(NewsTarget) Prescriptions of psychiatric drugs in the United Kingdom to children under the age of 16 have more than quadrupled since the mid-1990s, according to figures recorded by the government. In the mid-'90s, general practitioners wrote 146,000 such prescriptions, while in the most recent fiscal year they wrote 613,000.
In the same time period, however, data indicate that there has been no corresponding increase in the prevalence of mental health disorders among children. According to the British Office of National Statistics, approximately one in 10 children were diagnosed with some kind of mental disorder, whether major or minor, in surveys conducted in 1999 and 2004.
The release of the data has sparked criticism that doctors are too quick to prescribe psychotropic drugs.