Pill Nation


Did you know half the population is medicated?

Huge rises in antidepressant use (up 47% over the last decade) seems to suggest the journey to happiness is a road Wee all struggle to walk on.

The most recent NHS survey, of more than 8,000 adults, shows a quarter of the population is on at least three drugs at any given time & millions of pensioners are on at least 5 different medications.

In England right now, one in seven people are on statins & one in ten are on antidepressants.

NHS Digital say a total of 1.1 million prescriptions were dispensed last year & the average number of prescription items per head of population was 20, up from 15 in 2006.

In total, 48% of people are now taking prescription drugs, the survey found.

What Is Going On?

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Although these figures might seem shocking to fit and well people, high prescription rates shouldn’t always be seen as a bad thing.

“A lot can change in ten years, including advances in medical research and evolution of clinical guidelines - and this means more medications are now available and recommended for patients, and can increasingly be used to prevent illness and to improve their health.

“We also have a growing, ageing population in the UK so inevitably, more and more patients are living with multiple, long-term conditions, many of which need to be treated with medication,” she said.

The GP said she hoped the rising rate of anti-depressant prescribing reflected changes in society which meant people were more likely to seek help.

She also feared it also shone a light on the lack of access to other treatments, such as talking therapies.

These findings also show the rise of the couch potato lifestyles, with the average man & woman spending much more time sitting down at weekends.

While 66% of men and 57% of women are overweight or obese, women are more likely to be on a diet.

The polls show 54 per cent of women trying to lose weight - along with 39 per cent of men.

In total 19 per cent of adults were thought to be suffering mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, compared with 15 per cent in 2012.

The assessment was made by asking participants about their levels of happiness, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and self-confidence. Figures were highest among women aged 16 to 24, with 28 per cent assessed as likely to be suffering mental health problems, a rise from 21 per cent in 2012.

Among men the same age, the figure went from 9 per cent to 16 per cent over the same period. And 18 per cent of men aged 25 to 34 were classed as likely to have mental health problems - double the nine per cent figure from 2012.

Most Commonly Prescribed Medication

The survey also reveals the country’s increasingly sedentary lifestyles. On average, men were found to be sitting down for 5.3 hours per day at weekends - even more than the 4.8 hours spent seated on weekdays.

Women were seated for an average of 4.9 hours a day at weekends, and 4.6 hours a day during the working week, the polls found.

Final Wee Word

Leading an active lifestyle & fuelling your body with natural foods & supplements will help not just your physical health, but your mental health to.

Physical inactivity may increase the risks of certain cancers & contribute to anxiety & depression.

Physical inactivity has been shown to be a risk factor for certain cardiovascular diseases.

People who engage in more physical activity are less likely to develop coronary heart disease.

By Calum Napier
The Wee Hemp Team


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