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Drug use shot up after Greece’s economic collapse

After the Greek economic crisis struck in 2010, public sector funding was aggressively slashed and unemployment reached 30%. A new study suggests that—to cope with the stress—Greeks may have been turning to both legal and illegal drugs, Chemical and Engineering News reports. Researchers analyzed wastewater in Athens between 2010 and 2014 and found alarming jumps in levels of ulcer and hypertension medications, along with antipsychotics, antidepressants, and other psychoactive drugs. Since 2010, there was a 35-fold increase in antipsychotics, a 19-fold increase in benzodiazepines, and an 11-fold increase in antidepressants, the researchers wrote last month in Environmental Science and Technology. But they add that as the Greek economy has started to stabilize, some of those rates have begun to level off. 

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