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Why do children take ADHD medication?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Stimulant medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are among the most highly prescribed medications that children take regularly. The National Resource Center for ADHD reports that less than three percent of elementary school aged children take medications, and 99 percent of these children take stimulant medications for ADHD. This may concern some parents. Why do so many children take these medications?

Many children with ADHD take the medications because they experience a great improvement in their schoolwork and social relationships when they are being treated. For some of them, the symptoms of ADHD cause great difficulty in their lives at school, at home, and in after-school activities. When untreated, ADHD symptoms can lead to problems with self-confidence, criminal behavior, and substance abuse later in life. To avoid these problems, many parents choose to medicate their children, rather than let them suffer with the disorder throughout childhood and adolescence.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.