Anti-depressants drug use up to 5m
One in seven Scots are now taking anti-depressants following a fourfold increase in prescriptions in the last two decades, official figures have suggested.
Prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs have almost doubled in the same period, according to figures released by the NHS Information Services Division (ISD).
Meanwhile, the use of drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is most commonly diagnosed in children, is now 20 times higher than it was 15 years ago.
Anti-depressant prescriptions have risen steadily from 1.26 million drugs dispensed in 1993/94 to just over five million in 2011/12.
Twice as many females were prescribed the drugs than males, with 483,431 females and 234,899 males prescribed anti-depressants in 2011/12, totalling almost 14% of the Scottish population.
Prescriptions have increased across all age groups, with 24 children aged 0-4 prescribed anti-depressant drugs last year, compared to 10 in 2009/10.
Statisticians have urged "great caution" in interpreting the figures.
The report states: "It does not equate to people being treated for depression.
"This is because many drugs classified as anti-depressants can also used for conditions other than depression.
"These include but are not restricted to neuropathic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders."
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