A recent study conducted by Icelandic Health Insurance found that prescriptions for medication treating ADHD have been increasing. It is estimated that 1.5% of the population, most of them boys between 10 and 14 years of age, are taking Ritalin for the disorder.
By contrast, Norwegians use half that amount, percentage-wise, and Swedes use only a third.
Kristinn Tómasson, director of the Icelandic Psychiatric Society, told RÚV that he finds the increase worrisome. He believes that the increase in medication shows the importance of giving greater attention to children who suffer from ADHD, both in school and within the health system.
Kristinn added that the biggest flaw with Ritalin is how easily it can be abused, although there is no hard data showing if Ritalin abuse is necessarily prevalent or increasing in Iceland.
Recently, a corner store in Reykjavík was reported to be selling Ritalin over the counter. Police raided the store, finding cash and Ritalin, and the owner was arrested.
Icelandic health authorities are currently reviewing the law regarding medication for ADHD.