There has been a sharp drop in the number of youngsters taking drugs such as ritalin to cope with the symptoms of ADHD, the Dutch pharmaceutical monitoring body has told broadcaster NOS.

In 2014, nearly 100,000 minors were using the drug, but that had fallen to 78,000 by last year, NOS reported. The number of ritalin users quadrupled between 2003 and 2013.

Concerns about both the diagnosis of ADHD and over-prescribing, led the national health council to sound the alarm in 2014.

‘That recommendation let in part to doctors and psychiatrists developing a new standard for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD,’ doctor and ADHD expert Geja Rikkers told the broadcaster.

In particular, people with mild symptoms are now less likely to be prescribed the drug.