Reports & Products: Fact Sheets

Use of Psychotropic Medications by Children and Youth with Disabilities (April 2003)

This fact sheet is available for download.


The use of prescription medications to treat children and youth with emotional or behavioral problems has increased in recent years, in part because of both the availability of new psychotropic medications and an increased awareness of the treatment needs of these children and youth.

Stimulants are the most commonly reported psychotropic medications; 14% of early elementary students take them. The rate of use rises to 18% for middle schoolers and declines to 11% for youth ages 15 through 17.

Suggested Citation

Facts from OSEP's National Longitudinal Studies: Use of psychotropic medications by children and youth with disabilities (April 2003). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Available at