25 Sep 2012
The number of people being prescribed drugs to treat a range of mental health issues has risen significantly in the last year, figures have shown.
Statistics released today reveal an increase in antidepressants, medication used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children, and a hike in dementia drugs.
This is despite repeated Scottish Government pledges to halt the rise in antidepressants, and widespread concern from charities about the medicating of people with either dementia or ADHD.
ISD Scotland data showed 718,000 people were given antidepressant pills last year, meaning more than one in eight in Scotland are receiving the treatment.
That was an increase of nearly 50,000 from 2010/11, while the number of those – particularly young males – being prescribed medication for ADHD rose to more than 7,500.
And in spite of repeated concerns from mental health and old people’s charities, the use of drugs to treat dementia went up from 15,900 in 2010/11 to more than 17,500 last year.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman and deputy leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said:
“It has now been several years since the SNP promised to halt the rise in people being given antidepressants.
“But yet again, we see another steep rise in this trend, with more than one in eight in Scotland being prescribed the treatment.
“And what’s more, drugs are being depended on to fight other mental health issues such as ADHD and dementia, when research has shown other, sometimes very straightforward therapies, can be more effective.
“The idea of our very young people, and our very old, being drugged as a matter of course in either the formative or closing years of their life is completely unacceptable.
“The SNP has to get a handle on this before it gets even more out of control.
“Nicola Sturgeon failed to reduce the number of antidepressants prescribed, despite her pledges, so it falls now to her successor, and I hope he makes a considerably better impact on this area.”
To see the ISD report visit: