They found that among teens meeting criteria for any mental disorder, just 14.2% said that they had been treated with a psychotropic medication. Those with ADHD had the highest rates of prescribed medication use at 31%, while 19.7% with a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder were taking psychotropic medication. Among those with eating disorders, about 19% were taking such drugs, and 11.6% of teens with anxiety disorders reported taking these medication. Very few reported use of antipsychotic medications. In addition, 2.5% of respondents who did not have a diagnosed mental disorder were prescribed a psychotropic medication, of whom 78% had a previous mental or neurodevelopmental disorder and associated psychological distress or impairment.
Thus, they concluded, "most adolescent youth who are taking psychotropic medications have serious behavioral, cognitive, or emotional disturbances."
For a comprehensive review of psychotropic medications in young patients, see Clinical Manual of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Second Edition, new from American Psychiatric Publishing.
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