Child prescriptions for ADHD medication in the Channel Islands rise as referrals increase

The amount of children across the Channel Islands who have been prescribed ADHD medication has risen.

More than 160 children aged 16 and under were given medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, in Jersey and Guernsey during 2022 - that figure was under 100 in 2019.

Jersey's Child Mental Health Service (CAHMS) say the actual proportion of children on medication can be explained by increased referrals.

These have soared with 348 requests between January and the start of August, compared to 350 for the whole of last year.

Staff are working extra weekends and temporary staff are being called in to help deal with the increased demand for assessments.

CAHMS add that parents are waiting around 30 weeks for an assessment, compared to up to three years in the UK.

Children aged 16 and under who have been prescribed ADHD medication in the Channel Islands:

The number of child ADHD diagnoses was requested through this FOI but not provided as the data is "not held in a retrievable format".

ADHD can be treated with medication to relieve symptoms, which can include impulsiveness and difficulty with concentration.

Medication can also allow those diagnosed with the condition to better function in day-to-day life, helping someone feel calmer and able to learn new things, although it is not a permanent cure and other behavioural treatments are recommended in combination.

Dr Jon Wilson, a leading consultant psychiatrist who has worked in the Channel Islands, says he is not surprised by the increase in prescriptions.

He explained: "In some states in America, up to 30% of children are being medicated.

"What I would say is for the small number of people that need medication, it can be a good thing but it's important to do a very comprehensive assessment to show that you are in that group."

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