3.9 million prescriptions for antidepressants were issued last year, and there was an increase across every area in Scotland. The Western Isles saw the biggest increase with a rise of 7.7%. Milton in Glasgow is ‘the most depressed’ area, with antidepressants being prescribed to one in five residents.
The opposition parties in Scotland have highlighted this as a failure for the current government, who pledged to try and reduce the use of antidepressants. They are calling for more funding for alternative methods of treatment, such as counselling, to try and combat the problem, as well as tackling the causes of depression, such as unemployment and poverty.
A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “As a first step we have set a target to reduce the growth in prescribing of antidepressants to zero by 2010.Latest figures show an 11% increase in the numbers of mental health staff in the past year, which will result in improved access to talking therapies in NHS Scotland.”