ADHD Stats and Figures

Staggering ADHD Stats and Figures

In the process of compiling Commanding Attention; Effective and Affordable Non-Drug ADHD Treatments, the book that I am writing, I have come across a bunch of interesting ADHD Stats and figures. I am going to outline them here because I thought that you would find them interesting.

In the United States, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects an estimated 9.5%of children and 4% of Adults

From 1996 to 2008, the number of children taking stimulants such as Ritalin rose from 2.4 to 3.5 percent. Over the last decade, a half million more children and many more adults have been prescribed stimulant medication.

In 2012 the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) increased production quotas of Ritalin (methylphenidate) and amphetamine (Adderall) from 50,000 kg to 56,000 kg of methylphenidate and from 18,600 kg to 25,300 kg of amphetamine.

ADHD symptoms first appear between 3-6 years of age.

Two thirds or more of people with a diagnosis of ADHD will have the Combined type of this disorder meaning that they will be hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive. One third will be predominantly inattentive.

The number of people on stimulant medicine today is so large that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) reports that increased demand for these medications have resulted in nationwide, ADHD medication, shortages.

Thirty percent of ADHD patients do not get enough symptom relief from stimulant medication to warrant continuation of the medication.

Two thirds of patients, despite debilitating ADHD symptoms, will no longer be taking their prescription medication a year after it is prescribed. Some will stop because of side effects, for some the medicine will simply not help their symptoms and others will stop for other reasons.

Fifty to seventy percent of ADHD patients will still have some ADHD symptoms as adults.

Up to one-third of patients with a diagnosis of ADHD will never complete high school.

Twenty-five to forty percent of children with ADHD have a learning disorder in addition to their ADHD.
Forty percent of patients diagnosed with ADHD also have a co-diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder.

Twenty-five percent of patients diagnosed with ADHD have a co-diagnosis of anxiety disorder.

;As many as fifty percent of patients with a diagnosis of Combined type ADHD have an additional diagnosis of Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

Ten to twenty-five percent of patients diagnosed with ADHD will develop substance abuse problems.

Studies have found that ADHD symptoms and related problems occur in 25 to 50% of both male and female prisoners.

ADHD is thought to be 80% inheritable which means that genetic factors account for 80% of the differences in symptoms seen in people with and without ADHD.

Fifty percent of patients with Tourette's syndrome have accompanying ADHD.

No treatment for ADHD symptoms has been proven to help once the treatment is discontinued.

Two-thirds of children with ADHD will have improved symptoms after five weeks of an elimination diet that restricts processed foods, food additives  and foods such as wheat, dairy, eggs.  The improvement in ADHD symptoms may NOT be related to allergies.

These ADHD statistics are both impressive and staggering but stats and figures fail to tell the entire story in ADHD. When I look at the 20 facts above I refuse to sink into a major funk. Instead I focus on the fact that our future is brighter than these ADHD stats and figures indicate and that better medications and therapies are on the horizon.


  1. Tess, this is great you are writing this book. I am sick of these billion dollar pharmaceutical companies and their drugs getting all of the attention. I would love to read this book. The stat that interests me the most is the one on restriction diets, but I don't know where to start on a restriction diet. I couldn't imagine giving up wheat: bread, pasta, oatmeal; eggs; dairy: milk, ice cream, yogurt; and food preservatives: basically everything except vegetables. Is there a difference between how add/SCT people respond to certain diets and/or supplements compared to ADHDers? Or have they not done those studies.
    Also, where did the link to you amazon store go?
    One final question, do you have a section where you describe what supplements and alternative meds have worked for you and your ADD kids, and what haven't?

  2. I have now looked into food allergins and ADHD a little bit, and I am reading food allergins have very little to do with ADHD.

    Dr. Sherman says in that article
    "ADHD isn’t caused by an allergic reaction to food, or anything in food, including additives. The evidence to support elimination diets or tests for food sensitivities simply doesn’t exist."
    I am not trying to be argumentative with Tess by posting this, I just want to find out the truth, because I am pretty desperate and I will try an elimination diet but, I want to know that there is solid evidence behind it.


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