Postcode Lottery and Chemical Cosh

Two phrases that mean little, but that are cliches bandied about journalists. We journos love a catchy cliche, however unhelpful they are. This piece by Nicholas Hellen in yesterday’s Sunday Times is no different. The medication is not a chemical cosh, it’s a stimulant – that helps ADHD concentrate. They may become more focussed, but they don’t turn into zombies, or someone knocked out or whacked out on downers. And with around 3% of the population suffering from ADHD, many in the UK undiagnosed, particularly if adults, it is unlikely that they are over-prescribed in some areas, more likely to be underprescribed. I would look forward to getting hold of the data properly and checking it against the % of the population. Most likely the patchy provision for people in, say, Portsmouth – where fewer mental health adhd specialist nurses operate mean that it is hard to get a diagnosis.

I would expect that the above “postcode lottery” is not showing an over-precription of “chemical coshes” to children, but an “under-diagnosis” due to lack of CAMHS resourcing in the area.

More examination needed.

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