other mental health problems has soared over two years, according to new figures.

Over 420,000 prescriptions were issued to children under 16 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 2007 – up 33 per cent since 2005.

The number went up 51 per cent for youngsters aged 16-18, reaching 40,000 in 2007.

During this period NHS guidance endorsed at least three drugs for ADHD where other treatments have failed, despite fears about side effects and some critics complaining it medicalises antisocial behaviour.

More than 113,000 prescriptions of antidepressants were issued to children under 16 in 2007, a six per cent increase over two years.

Almost 108,000 antidepressant prescriptions went to 16-18-year-olds, which was unchanged over the period.