Doctors at UI say new guidelines for ADHD treatments is long overdue

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) A doctor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics says changes to the guidelines for ADHD are long overdue.

Usually, when children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, medications such as Ritalin or Adderall are usually the first line of treatment.

The new guidelines recommend more emphasis on behavioral therapy rather than drug treatment, and especially in children. Dr. Lane Strathearn says it's an important distinction and says the new guidelines are more proactive than reactive.

Dr. Strathearn stated, "Sometimes we're seeing manifestations of these difficulties after the fact and then we're trying to treat them at this stage and sometimes it feels like a band-aid treatment in providing medications, which are very effective in controlling symptoms of ADHD, but don't really treat the cause."

Strathearn also says there has been a significant increase in ADHD cases nationally in recent years. He says that can be attributed to doctors recognizing more cases, but now they're looking at what other preventable factors there might be.