Ritalin use has more than doubled in the past ten years, the chief of Ofsted has claimed, warning that parents may be medicating their children instead of addressing behavioural problems. The Independent reports.
Prescriptions for “smart drugs,” which are often used to tackle attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reportedly increased to 1.5 million in 2017 – up from 700,000 a decade earlier.
But Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, said it was not possible the increase in prescriptions for the so-called “chemical coshes” could be representative of the number of young people actually suffering from the disorder.
“If there’s that many behavioural problems, what is it telling us about what ought to be preventable? Is it located in the family? Is it located in the education or the peer group?
“You don’t just want to try to block out the symptoms, you want to say, is there something that can be solved?”
Ms Spielman said pupils should not be relying on medication to improve their exam results.
As many as 20 per cent of academic professors in the UK had reportedly admitted to taking certain “performance-enhancing” drugs to help them concentrate, Dr Hannah Critchlow, a neuroscience researcher at Cambridge University, warned last year.
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