‘Alarming increase’ in Ritalin use

 A leading neuroscientist yesterday told the House of Lords that there had been an “alarming increase” in the prescribing of Ritalin to enhance concentration amongst children.

Baroness Susan Greenfield, a leading neuroscientist, said that she had concerns about the widespread use of Ritalin and other drugs which were “currently medicating the classroom”.

“The problem with these drugs is that they do not target a single trait such as mood or concentration or wakefulness rather drugs will manipulate, in a very broad spectrum way, the chemicals in the brain that, in turn, could have both widespread and also long-lasting effects.”

Education minister Andrew Adonis told the Lords that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published guidance last month which covered the use of Ritalin in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

He said this replaced and updated the previous recommendations published in 2000.

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