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:

adhd_regional_map.JPG
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.

Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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17 comments
mike2031
mike2031

Ray, more due diligence please?  Consider the following:

1. Express Scripts has no real expertise in ADHD research, diagnosis or treatment.  They dispense medications.

2. Express Scripts has no business speculating about why more women are seeking ADHD treatment, especially reasons such as to lose weight or to better multi-task.

3. Express Scripts only looked at 2.7% of their prescriptions!

If you really want to do good reporting on this issue take a look at what some of the real experts in ADHD have to says:  http://russellbarkley.org/     http://www.drthomasebrown.com/

Your story does a disservice to the public. 

Jim Knoerle
Jim Knoerle

Sorry ladies hit everyone has quirks and personality faults just live with it

skeptical21
skeptical21

As an adult woman with ADHD I take some offense to the sentiment put forth by this article. For years (and still today) ADHD was mis/under-diagnosed in women on the assumption that it's a syndrome that hyper little boys suffer from but will grow out of. The fact of the matter is that women DO suffer greatly from ADHD in both their jobs and personal lives. I have endured the stigma and speculation of being a "drug seeker" by physicians, pharmacists, and the general public. I expect more of the RFT when speaking about this very real mental illness. While stimulant drugs have potential to be abused this type of rhetoric does nothing to help the situation and also further stigmatizes the indIviduals who struggle with ADHD every day.   

Patricia Powell
Patricia Powell

Because there are two many pill pushy docs that say "oh you have a personality disorder" here take a pill. If you don't have one they will create on for u. Mine was hormones and menopause.. Beware of misdiagnosis.

Courtney Ringle
Courtney Ringle

*Adderall.. (just sayin. im a pharm tech. its a force of habit)

Mike E. Moses
Mike E. Moses

Gotta start em young! Hey your 7 year old doesn't pay attention in school enough..he needs atterol.

racaub42
racaub42

Okay, there's a hell of a lot of editorializing going on in this article. ADHD sufferers are not "pill poppers." Women do not make their doctors prescribe them controlled substances because "coffee isn't doing it." This is a real illness, and the stigma will never go away if we keep painting ADHD sufferers as fakers and drug addicts.

kcdotz
kcdotz

This medication sucks when you know someone is addicted. People seem very selfish when they are on it

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