(HealthDay News) – Depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are the most common mental health disorders for which adolescents take psychotropic medications, according to a December data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Bruce S. Jonas, PhD, from the NCHS in Hyattsville, MD, and colleagues utilized data from adolescents aged 12–19 years participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005–2010) to estimate the use of any psychotropic medication in the past month.

The researchers found that approximately 6% of U.S. adolescents reported psychotropic drug use in the past month. Drugs for ADHD and antidepressants were used most (3.2% each), followed by antipsychotics (1%). ADHD drug use was more common in males than females (4.2% vs. 2.2%), whereas females were more likely than males to use antidepressants (4.5% vs. 2%). White adolescents had higher psychotropic drug use, compared to black and Mexican-American adolescents (8.2% vs. 3.1% and 2.9%, respectively).

“During 2005–2010, 6.3% of the U.S. adolescent population aged 12–19 reported any psychotropic medication use in the past month,” the authors write.

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