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1 in 13 children on medication for mental health

Does this concern you? 

HealthDay News recently reported a government survey that showed that 1 in 13 children are on psychiatric medication. This study has caused concern. 

Overall, the parents involved in the study believe the drugs are doing what they are supposed to, with 55% reporting the medications were beneficial. Only 19% said the drugs didn't help their children and 26% said the drugs helped a little. 

According to

"We can't advise parents on what they should do, but I think it's positive that over half of parents reported that medications helped 'a lot,' " said report author LaJeana Howie, a statistical research scientist at the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

They found that 7.5 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 17 were taking psychiatric medication in the United States.  Additionally, many more boys than girls were found to be on these types of drugs: 9.7 percent of boys compared to 5.2 percent of girls.

The study authors did not include information on the specific medications being used nor the exact disorders for which the children were being treated. However, they noted that 81 percent of the children on medication had been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at some point.   

The study also found that significantly more children on Medicaid or a government assistance program were taking pychiatric drugs. 

What does this mean for healthcare consumers?

Healthcare reform has changed mental health rules, so it will be interesting to see if more and more children start taking drugs. We broke down all the health reform changes in this post, Obamacare and mental health in 140 characters or less, because sometimes you just want the facts. 

We get a lot of questions about whether or not a health plan will cover counseling and the answer is: it depends. We have healthcare retail stores because sometimes you just want to sit down with someone face-to-face and have them take a look at your individual situation. After all, purchasing health insurance is more like filing your taxes than buying car insurance. 

What are your thoughts on this trend? Are your children on psychiatric medication?

If you liked this post, you may also like: Does your health plan cover counseling?

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