How do these issues affect you?
The failure to support people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), who are at high risk for unemployment, drug abuse, homelessness, suicide, imprisonment and worse, is economically inefficient and ends up wasting taxpayers’ money.
Here are some stats about the costs of untreated ADHD:
- 46% of kids with untreated ADHD have been expelled. 35% drop out .
- Kids with untreated ADHD have problems with peer relations and end up with fewer friends .
- ADHD is very heritable. If one kid has ADHD there is a 30 to 40% chance that a sibling will have it as well .
- Kids with untreated ADHD have 2 to 4 times more fights with their siblings than their non-ADHD peers .
- They also have 50% more bicycle accidents .
- …and 33% more A&E visits .
- More than half of all parents with ADHD will have a child with ADHD .
For adults with ADHD:
- It shouldn’t come as a surprise that adults with untreated ADHD have problems with low self-esteem .
- Young adults with untreated ADHD show 2.6 times the number of sexual partners and 9 times the number of pregnancies compared to their non-ADHD peers .
- Likewise, they show 4 times the number of STD and are 2.5 times more likely to have been tested for HIV/AIDS .
- People with untreated ADHD have 2 to 4 times more car crashes than people without the disorder. And, they are usually far more likely to be the ones at fault [56-58].
- In fact, people with untreated ADHD are 7 times more likely to have had multiple vehicle crashes than people without ADHD .
- They are twice as likely to have been fired from a job  and 9 times more likely to end up in prison than people without the disorder 
- They also have higher rates of smoking and illegal drug use  as well as higher rates of divorce, unemployment and underemployment .
- People with untreated ADHD end up costing at least twice as much in terms of medical care than they would without the disorder .
Left untreated, ADHD is expensive for everyone.
We already know how to set up quality services for people with ADHD.
Better support for people with ADHD would benefit everyone, not just people with the disorder.
- Treatment in childhood can decrease the burden of illness in adulthood and increase capacity to function .
- With treatment there is a 75% response rate of core symptoms . This is extremely effective compared to most other mental health problems.
- Treatment lowers and may even prevent smoking, drug abuse and accidents .
- Treatment is available in many different forms (see the FAQ for more details).
For some case studies to get an idea of how ADHD affects individuals across their lifespan, we recommend the stories from this Healthwatch report of March 2017. They aren’t long and reveal a lot about how the experiences of people with ADHD add up and impact them in the long run.