One in five people in Serbia takes sedatives occasionally or daily, according to the latest research by the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade.
The results show that in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Serbian citizens spent over three billion dinars on sedatives, one billion more than in 2018.
Calculations by the Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices show that 3,100,336 dinars were spent in the first year of the pandemic on the purchase of drugs from the group “benzodiazepines” (“diazepam”, “bromazepam”, “lorazepam”, ” oxazepam”, “prazepam”, “alprazolam”), a third more than in 2018, when the annual turnover of these drugs amounted to 2,081,445,326 dinars.
Unfortunately, even before the pandemic, Serbia was at the top of Europe in terms of consumption of these drugs. In 2018, around 13 million boxes of anti-anxiety drugs were sold in Serbia, on which more than 129 million dinars had been spent.
Data from the National Health Insurance Fund show that tranquillisers are the second most commonly prescribed drug, right after drugs for cardiovascular diseases. Each person in Serbia consumes two boxes of sedatives per year, and the official figure that in 2018 as many as 646,501 people took drugs from the group of anxiolytics (“diazepam”, “lorazepam”, “bromazepam”, “alprazolam”) should not be surprising when considering that depression is the fourth cause of work incapacity.
The (mis)use of these drugs is much more common in women than in men, and although they are more often prescribed to the elderly, their non-medical use is higher among young people between 18 and 25 years of age.
This post is also available in: Italiano