Iceland and other Nordic countries are among the most dependent. Portugal, UK and Spain double the consumption in two decades.
Iceland, Portugal and the UK are the countries in Europe with the highest consumption of antidepressants.
Only Denmark among the 24 states reviewed by a report of the OCDE has seen its population reduce the consumption of these drugs between 2010 and 2020.
France, Norway and the Netherlands (all of them in the upper part of the ranking) have been able to keep the increase in consumption below the 50 per cent threshold.
But the rest of European countries have seen an explosion in the “daily defined dose per 1,000 people” (abbreviated: DDD).
The highest spike happened in Czechia, where the consumption of antidepressant pharmaceuticals grew a 577 per cent in two decades, followed by Estonia and Slovakia.
[photo_footer] Countries in Europe with highest consumption of antidepressants (daily defined dose per 1,000 people). / Graph: Euronews / Data: OCDE.
The absolute figures show that the population of Iceland is most dependent antidepressants, with a consumption of 153 DDD (up from 71 in 2000), followed by Portugal (131 DDD, up from 32 in 2000), and the UK (108 DDD, up from 38 in 2017).
Latvia (20 DDD) and Hungary (26 DDD) were the countries with the lowest dependence of these drugs. The three largest countries (Turkey, Germany and France) were all under the average use in Europe.
The average shows that the increase in the use of antidepressants in the last ten years has been of 36.5 per cent in all of Europe.
Antidepressant drugs accounted for 4 per cent of pharmaceutical sales in Portugal, 2.7 per cent in Spain, 2.2 per cent in Austria, 1.9 per cent in Turkey and 1.4 per cent in Germany.
The latest report of the “happiest countries in the world” said Finland was the happiest country in the world, but it is the 7th with most antidepressant consumption in Europe. Iceland, the second in the happiness ranking, is the first in the use od these drugs, and Sweden, sixth, hast the fourth highest consumption.
Previous data released by Eurostat in 2019, showed that 7.2 per cent of Europeans reported chronic depression, with Iceland (15.6), Portugal (12.2) and Sweden (11.7) leading the ranking.
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