ADHD: More and more adults are taking Ritalin

ADHD: More and more adults are taking Ritalin

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Enormous increase in men in their early 30s - ADD / ADHD disease is becoming increasingly common in adults - children are taking fewer medications
Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder, known as ADD / ADHD, is the most common psychiatric disorder in children and adolescents. But apparently more and more of them are taking the disease into adulthood. Therapy is often carried out using psychotropic drugs that contain the active ingredient methylphenidate, the best known of which is called Ritalin.

A current evaluation of insured persons of the IKK Südwest in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland has shown that the number of prescriptions for adults is growing exorbitantly: In the past six years it has quadrupled (2010: 1168/2016: 4954 regulations). Today, on average, adult consumers are 32 years old and male in three out of four cases. It is striking that in 2010 the average age of adult Ritalin users was still 24 years. The regulations for children, however, go back significantly: Here, the recipes fell by 36%. Mainly boys, an average of 12 years old, are still affected (2010: 21,133 / 2016: 13,479 regulations).

Against the background of these surprising numbers, the IKK Südwest Andreas Vogel, child psychiatrist from Saarbrücken, asked. The physician has been dealing with the genetic disease ADS / ADHD for years and is convinced of the helpful use of medication, since it helps sufferers to better filter: "The brain cannot decide what is important and what is not," says Dr. Andreas Vogel. “Doctors and patients are now more informed about this taboo topic. Many adults recognize the problem and go to the doctor because their quality of life suffers. ” Adult ADD / ADHD patients often have problems with work and time management. When a medication is administered after a multi-stage medical test, those affected should be able to cope better with their everyday life: “It is about the patient getting along socially, developing healthily, having social skills and being socially, professionally and family-friendly. Someone who lives untreated with ADD / ADHD cannot do that, ”says Dr. Andreas Vogel.

Many sufferers are familiar with the accusation that ADS / ADHD medication would calm the patient down. The child psychiatrist disagrees: “The medication brings the patient back a bit clear and helps to work in a more structured way. When a patient with Ritalin is immobilized, the drug is always overdosed. ” Close and regular medical support is of course important. You can also work with preventive programs such as instruction or attention training before you take medication or learn to go about your daily routine in a more structured manner with self-discipline.

But you have to watch the development critically, warns Dr. Lutz Hager, Managing Director of IKK Südwest: “It is good that children are now taking a closer look at medication. We must now keep a close eye on adults so that no over-medication arises. ” With regard to the causes of illness and side effects of Ritalin therapy, the IKK managing director also emphasizes: "There are also good preventive and behavior-oriented approaches to prevent this drug therapy from being necessary in the first place."

The Ritalin regulations for adults have increased extremely in all federal states in which the IKK Südwest is active, most strongly in Hessen (5.5 times from 163 in 2010 to 901 in 2016), followed by Saarland (by that 4.5 times from 188 in 2010 to 883 in 2016) and from Rhineland-Palatinate (4 times from 684 in 2010 to 2555 in 2016). The largest drop in the Ritalin regulations for children was recorded by the IKK in Saarland (- 47% from 4183 in 2010 to 2216 in 2016), followed by Rhineland-Palatinate (- 35% from 12632 in 2010 to 8191 in 2016) and Hessen ( - 34% from 2,842 in 2010 to 1,857 in 2016).

The complete interview with child psychiatrist Dr. Andreas Vogel can be found on the IKK Südwest's “Patient Safety” website: The interview reflects the opinion of the interviewed doctor and summarizes his experiences from everyday practice. The IKK Südwest points out that in the first step prevention offers should be checked before drug therapy is started. A multimodal therapy approach is usually necessary.

Author and source information

Video: ADHD: We Finally Know Which Drugs to Use. Morning Report (August 2022).