[Legal aspects of hyperkinetic disorders/ADHD]

Nervenarzt. 2008 Jul;79(7):820-6. doi: 10.1007/s00115-008-2494-2.
[Article in German]


With a prevalence of 2-6%, hyperkinetic disorders (F 90, ICD-10) and disturbances of activity and attention (F 90.0, ADHD, ICD-10) are among the psychiatric disorders most commonly diagnosed in children, adolescents, and adults. Children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD suffer from hyperactivity and deficits in attention and impulse control. Adults usually have problems focusing on one goal, maintaining their attention, modulating emotions effectively, structuring their tasks, and controlling impulses and in executive functions. Legal implications derive from core symptoms and from treatment with stimulants governed by legislation on narcotics. This paper discusses juridical aspects of ADHD in connection with the administration of medication at school, trips abroad within and outside the Schengen area, driving, competitive sports, military service, the increased risk of delinquency, the individual capacity to incur criminal responsibility, developmental criteria for the ability to act responsibly, and modalities for withdrawal treatment or treatment during detention.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Drug and Narcotic Control / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Insanity Defense*
  • Juvenile Delinquency / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Patient Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / administration & dosage*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects
  • United States


  • Psychotropic Drugs