A massive increase in the number of Danish adults prescribed medication for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is deeply worrying, the head of the Danish Medical Association said Friday.
"I am very worried by these numbers," Henrik Dibbern told AFP.
He was sounding the alarm over statistics published earlier this year showing that the number of Danish adults medicated for ADHD, which is most commonly prescribed to children and teens, has soared almost 20-fold over the past decade, from just 800 to 15,000.
Dibbern explained that the huge hike could be due to the fact that "many people diagnosed when they were children our adolescents continue taking these medications as adults."
"There are also people who are ill who take these drugs even though they could benefit from alternative treatments" like psychotherapy or less potent drugs, he added.
He stressed though that the explanation for the steep increase was not clear.
"I cannot say that there is abusive consumption," he said, insisting "it is essential to carry out studies on this."
Denmark's National Board of Health also expressed worry about the rise.
"We take this issue very seriously," Anne Mette Dons, who heads the board's oversight division, told AFP.
"We will gather the various actors and specialised institutions for a meeting on this subject next month," she said.