Lamont airs ADHD drugs concerns

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HAWICK MSP John Lamont has today raised concerns over figures that show the Borders has become the most prolific region of Scotland when it comes to dispensing ADHD drugs

Statistics from Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland reveal that last year there were more than 5,500 items given out for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with the vast majority of them going to those who are under 19 years of age.

This came at a cost of £218,000 to NHS Borders, and means that the defined daily dosage per 1,000 per day sits at 17.22 – the highest in Scotland – and almost double the number of daily dosages five years ago, which is also the largest increase in Scotland.

Mr Lamont said: “I have no doubt that many people in the Borders will be shocked when they see these statistics. Over the last five years we have seen the largest increase in the use of ADHD drugs amongst our young people in the whole of Scotland, and we now use more drugs per head than any other region in the country.

“This spike in the handing out of this medication has come at a cost to NHS Borders, with the costs of the drugs now spiralling to over £200,000. This will also undoubtedly come at a cost to the patients who are prescribed it, as in the Borders we seem to be parking people on this medication and giving them no hope of a full recovery.

“While there is no question that these pills have a role to play in the treatment of a range of mild-to-moderate mental health ailments, our young people deserve the best treatment possible. I don’t believe that they are receiving this if the answer is to simply give them drugs and hope that the problem goes away.”

The Tory member added: “That is why I want to see this sharp increase in prescriptions reversed. We are increasing the use of ADHD drugs amongst our children like no other health board in Scotland and by not handing out so many doses we can give them a better chance of a full recovery.”