“France’s love of anti-depressants, sleeping pills and other prescription medication has reached new heights according to figures showing one in three adults in the country use some form of psychotropic drug. A study by France’s National Drug Safety Agency (ANSM) found that 32 percent of French people used such medications in 2013, either on a regular or occasional basis, French daily Le Parisien reported Tuesday.” This was reported in here.
There’s more: “Another study released this week, carried out by Ipsos on behalf of the French Hospital Federation, found that 84 percent of patients polled said that doctors often hand out unnecessary prescriptions.” And “a study by carried out by the company Celtipharm, also cited by Le Parisien, found that 230,000 French people were risking their health each month by mixing psychotropic drugs with other, non-compatible medication.”
A cross-nations comparative shows trends for anti-depressant drug use across Europe for the period 1980-2009: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0066455
Interestingly, Mediterranean countries fared really poorly in the above study: Greece, Italy and Spain all recorded above average rises in the use of anti-depressants, with big increases from the mid-1990s on.