Doctors are prescribing 10% more Ritalin and other drugs to treat attention deficit disorder in Huddersfield.

Exclusive data analysis by the Examiner shows that doctors in the Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area signed off 2,973 prescriptions for drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between January and November last year.

This was already more than were prescribed during the whole of 2014 – and there is still December’s data to come for 2015.

It was a 10% increase on the same 11-month period in 2014.

The 2,973 prescriptions is equal to one for every 77 people in the Greater Huddersfield CCG area, which includes all HD postcodes except HD6.

This was the second highest in West Yorkshire after Wakefield.

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The greatest rise in the number of Ritalin and similar prescriptions was in North Kirklees CCG area, which includes Mirfield, Dewsbury and Batley.

Doctors in North Kirklees made 1,433 prescriptions in 2014 compared to 1,673 between January and November 2015 – an increase of 17% between the equivalent 10 month periods.

Methylphenidate hydrochloride – the active ingredient in Ritalin – was the most common type of these drugs nationwide.

It is believed that the majority of these drugs will have been prescribed for boys because ADHD is more likely to be diagnosed in boys than girls.

Children with ADHD, most often diagnosed in youngsters aged between six and 12, find it hard to concentrate, fidget often and do things impulsively.

Ritalin tablets
Ritalin tablets

Historically, the condition was not understood and dismissed as bad behaviour.

But now ADHD is recognised as the most common behavioural disorder among British youngsters, affecting between two and five per cent of children and teenagers.

A review paper published in November found that taking methylphenidate did appear to reduce ADHD symptoms, but not by much – and that they had minor side effects such as trouble sleeping and lack of appetite.

The paper, published by the Cochrane Library, also said that the standard of evidence they could glean from analysing the various trials was relatively poor – which meant they could not say for sure that methylphenidate was fundamentally good for children with ADHD.

Greater Huddersfield

Examiner Data Unit

North Kirklees

Examiner data unit


Examiner data unit

West Yorkshire

Examiner data unit