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Adolescents and psychiatric drugs

group of teenagersA recent survey published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s NCHS Data Brief shows increased psychiatric medication use among adolescents. About 6 percent of U.S. adolescents aged 12–19 reported psychiatric drug use for conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression in the previous month. A wide gap also exists in psychiatric drug use across ethnic and racial groups, which may be caused by differing access to health care or other economic issues. The increased drug use may be related to the increased diagnosis of psychological conditions of adolescents, but the exact driving force behind the increase isn’t clear.

Using psychiatric medication requires careful consideration and isn’t the only solution to a mental health condition. If you’re concerned that your child may have a psychiatric problem, consult your pediatrician or a mental health professional.