Study: Women and the State of Missouri Are Taking Lots of ADHD Meds These Days

There is also a regional trend in the study. The Southern region of the US takes ADHD medication at the highest rate, with the Midwest coming in at a close second. Missouri is toward the higher end of the ADHD usage spectrum, with between 3 and 3.5 percent of Missourians of all ages taking medication for the disorder:

Express Scripts

These numbers reflect the usage among children and adults. But among children, Austerman says, the regional differences might be due to states' lack of behavioral specialists available for children while also over-testing kids at school.

"There is also evidence that high medication use is correlated with states that put a great deal of emphasis on high-stakes testing and where schools and teachers are penalized for students' poor performance," he says. "Furthermore, many of these school systems lack the resources to properly address behavioral problems, making them more apt to label kids as having ADHD."

See also: Drug Companies Fight Missouri Effort to Make Sudafed a Prescription Drug

Whatever the reasons are for the increase in ADHD medication usage, there's no question that the business is booming for the companies that make it. In December 2013, the New York Times published a lengthy article outlining how the pharmaceutical industry has made a greater push to market ADHD medication among adults, as well as children.

Between 2002 and 2012, sales of ADHD medication had risen by $6 billion.

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