Ritalin worries surface

The number of children that are being given drugs like Ritalin to combat concentration disorders and hyperactivity has more than quadrupled over the past few years.

Figures revealing the increase have been released by Health Minister Onkelinx (Francophone socialist).

In 2004 6,000 Belgian children were given the drug. Four years on this figure had surged to 26,000.

Experts claim that the drug is being prescribed too liberally following "a vague diagnosis of hyperactivity".

Children easily become dependant on the drug.

The health minister is seeing doctors' representatives on Thursday to discuss prescription practice.