Young Women Are Using A.D.H.D. Drugs in Greater Numbers, C.D.C. Reports

The percentage of young adult women who filled prescriptions for drugs used to treat attention deficit disorder has increased more than fivefold since 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

The new report raises questions about the increasing use of a diagnosis that once was reserved for children and adolescents.

Government researchers tracked prescriptions for drugs to treat A.D.H.D., like Adderall and Vyvanse, among women aged 15 to 44 between 2003 and 2015. The sample included more than 4 million women per year, on average, all of whom had private insurance with drug coverage.

A.D.H.D. prescription rates increased sharply in all age groups during that period, but most steeply among young adult women: by 700 percent among women aged 25 to 29, and by 560 percent among women aged 30 to 34.

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