Adults gobbling kids’ speedy meds

The number of adults taking amphetamine-like medicine meant for children with ADHD has rocketed in Denmark over the last decade, according to a report.

The Jyllands-Posten newspaper claims the number of older people taking drugs for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has increased from 800 to 15,000 over the past 10 years, with many taking 20 pills or more per day.

The medication, usually known as Ritalin, is only supposed to be prescribed to children and young people who have trouble concentrating and behavioural difficulties. However, the report suggests that the Danish Medicines Agency (DMA) is concerned that doctors and psychiatrists are dishing out the drugs to anyone who requests them.

“I find it disturbing that so many adults need the behavioural medicine that ADHD pills in fact are,” DMA Medicines Approval Department Head Steffen Thirstrup told the newspaper. “Among adult users there is a danger of both abuse and onward sales with this amphetamine-like medicine as well as the fact that we do not know the long-term effects of the drugs in the pills,” he added.

“It is very difficult to understand why so many adults have to have ADHD pills,” General Practitioner Chairman Henrik Dibbern told Jyllands-Posten. “We need to investigate whether the numbers should just be allowed to grow,” he says.