H.R. NO.








requesting a study on the use of drugs to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children.



WHEREAS, behavior of children, especially boys and "tomboys" that was considered normal in previous generations is now being diagnosed, at an increasing rate, as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; and

WHEREAS, the 1998 National Institute of Health Consensus Statement on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder found that, while the prevalence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the United States has been estimated at about three to five per cent, a wider range of prevalence has been reported across studies; and

WHEREAS, in Texas, the Board of Education found that up to fifteen per cent of the school age children there -- one million children -- are now taking psychiatric drugs for diagnoses of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which is three to five times what the estimated prevalence would be; and

WHEREAS, the Texas Board of Education passed a resolution expressing serious concern about the tremendous growth in use of psychiatric drugs among school children, after hearing a full day of testimony from medical professionals from across the nation about the increasing problem of overprescription of Ritalin and other psychiatric drugs to children; and

WHEREAS, prominent family psychologist John Rosemond has spoken out against the perceived overdrugging and overdiagnosing of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; and

WHEREAS, it is unclear what the situation is in Hawaii of diagnosing children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and what percentage of Hawaii school-children are taking medication such as Ritalin to treat this condition; and

WHEREAS, this body needs this baseline data to determine if there is a problem in Hawaii and, if so, how it can be addressed; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, that the Legislative Reference Bureau is requested to gather the available information on the rate of Hawaii school children being diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and the percentage of these children that are on medication such as Ritalin for treatment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislative Reference Bureau is requested to obtain information from other states to determine whether they have taken action on this issue, and to compile that information for legislative consideration; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Departments of Health and Education are requested to cooperate with the Bureau in compiling the data required for this study; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if the Bureau determines that the rate of diagnosing and prescription of medication for Hawaii school children is above the national norm, that the Bureau is requested to review legislative options for dealing with this problem, including the drafting of legislation if appropriate; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Bureau submit its report on this issue to the Legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the Regular Session of 2003; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health, the Superintendent of Education, and the Director of the Legislative Reference Bureau.






Report Title:

ADHD; Overdrugging Children