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Why ADHD Diagnoses Have Exploded In The U.S.

The rate of ADHD diagnoses has been rising in the U.S. for the past two decades, and experts hypothesize that social media and the pandemic may be a catalyst. More Americans are seeking out treatment for ADHD all at once, which is putting strain on an already stretched thin health-care system. 

Stories about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have been having a resurgence in the social media zeitgeist the past several years, and it may be leading more people to seek out diagnosis for the condition.

"A lot of my patients would hold up their phone to the camera and be like, 'Here's this video that I saw on TikTok and this is why I have ADHD,'" said Dr. Sasha Hamdani. She is a psychiatrist and ADHD specialist who also is a content creator about the condition with more than 800,000 followers on TikTok.

This influx in people seeking out treatment all at once can cause a problem of supply and demand. 

"What I see in my practice is that we have a six-month waiting list to get in. And we're incredibly busy," Adler said. "Some of that's from the pandemic, but I think there's a general need for services at this point."

The CDC announced in October that there was a shortage of both the brand name and generic form of Adderall in the U.S. 

Watch the video above to learn more about the rise in ADHD in the United States and whether the health-care system can handle the increase in demand.

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Edited by: Amy Marino

Graphics by: Mallory Brangan, Jason Reginato

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Autism Prevalence Higher in CDC’s ADDM Network

One in 44 (2.3%) 8-year-old children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder according to an analysis of 2018 data published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summaries. This is higher than the previous estimate published in March 2020, which found a prevalence of 1 in 54 (1.9%) 8-year-old children. The 2018 data come from 11 communities in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) network.

A second report on children born in 2014 (4-year-old children) in the same 11 communities shows progress in the early identification of children with autism.  These children were 50% more likely to receive an autism diagnosis or special education classification by 48 months of age compared to children born in 2010 (8-year-olds).

“The substantial progress in early identification is good news because the earlier that children are identified with autism, the sooner they can be connected to services and support,” said Karen Remley, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “Accessing these services at younger ages can help children do better in school and have a better quality of life.”

Racial and ethnic differences persist

In several of the 11 communities in the ADDM Network, fewer Hispanic children were identified with autism than Black or White children. In addition, a higher percent of Black children with autism were identified with intellectual disability compared to White or Hispanic children with autism. These differences could relate in part to access to services that diagnose and support children with autism. Understanding the prevalence and characteristics of children with autism can help communities work towards identifying all children with autism early and enrolling them in services.

Community differences in autism prevalence

Autism prevalence in the 11 ADDM communities ranged from 1 in 60 (1.7%) children in Missouri to 1 in 26 (3.9%) children in California. These variations could be due to how communities are identifying children with autism. Some communities have more services for children with autism and their families.


CDC’s ADDM network is a tracking system that provides estimates of the prevalence and characteristics of autism among 8-year-old and 4-year-old children in 11 communities in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.

ADDM is not a representative sample of the United States. Previously, the ADDM reports were published every other year in the spring. However, in 2018, CDC updated and simplified the ADDM methodology

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 and data system to directly reflect community identification of autism by healthcare provider diagnosis or special education eligibility. These changes provide similar prevalence estimates as the previous method and allow for faster publication of results.

Tools for Parents, Healthcare Providers, Early Childhood Educators and Caregivers

CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” program provides free resources in English, Spanish, and other languages, to monitor children’s development starting at 2 months of age. CDC’s Milestone Tracker Mobile app can help parents and caregivers track their child’s development and share the information with their healthcare providers. For more information visit


Global Spyware Scandal: Exposing Pegasus PT 2| FRONTLINE 1/11/23

Global Spyware Scandal: Exposing Pegasus PT 1| FRONTLINE 1/7/23

Part one of a two-part docuseries: FRONTLINE and Forbidden Films investigate Pegasus, a powerful spyware sold to governments around the world by the Israeli company NSO Group.

This journalism is made possible by viewers like you. Support your local PBS station here:​.

In 2020, the journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International gained access to a leaked list of more than 50,000 phone numbers. They suspected it contained numbers selected for potential surveillance with Pegasus. The Pegasus Project reporting consortium — which was led by Forbidden Stories and included 16 other media organizations, FRONTLINE among them — found that the spyware had been used on journalists, human rights activists, the wife and fiancée of the murdered Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and others.

