Increased use of hyperactivity disorder drugs

The Borders has become the most prolific region of Scotland when it comes to dispensing ADHD drugs.

The last year has seen over 5,500 items given out for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with the vast majority of them going to youngsters under 19 years of age.

It cost NHS Borders £218,000 and means that the defined daily dosage per 1,000 per day sits is 17.22 – the highest in Scotland. This is almost double the number of daily dosages for five years ago, and is also the largest increase in Scotland.

Local MSP John Lamont has raised concerns over the figures and urged for more to be done to cut the use of these drugs.

He said: “I have no doubt that many people in the Borders will be shocked when they see these statistics.

“This spike in the handing out of this medication has come at a cost to NHS Borders, with the costs of the drugs now spiralling to over £200,000.

“This will also undoubtedly come at a cost to the patients who are prescribed it, as in the Borders we seem to be parking people on this medication and giving them no hope of a full recovery.

“While there is no question that these pills have a role to play in the treatment of a range of mild-to-moderate mental health ailments, our young people deserve the best treatment possible. I don’t believe that they are receiving this if the answer is to simply give them drugs and hope that the problem goes away.”

Dr Diana Leaver, community physician, NHS Borders, previously said of ADHD: “Effective interventions for children with ADHD fall into three broad categories: drug therapy, behaviour management, and educational modifications in school.

“Brain stimulants are the most commonly prescribed medications.”