The REAL FACTS ABOUT ADHD

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is NOT a disorder of undisciplined overactive boys. It is a real, complex, multifaceted, often life-long neurobiological disorder that affects people of both genders and all ages.

  • ADHD is NOT an insignificant disorder. In fact, it is one of the most common neurological disorders in Canada and is estimated to affect over one million Canadians. Yet it continues to be under-diagnosed and under-treated.

    • Research indicates that ADHD conservatively affects 5% of school childreni meaning on average, there are one or two children with ADHD in every 20-student classroom.

  • ADHD doesn’t “go away.” Left untreated, the majority of sufferers will carry symptoms – regulating attention (difficulty paying attention, prioritizing attention and being easily distracted), losing things and forgetting to complete tasks, and speaking and acting impulsively, – through to adulthood. The result is significant impairment in their ability to study, work and manage their lives.

  • 80% of children affected with ADHD symptoms can carry the condition into adolescence and in over 60% of adults, the core symptoms will continue to cause impairment.ii

  • A new Canadian paper, Attention to the Cost of ADHD…The Price Paid by Canadian Families, Governments and Society demonstrates just how far reaching the impact of ADHD can be. This paper highlights research showing the impact on the attainment of human and social capital, resulting in increased socioeconomic costs for Canada, as well as increased costs to healthcare, education, labour, social services, and increased costs to the justice system.

    • Canada loses an estimated $6 billion to $11 billion annually through loss of workplace productivity.iii

    • The Canadian cost of illness extrapolated at over $7 billion, exceeds the cost of major depressive disorders.iv

    • Individuals with ADHD are more likely to enter the workforce as unskilled or semi-skilled workers; have greater periods of unemployment; change jobs more frequently; and earn considerably less money over their lifetime.

    • There is a direct correlation in terms of increasing healthcare costs.

    • The cost to educate students with ADHD is high, yet academic outcomes are still in question.

    • The impact of ADHD on Canadian social services continues to escalate.

  • ADHD can affect anyone. A new Canadian paper demonstrates just how far reaching the impact of ADHD can be. The impairing effects of ADHD can have a dramatic effect on life at home, school, work and socially. The analysis also shows the impact on the attainment of human and social capital, resulting in increased socioeconomic costs for Canada, increased costs to healthcare, education, labour and social services, and increased costs to the justice system.

REFERENCES

i Polanczyk G, de Lima MS, Horta BL, Biederman J, Rohde LA. The worldwide prevalence of ADHD: a systematic review and metaregression analysis. Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Jun;164(6):942-8.

ii Kessler, R.C., et al., Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2005. 62(6): p. 593-602.

iii CADDAC Socioeconomic White Paper June 2013

iv CADDAC Socioeconomic White Paper June 2013