That is a jump from around 60,000 being prescribed such drugs in 2001.
National Director of Family First Bob McCroskie said better diagnosis with second opinions and treatment of underlying problems should be the highest priority.
“Doctors are under pressure for a quick fix when counselling, better diet, firm discipline and a decent sleep pattern would be better.”
In the Waikato the number of children prescribed drugs (including Ritalin, Rubifen and Concerta) to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) went from 5800 in 2001 to 8400 last year – almost 10% of the region’s children.
Canterbury has the most children on the drugs – with 13,300 getting prescriptions last year.
The huge rise in numbers has one expert convinced the drug is being over prescribed and kids misdiagnosed because of it.