Warning against overuse of drugs for inattentive children

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 28 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:770

A report from a working party of the British Psychological Society published last week is calling for caution in the apparent rush to label naughty, inattentive children as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and it warns against the overuse of drug treatment.

The diagnostic category of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder originates in the United States and includes children who are overactive, restless, impulsive, and inattentive to an extent which causes serious concern. There has been a noticeable increase in the numbers of cases being identified in the US and Canada over the past few years. In Europe and the United Kingdom such children have previously been termed hyperkinetic or hyperactive, but the disorder is …

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