The statistics, which were compiled by the Scottish Government, suggest that around one in 10 of the population who are over the age of 15 are on some form of anti-depressant medication.
The same statistics also show that last year the number of anti-depressants prescribed increased by more than 350,000 compared to the previous year, representing a growth rate of 8.1% in 2010/11 compared to 7.6% in 2009/10.
Dr Richard Simpson, public health spokesman for Scottish Labour has described this sharp rise to what is now the highest level of anti-depressant usage as ‘extremely troubling’. He commented that the daily use of drugs should only be used as a last resort, with early intervention methods and alternative therapies being used as the first port of call.
Health spokeswoman of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Alison McInnes MSP, has said that whilst anti-depressants do play an essential role in the treatment of mental health, holistic approaches do need to be explored further.
“We need to be confident that doctors have the time to explore alternatives to anti-depressants before reaching for the prescription pad.” She said.
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