06 June 2007

Divorce ups Ritalin use

Children of divorced parents are nearly twice as likely as other children to be prescribed Ritalin, according to a new study.

Children of divorced parents are nearly twice as likely as other children to be prescribed Ritalin, says a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Researchers found that 6.1 percent of 633 Canadian children of divorced parents were prescribed Ritalin, compared with 3.3 percent of 4 151 children whose parents were still married, the Canadian Press reported.

Study author Lisa Strohschein of the University of Alberta said there may be a number of reasons why Ritalin use is higher among children of divorced parents.

The stress of divorce may aggravate a child's existing ADHD-related behavioural problems to the point where a doctor decides that Ritalin may be helpful. In other cases, children of divorced parents may channel their anger, anxiety and sadness into behaviour that's mislabelled as ADHD-like.

In some situations, Strohschein said, parents and doctors may give Ritalin to children in anticipation of behavioural problems that may be caused by the stress of divorce, the CP reported. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Ritalin debate flares up
How Ritalin tweaks the brain

June 2007


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Dr. Shabeer Ahmed Jeeva is a specialist psychiatrist who has been practicing child and adult psychiatry for 30 years. He has vast experience in treating ADHD, and is also an ADHD patient himself. Dr. Jeeva trained and practiced in Canada as a child and adult psychiatrist and had lived there for 25 years. He had attended medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland (1970-1976). His professional experience and accreditation includes: Psychiatric residency at the University of Ottawa (Canada), Child Psychiatry fellowship at the University of Ottawa (Canada), Diploma in Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa (Canada), and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Canada. Visit his website at:

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