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Rising ADHD prescriptions draw scrutiny

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

A recent study in BMJ suggests that the recent loosened criteria for the diagnosis of ADHD correlates to a dangerous uptick in prescriptions worldwide. According to Bloomberg, prescriptions for ADHD rose 73% in Australia from 2000 to 2001, quadrupled among UK adults between 2003 and 2008, while only doubling among their kids during that same period. A USAToday opinion piece by Maclean Gander in 2012 noted that ADHD was diagnosed in around 5% of the population for a century, but became what the professor described as a "cultural phenomenon" in a 20-year time frame. He attributed part of its popularity to teacher demands for docile students and for students seeking an academic performance edge. Based on Dr Levinson's clinical experience, the increased diagnosis of ADHD is primarily due to an increased awareness of this disorder and it's many variations as well as the rapid and often dramatic benefits offered by medications. The loosening of the diagnostic criteria followed a better understanding of this disorder. Similarly, the cultural resistance towards accepting this reality slowly changed, with Europe and Asia now playing an accelerated catchup with the USA. Finally, the pharmaceutical industry's educational and research programs have significantly contributed to this new understanding and demand for treatment. And although over-reactions to prior denials are to be expected, Levinson believes the diagnostic criteria were always too stringent, thus excluding too many from proper diagnosis and helpful therapies.

About Harold Levinson, M.D.

Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Great Neck, New York. He is a well known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. His "highly original" research into the cerebellar-vestibular (inner-ear) origins and treatment of dyslexia and related learning, attention-deficit/hyperactivity and anxiety or phobic disorders has evolved over the past four decades. Levinson's concepts encompass the collective insights derived from the examinations, follow-up and successful treatment of over 35,000 children, adults and even seniors and have led to new methods of screening, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. His expanded theories appear capable of encompassing and/or explaining all reported symptoms as well as most other concepts and experimental data, thus resulting in a truly holistic perspective.

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