Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 11:00
Ritalin prescriptions on the rise
Almost 4.5 percent of Dutch children aged four to 18 have been prescribed the stimulant Ritalin. A report issued by the Health Council of the Netherlands shows that the council is particularly concerned by the growing rate of prescription. The Health Councils report issued today to the State Secretaries for Heath, Welfare and Sport, and for Social Affairs and Employment, reveals that rate of children prescribed Ritalin in the Netherlands has quadrupled in recent years. Cause for concern is founded upon the basis that many users do not benefit from taking the drug, or have been misdiagnosed with ADHD. The council says that increased societal factors and pressures have led to the substantial growth in demand. “Increased pressure to perform and less tolerance for any deviant behaviour seem to be important reasons why there has been a substantial growth in the demand for care and other forms of support... it is important to focus much more on what care professionals, schools and employers can do to face the problems of young people” the council stated. Junior Minister for Health, Martin van Rijn, has told the council that he agrees that the increase in numbers of prescriptions is an issue. “We have to be alert to the trend...and we do not know all there is to know about the effect of the drug, particularly in the long term”, said van Rijn. The drug Ritalin contains the active ingredient methylphenidate, and is prescribed for children who have been diagnosed with hyperactivity.