Tuesday, November 04, 2008

UK Doctors Looking at US Model for Treating ADHD -- And Doing the Opposite

Recent UK clinical studies have led professionals to compose new guidelines and regulations concerning the use of stimulants such as Concerta and Ritalin to counter the symptoms of ADHD. Often used as a first-line of defense against ADHD within the US, these often harsh stimulants are being replaced by behavioral therapy for the child and family.

In the US, approximately one in ten children are being or have been treated with stimulants with over 420,000 prescriptions handed out in 2004 alone nearly doubling since 1998. The UK has gone to great lengths to avoid this popular rising trend of giving stimulants to children as is commonplace in the US.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) offers new guidelines involving the parents of children diagnosed with ADHD. Involving parents in an intense behavioral therapy to manage the behavior of the ADHD child coupled with teacher training for managing the students diagnosed with ADHD is just one part of the diversion from the ever-growing popularity of stimulants.

While stimulants may be utilized for treating severe ADHD in children, pre-school aged children are never allowed treatment with stimulants. In addition, stimulant use is always a small part of the much more intense treatment plan.

Educational instruction, behavioral guidance, and psychological interventions are all part of ensuring that children within the UK diagnosed with ADHD and those children’s care takers are taught to manage the behavior rather than mask the symptoms.

By taking a look at how the US has “handled” the rise in children diagnosed with ADHD, the UK has developed a positive step forward recognizing the need for intensive behavioral therapy rather than harsh stimulants.

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