New Report Cites Psychotropic Drug Use in Teens

5 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, December 05 2013 Dec 5, 2013 Thursday, December 05, 2013 12:53:00 PM CST December 05, 2013 in News
By: Rachel Karcz, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - A new report by the Centers for Disease Control shows 6 percent of teens are taking psychotropic drugs. 

The drugs can be used to treat depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other conditions. The report shows ADHD drug use was higher among males than females. Females were more likely than males to use antidepressants. Depression and ADHD are the most common mental health disorders among adolescents. According to the report, 4.3 percent of adolescents between the ages of twelve and seventeen experienced depression in any two week period between 2005 and 2006. 

Bill Morrissey, a pharmacist at Kilgore's Pharmacy said he's noticed an increase in teen usage for psychotropic drugs.

"I've observed in the last ten years that it's more frequent trend to see teenagers on both antidepressants and attention deficit type stimulant medicines," said Morrissey.

As for any increase in usage on a local level, Morrissey said it's complicated.

"As a society, we've become more open and understanding about mental illness and more apt to talk about it," he said.

Another potential cause for an increase could be misuse of the drugs by teens.

"There is a trend, especially with the stimulants that are used for attention deficit that you see those being used maybe not in the correct form," Morrissey said. "I've heard of lots of college students using those to help with study habits."

Overall, females were more likely than males to use any type of psychotropic medication. The report points out there are other ways to treat mental disorders such as psychosocial treatment and dietary management. 

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