DHH hosting ADHD symposium Tuesday

Published: Dec. 9, 2014 at 3:52 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) is hosting a free symposium on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Tuesday. The symposium, which is open to parents, teachers, health care professionals, and other stakeholders will address the frequency of diagnosis, medication rates, and proper use of ADHD medications.

The symposium hopes to bring attention to and develop solutions for the alarming rate of ADHD medication utilization in Louisiana. Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy, issued a report highlighting Louisiana's high rates of ADHD medication use.

Louisiana has the second highest state ADHD prescription rate in the United States at 4.7 percent for the population as a whole and for boys ages 12 to 18 the rate is 13.6 percent.

ADHD medication use has risen 35.5 percent from 2008 to 2012 and young adult use has nearly doubled. Louisiana also has the highest treatment rate for girls ages 12 to 18 and women ages 19 to 25. In response, the state legislature called on DHH to study how to ensure the proper utilization of ADHD medication in the state.

"With the alarming rate of ADHD medication use in Louisiana, we see an urgent need to gather doctors, parents, teachers, and members of the community to explore this issue and develop recommendations to curb these troubling trends," said DHH Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert.  "The symposium is designed to foster a productive discussion and develop solutions regarding the practices for diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in Louisiana, and I'm looking forward to the dialogue."

Topics include state and national data, trends in diagnosing and prescribing ADHD medication, best practices for diagnosing and treating ADHD and effective ways the state can address the rising use of ADHD medication in Louisiana.

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