To a parliamentary committee on the Ritalin

Vers une commission parlementaire sur le Ritalin

The over-prescribing of drugs to treat hyperactivity in children has worried politicians of Quebec. So much so that all the parties were open Monday to make an examination of conscience on the subject by a parliamentary committee.

It is the member pq Sylvain Gaudreault, who reached out to his colleagues in order to send “a powerful message” to the company. According to him, this non-partisan commission could be in the image of the special commission on the right to die in dignity, held a few years ago.

Quickly, the deputy minister of Health and social services Lionel Carmant was interested. “We are very open to the idea that a parliamentary committee be organized. It was of interest, it is certain,” said his press officer, Maude Méthot-Faniel.

If the liberal Party of Québec calls for rather a parliamentary commission on mental health, the mp André Fortin “does not see a reason to oppose” at the request of Mr. Gaudreault. The mp solidarity Sol Zanetti also believes that it is “something that it must investigate”.

The mp of the parti québecois de Jonquière is concerned about the fact that it is in his region, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, the prescriptions of psychostimulants (such as Ritalin) are the most numerous. Approximately 30 % of young people aged 10 to 17 years in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in consume, while at the scale of Québec, the proportion is about 15 %. The prevalence of the disorder attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is, however, between 5 % and 10 %.

Mr. Gaudreault is the voice of the message carried by a group of 65 pediatricians, who have signed an open letter Monday offering potential solution to this problem any quebec. The pediatrician Pierre Claude Poulin explains that this time, he didn’t want that “it’s still a buzz in the media” which lasts only 24 hours. He believes that a parliamentary commission will go further.

Nothing set in 1999

A study committee on the abuse of psychostimulants had been created 20 years ago, but its recommendations have remained a dead letter, says Mr. Poulin. “I think that there is nothing set in 1999, and one is in front of the same problem.”

According to this group of pediatricians, the problem is even amplified due to the lack of physical activity among young people and too much time spent in front of screens.

Mr. Poulin believes that physicians should question, but that there is also a part of the solution “that belongs to the school environment”. “The children who are referred for ADHD invade literally our consulting offices”, he said.

His colleague Jean-Benoît Bouchard, said that he sometimes refuse to prescribe psychostimulants, but that the parents weep or leave angry in the office “because either the daycare or the school are going to freak out”.

The pediatrician Guy Falardeau proposes that Quebec adopt a uniform approach valid for assessing ADHD, but that does not cost 2000 $ as is done in the private sector. Because according to him, of false cases are diagnosed because of doctors use questionnaires “pockets” to assess ADHD.

Even if all parties in the national Assembly have said they want that the parliamentary committee takes place, it should be noted that, officially, it is necessary to the Commission of health and social services agrees to take up the mandate of a initiative at a work session, which is not yet done.

Share Button