The use of psychiatric and behavioral medication with children has been steadily rising over the last few decades, driven in large part by ADHD stimulants and drugs to treat depression. Here are some other statistics on the use of psychological medicines in pediatric practice:.

  1. In 2008 there were more than 600,000 children under 18 taking antipsychotic drugs. (Lagnado, 2013)
  2. Around 1 in 25 teens is on an antidepressant. (Lloyd, 2011)
  3. 6% of children ages 6 to 17 years were on an antidepressant in 2005, nearly double the number in 1996, which was 1.4%. (Szabo, 8-4-2009)
  4. It’s unknown exactly how many children under 12 take antidepressants, but it’s believed to be a significant number. (Kwon, 2016)
  5. The United States accounts for more than 80% of the world’s use of stimulant medications. (Vitiello, 2008)
  6. The number of girls on drugs for chronic illness (such as diabetes, ADHD or depression) has been growing much faster than boys. Whereas boys’ use of medication grew by 39% from 2002 to 2005, girls using them climbed by 147%. (Szabo, 11-3-2008)
  7. Forty-four percent of children prescribed antidepressants are also taking a concomitant psychotropic medication. (Olfson et al., 2003)