Researchers from George Washington University have found that children diagnosed with ADHD is on the rise among girls and Hispanic children, HealthDay reports. The research indicated that the rate of ADHD among all children ages 5 to 17 increased 43 percent from 2003 to 2011.
"But what struck us the most were the increases among girls and Hispanic children," said senior researcher Sean Cleary, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at George Washington University.
Girls being diagnosed with ADHD increased by 55 percent over the course of the research period. At the conclusion of the study, more than 7 percent of girls had ever been diagnosed with the condition. The increase among Hispanic was even more pronounced, with ADHD diagnoses rising 83 percent, compared with 46 percent among white children.
The researchers are currently unsure as to the causes for the shift among girls and Hispanic adolescents, according to the article. Cleary is not sure if the results indicate an actual rise in ADHD incidences, or indicates a tendency to over-diagnose the disorder. He points out that boys symptoms are typically more overt, which could have led to an underdiagnosis among girls. The rise among Hispanics may be linked to the demographic having greater access to mental health resources in Spanish. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
It is vital that researchers determine the reason for the rise in ADHD diagnoses. While stimulant medications have proven effective in treating the condition, the drugs used are narcotics and have the potential for abuse and/or addiction. Parents whose children have been diagnosed should move forward with caution. Prescription stimulants have a tendency of being diverted; people who are not prescribed such medications use them to gain an edge in school or for prolonged partying energy during the weekends.
If you or a loved one are abusing prescription stimulants, such as Adderall, please contact Hope By The Sea. We offer an affordable drug rehab program in California's coastal Orange County area to help amphetamine addicts begin the recovery process.