Over two nights, this docuseries reveals the inside story of an investigation that prompted probes by governments and institutions around the world and sparked calls for an international treaty to govern the largely unregulated spyware industry.

NSO, which has disputed some of the Pegasus Project’s reporting, says that its technology was not associated in any way with Khashoggi’s murder and that it sells Pegasus to vetted governments for “the sole purpose of preventing and investigating terror and serious crime.”

Surveillance technologies like Pegasus are “a military weapon used against civilians, and the civilians, they don’t have any mechanism to help them in seeking justice,” says Laurent Richard, founder of Forbidden Stories and Forbidden Films and one of the producers of the films.

Part two of “Global Spyware Scandal: Exposing Pegasus” premieres Tues., Jan. 10, 2023. 



More than 3 million Youth Reported Using a Tobacco Product in 2022 by CDC

A study released today from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 3.08 million (11.3%) U.S. middle and high school students reported current (past 30-day) use of any tobacco product in 2022, which includes 2.51 million (16.5%) high school students and 530,000 (4.5%) middle school students. 

The study assessed eight commercial tobacco products. E-cigarettes—for the ninth consecutive year—were the most commonly used tobacco product among all students (2.55 million), followed by cigars (500,000), cigarettes (440,000), smokeless tobacco (330,000), hookah (290,000), nicotine pouches (280,000), heated tobacco products (260,000), and pipe tobacco (150,000). The term “tobacco product” as used in this report refers to commercial tobacco products and not to sacred and traditional use of tobacco by some American Indian communities. 

Among all race and ethnicity groups, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native students had the highest percentage of any tobacco product use (13.5%), while non-Hispanic White students reported the highest percentage of e-cigarette use (11.0%). Approximately one million youth reported using any combustible tobacco product; non-Hispanic Black students reported the highest percentage of combustible tobacco product use (5.7%), including cigar use (3.3%). 

Additional groups with a higher percentage of tobacco product use were those reporting grades of mostly Fs (27.2%); those reporting severe symptoms of psychological distress (18.3%); those who identified as transgender (16.6%) or as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (16.0%); and those with low family affluence (12.5%). 

“Commercial tobacco product use continues to threaten the health of our nation’s youth, and disparities in youth tobacco product use persist,” said Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “By addressing the factors that lead to youth tobacco product use and helping youth to quit, we can give our nation’s young people the best opportunity to live their healthiest lives.” 

This study’s findings, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, were based on data from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). NYTS, a cross-sectional, self-administered survey of U.S. middle (grades 6–8) and high (grades 9–12) school students, was administered January 18–May 31, 2022. Changes in methodology limit the ability to compare estimates from 2022 with those from prior years. 

“It’s clear we’ve made commendable progress in reducing cigarette smoking among our nation’s youth. However, with an ever-changing tobacco product landscape, there’s still more work to be done,” said Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “We must continue to tackle all forms of tobacco product use among youth, including meaningfully addressing the notable disparities that continue to persist.” 

Factors influencing youth tobacco product use

Many factors contribute to youth tobacco product use, including flavors, marketing, and misperceptions of harm. Most youth who use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, want to quit.

This study’s findings suggest continuing disparities in tobacco product use, which to a certain extent could be attributed to greater exposure to tobacco promotion and advertising and greater tobacco retail outlet density in racial and ethnic minority communities, among other systemic factors. Those other factors include social determinants of health, which are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of life-risks and outcomes.

There are, however, ongoing efforts at the national, state, and local levels to help reduce youth tobacco product use, such as enforcing the federal minimum age of sale of 21 years for all tobacco product types; FDA’s ongoing actions against sales of unauthorized e-cigarettes; state and community restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products; efforts to raise the price and prohibit public indoor use of tobacco products; media campaigns and other education efforts that warn about the dangers of tobacco product use.

What more can be done?

Commercial tobacco product use remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Nearly all tobacco product use begins during youth and young adulthood.

Youth use of tobacco products—in any form—is unsafe. Such products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm the developing adolescent brain. Using nicotine during adolescence might also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.

