ADHD: State Diagnoses, Drugs More Kids Than Most Other States

Nashville (AP) -- A Tennessee lawmaker says parents and doctors too often turn to medication to treat attention disorder/hyperactivity disorder, the syndrome commonly called ADHD.

But some parents who have had their children put on drugs to help them focus say the results have been dramatic and instantaneous.

A 2005 study by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention shows only Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana have a larger percentage of children on medication for ADHD than does Tennessee.

Ten percent of Tennessee children have been diagnosed with ADHD, compared with a national average of 7.8 percent.

Vanderbilt University Associate Professor pediatrics Dr. William Cooper says Tennesseans tend to use more prescription medications than people in other states. He also says doctors in Tennessee may be more generally aware of the condition than physicians elsewhere.

State Representative John Deberry of Memphis chairs the House Children and Family Affairs Committee.

Deberry believes drugs are over-prescribed and says more people need to, as he put it, take the time to "intellectually and psychologically deal with the problems."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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