Geographic variation and sociodemographic correlates of prescription psychotropic drug use among children and youth in Ontario, Canada

A population-based study

In 2018, all children and youth aged 24 and under in Ontario were eligible to receive prescription medication at no cost through OHIP+, a publicly-funded universal pharmacare program, providing a unique opportunity to study variation in prescription psychotropic drug use (e.g. stimulants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants) among the entire population of approximately 4.1 million Ontario children and youth.

This study quantifies the extent of geographic variability in prescription psychotropic dispensing to children and youth and identifies sociodemographic correlates of use.

The following maps examine this geographic variability of psychotropic drug use among children and youth by Ontario census division in 2018. The map can be filtered by drug class as well as the following mental health indicators:

  • Child/adolescent psychiatry and developmental pediatricians
  • Pediatric mental health services
  • Pediatric mental health hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits

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