ADHD prescriptions continue to increase in Quebec

Between 2000 and 2020, the proportion of young people aged 24 and under registered with the public drug insurance plan and who have a prescription rose from 1.9% to 7.7%, can we read in the document, which mentions a “constant increase”.

TDAH au Québec”,”text”:”Cette tendance à l’augmentation de la prescription est cohérente avec celle du diagnostic de TDAH au Québec”}}”>This trend towards an increase in prescriptions is consistent with that in the diagnosis of ADHD in Quebecindicates the report.

Note an increase in drug prescriptions for a ADHD among people aged 24 and under in all regions of Quebec between 2000 and 2020, the increase by region oscillating between 2.1% and 11.9%. Reference is made to geographical differences in the epidemiological prevalence of ADHD; different clinical approaches to treatment across the province; and cultural differences in the perception of ADHD between regions to explain this evidence.

ADHD occurs in more young people in Quebec than anywhere else in the West.

Photo: Unsplash/Joseph Gonzalez

According to the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services, 4% of young people aged 25 and under took medication for a ADHD in Canada in 2017-2018, compared to 8.1% of young people in Quebec.

TDAH diagnostiqué plus importante au Québec, l’augmentation de la prescription représente probablement une reconnaissance accrue du TDAH et de l’efficacité potentielle des médicaments.”,”text”:”Plusieurs hypothèses peuvent expliquer ces disparités entre le Québec et les autres provinces canadiennes, selon le rapport. En effet, considérant la prévalence du TDAH diagnostiqué plus importante au Québec, l’augmentation de la prescription représente probablement une reconnaissance accrue du TDAH et de l’efficacité potentielle des médicaments.”}}”>Several hypotheses can be explained between Quebec and the other Canadian provinces, according to the report. Indeed, depending on the prevalence of ADHD more important in Quebec, the increase in prescribing probably represents an increased recognition of the ADHD and potential drug efficacy.

The difference could also be explained by the free medication for a ADHD among Quebecers aged 18 and under and full-time students aged 18 to 25, we add.

In 2019-20, just under 10% of boys and just under 6% of girls aged 0 to 24 covered by the plan received prescriptions for a ADHD. More than half of the first prescriptions are written by the family doctor, and about a third by a pediatrician.

Despite the increase, the extent of the situation is underestimated

It is also possible that these prescription data underestimate the true extent of the situation, explains theINSPQ, TDAH ne soit pas rapporté en présence de troubles associés étant donné qu’un seul code de diagnostic est permis pour la facturation d’un service médical”,”text”:”puisqu’il est possible que le TDAH ne soit pas rapporté en présence de troubles associés étant donné qu’un seul code de diagnostic est permis pour la facturation d’un service médical”}}”>since it is possible that the ADHD is not reported in the presence of associated conditions since only one diagnosis code is allowed for billing a medical service.

We prescribed less than the prevalence of the disease, commented Dr. Alain Lesage, who is a full professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal.

There are people who could be treated and who are not treated. »

A quote from Dr. Alain Lesage, full professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal

The paper also finds that fewer prescriptions were given to young people from highly economically advantaged and socially disadvantaged backgrounds, possibly because “parents of better-educated children with higher incomes are better able to identify medical, school and community services available in their regions”.

Problems of access to health care and a fear of additional stigmatization to their status of social disadvantage are also mentioned.

It has been shown by a series of studies that treatment with medication is a treatment that is effective, safe and that there is no equivalentsaid Dr. Lesage.

Provide care as soon as possible for children with ADHD can save them many problems later in life, he adds, whether it’s sun dropout, self-esteem issues, substance abuse, or problems with anxiety or depression.

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