May 6, 2014 6:56 AM by Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahKRIS
CORPUS CHRISTI - A new study shows that more children are on behavioral medicine than ever before, and that's a pill that many are finding hard to swallow.
Almost 8% of children from ages 6 to 17 are taking some sort of prescription medicine for emotional or behavioral issues, according to a survey done by the National Center for Health Statistics.
The survey didn't specify medicines or certain conditions, but many doctors are pointing to ADD & ADHD diagnoses as the main reasons for the increase.
"We evaluate them objectively, we get psychometrics to make sure they do have attention deficit disorder," said Dr. George Benavidez. "Then we prescribe appropriate medications, and you can see the difference."
He emphasized that medicines for those kinds of behavioral needs are extremely benificial. But, the study also included children taking medication for emotional needs.
"I think that there are a lot of psychoactive medications out there that are really being abused," said Dr. Richard Roberts. "I think that's unquestionable."
Roberts said parents need to do their research, and really understand the medicine before giving it to their children. "Really become knowledgeable about it," he said.
However, some parents said becoming knowledgeable is difficult, because of the lack of information about long-term effects. Dr. Benavidez said even without that data, patients should listen to the doctor's recommendation.
"Now, whether or not in the next 20, 40, 50 years we're going to find problems with that, well then we'll see," he said. "But when you're dealing with an immediate problem, and that medication is helpful, use the medication."
More than half of parents giving their children those prescribed meds said in the survey that those medications are indeed helpful.
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