USE of anti-depressant drugs in the Borders reached new levels last year.

The number of tablets signed off by doctors to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety and panic attacks has grown steadily since records were first compiled a decade ago.

And in 2018 a total of 158,808 individual prescriptions were dispensed in the region - up by more than 4,000 on the previous year's 154,353.

In 2016 a total of 150,965 prescriptions for anti-depressants.

Across Scotland there has also been a steady rise in the need for the pills.

And the latest figures show that just over 900,000 people were prescribed anti-depressants during 2017/18.

The data also shows that almost two-thirds (65.8 percent) were women, while the age group with the highest level of antidepressant prescribing was 50-to-54 years.