Over the last decade, the number of Danes aged 20-64 who have been prescribed ADHD medication has shot up by an astounding 2,000 percent, according to new figures from the health data authority Sundhedsdatatstyrelsen.
The figures show how the numbers have spiked sharply every year from 1,107 in 2004 to 21,288 in 2014. Experts warn of a risk of abuse.
“Some adults benefit immensely from these medications, but we also see an increasing number of patients who don’t and should never have been prescribed them – such as bipolar patients who can become completely destabilised and psychotic,” Poul Videbech, a professor and consultant at mental health services in the Capital Region of Denmark, told Metroxpress newspaper.
The Danish medicines agency Lægemiddelstyrelsen received 845 reports of assumed side-effects related to ADHD medicine up to July 2015.
Some 103 of these reports concerned cardiovascular issues – of which 66 of took place in the last five years and three led to deaths.
A report in 2014 from Aarhus University showed that children who take ADHD medication are twice as likely to develop heart problems.