ADHD Treatment Data


According to data from the 2003–2011 National Survey of Children’s Health (NCHS), 3.5 million children (69% of children with current ADHD as reported by parents) were taking medication for ADHD (CDC, 2014).


Teens & Young Adults

Data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey which included 62,699 teens (aged 12–17 years) and young adults (aged 18–23 years) during years 2003–2012, found rates of ADHD medication use increased for both teens and young adults.  The medications included amphetamines, methylphenidates and atomoxetine. Use of these medications increased for teens from 4.2% in 2003–2004 to 6% in 2011–2012.  For young adults, medication use increased from 1.2% in 2003–2004 to 2.6% in 2011–2012 (Johansen, 2015).



A web article that examines ADHD medication usage for adults can be found on this site.

A cross-sectional study assessed data from Medicaid-enrolled adults with ADHD from 29 states between 1999 and 2010, to identify prevalence of long-term concurrent use of stimulants and opioids. Of the 66,406 adults with ADHD, 21,723 (32.7%) used stimulants, and 3,590 (5.4%) were long-term users of stimulants and opioids (Wei et al. 2018).

The 2015-2016 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health gathered data from adults 18 and older regarding stimulant use. Based on a sample of 102,000, the authors estimated approximately 6.6% or 16.0 million used prescription stimulants (Compton et al. 2018).



Compton, WM et al. (2018). Prevalence and Correlates of Prescription Stimulant Use, Misuse, Use Disorders, and Motivations for Misuse Among Adults in the United States. The American Journal of Psychiatry 175(8): 741–755.

Johansen, ME et al. (August 2015). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Medication Use Among Teens and Young Adults. Journal of Adolescent Health 57(2):192–197.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2014). Key Findings: Trends in the Parent-Report of Health Care Provider-Diagnosis and Medication Treatment for ADHD: United States, 2003–2011.

Wei YJ et al. (2018). Prevalence of and Factors Associated With Long-term Concurrent Use of Stimulants and Opioids Among Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. JAMA Network Open 1(4):e181152.

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