Correcting widespread media claims of a six-fold expansion in methylphenidate (Ritalin) treatment for attention deficit disorder (ADD), time trend findings from national and regional data sources showed only a 2.5-fold increase in such treatment between 1990 and 1995 among youths with ADD.

In mid-1995, 1.5 million (2.8 percent) Americans ages 5 to 18 were receiving the medication. Among reasons for the trend, researchers cited: more ADD patients continuing medication into their teens; increased use of medication for girls with ADD and for non-hyperactive ADD students; and increasingly positive public perceptions regarding medication of youths with ADD.

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