DHH Head: “Alarming Rate” Of ADHD Medication In LA

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana has an alarming number of children being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, says state Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert.

         She will hold a free, daylong symposium about the syndrome for parents, teachers, health care professionals and others on Dec. 9 in Baton Rouge.

         Topics will include frequency of diagnosis, medication rates, and proper use of ADHD medications.

         The nation's largest pharmacy, Express Scripts, found that Louisiana has the nation's highest ADHD medication rate for girls between the ages of 12 and 18 and women between 19 and 25, and the second-highest — behind only South Carolina — for all residents and for boys between 12 and 18.

         "With the alarming rate of ADHD medication use in Louisiana, we see an urgent need to gather doctors, parents, teachers, and members of the community to explore this issue and develop recommendations to curb these troubling trends," Kliebert said in a news release.

         The rates for girls and young women were nearly double the national rates, the company said.

         The state Legislature called on DHH to study how to ensure the proper utilization of ADHD medication in the state.

         Speakers at the conference include Dr. Susanna Visser, lead epidemiologist for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's child development studies team; Jeff Capobianco, director of practice improvement at the National Council for Behavioral Health; and Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason, pediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist and director for Tulane Infant Mental Health Services.

         For more information

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