Everyone can help reduce youth product tobacco use. Parents, educators, and healthcare providers can help youth recognize and avoid the dangers of tobacco product use, and support and encourage youth who use tobacco products to quit. Furthermore, it is imperative to address policy and environmental factors that are driving tobacco-related disparities.

To learn more about preventing youth tobacco product use and supporting youth to quit, visit:

Mariam Nieves meets family of her heart donor in first HIV-positive to HIV-positive transplant

NEW YORK - A Westchester grandmother has a second chance at life.

She is HIV-positive and received the first-ever HIV-positive to HIV-positive heart transplant. 

She met her donor's family face-to-face first the first time Tuesday.

As CBS2's Jennifer Bisram reports, the heartwarming union took place at Montefiore hospital in the Bronx, where two families connected by the same heart met for the first time. There was no shortage of hugs and tears.

"They've definitely given me a second chance in life," Mariam Nieves said. 

Earlier this year, 62-year old Nieves' kidney failed, then her heart. She's HIV-positive.

"Even today, people with HIV can go to a heart transplant center in the United States and be told that that center cannot offer them a heart transplant," infectious disease specialist Dr. Vagish Hemmige said.

But 15,000 miles away in Louisiana, there was another HIV-positive heart awaiting her, after 30-year old Brittany Newton tragically passed away.

"April 12th, I got the call that saved my life and gave me a second chance," Nieves said. 

And so doctors went to work in the OR, giving her a new heart and kidney.

"For the first time ever, we would take a heart from someone that's HIV-positive to be transplanted into a recipient that's HIV-positive. Never been done before," said cardiologist Dr. Omar Saeed. 

Nieves has been recovering and documenting her journey. 

Seven months later, just days before Thanksgiving, the wife, mother and grandmother finally got to meet the family who she calls her angels, that gave her the gift of life, again. 

"Brittany's years on earth was short, but through organ donation her spirit lives on. Thank you," Breanne Newton said. 

With tears, the family listened to Brittany's heart, that's now beating in Nieves. 

"April 13th is my new birthday because that's when I got my heart," said Nieves.

"It takes a special partner in the Newton family to sort of agree to donate organs that changed the trajectory for a human being," said Nieves' relative Edwin Feliciano. 

Nieves says she feels so blessed she was given a second chance at life. 

Now, she hopes her story encourages others to sign up for organ donation. 

Underage drinking is a significant public health problem in the U.S.

Underage alcohol consumption is common in the United States and can have harmful outcomes. A comprehensive approach that includes effective policy strategies can prevent underage drinking and related harms.

Underage drinking is a significant public health problem in the U.S. Excessive drinking is responsible for more than 3,900 deaths and 225,000 years of potential life lost among people under age 21 each year.1 Underage drinking cost the U.S. $24 billion in 2010.

Learn about the Minimum Legal Drinking Age laws

Alcohol is the most commonly used substance among young people in the U.S.3

The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey3,4 found that among high school students, during the past 30 days

Rates of current and binge drinking among high school students have generally been declining in recent decades. Although males historically had higher rates, in 2019, female high school students were more likely to drink alcohol and binge drink than male high school students.4

Underage Drinking is Dangerous

Youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience4-7

In general, the risk of youth experiencing these problems is greater for those who binge drink than for those who do not binge drink.6,7

Early initiation of drinking is associated with development of an alcohol use disorder later in life.8

Underage Drinking is Associated with Adult Drinking

Studies show a relationship between underage drinking behaviors and the drinking behaviors of adult relatives, adults in the same household, and adults in the same community and state.

Underage Drinking is Preventable

State alcohol policy environments influence underage drinking, as well as excessive drinking among adults. Comprehensive approaches that include effective population-level policy strategies can reduce underage drinking.10,13,14 The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends several effective strategies for preventing excessive drinking,15 including:

The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health describes other strategies that can complement effective alcohol policies, such as national media campaigns targeting youth and adults, reducing youth exposure to alcohol advertising, and the development of comprehensive community-based programs.5 Read more about the prevention of excessive alcohol use, including underage drinking.

Avoid Prison - Letting go of the Prison Mind Set - Prisons and Parole 

Bigger changes are needed at the systemic and legal levels. Better access to mental health services overall may prevent crime. Treating people during incarceration and providing access to ongoing treatment after they’re released may reduce recidivism rates.