Project Description

A nation hooked on tranquillizers and anti depressants?

Mila Popova

Why is there substantial per cent of adult Bulgarians reliant on pills to get by? When did this start? Is it abuse of the system by doctors – prescribing drugs far too easily as a cure-all?

Or is Bulgaria a society genuinely “in pain” from a prolonged and difficult transition from communism to capitalism- and in need of tranquillizers and anti depressants?

The story explains how easy it is to get prescription drugs in Bulgaria – how they are even advertised on billboards. It asks whether society is addressing the issue of antidepressant addiction, comparing and contrasting the situation in Eastern Europe with that in the West.

The story looks at the situations in neighboring countries, like Serbia, and in the UK where there is more of an accent on rehabilitation through centers for people on antidepressants.

Finally, the story tells the consequences of this failure to recognize the prevalence of antidepressants as a problem.

Article style: Analysis

Fellow Bio


Mila Popova

Mila Popova from Sofia, Bulgaria, works on the international news desk of the Dnevnik daily, writing news analysis and conducting interviews and investigations

Fellowship Article

The use of tranquillizers and antidepressants appears to be on the rise in south-eastern Europe, as people struggle to recover from recent wars and cope with the stresses of modern consumerism.


Topic 2010: Taboo

Taboos change – rapidly. Homosexuality was once a taboo in Western Europe, as was “living in sin”, [i.e. outside marriage], abortion, childlessness, physical disabilities, atheism and suicide


07 Oct 2010 / 12:33

It was good to talk

Marcus Tanner
06 Oct 2010 / 10:20

Strange Times in Skopje

Jeton Musliu
01 Sep 2010 / 11:20

Completing the B Ring

Mircea Dan Opris
23 Aug 2010 / 13:35

Ten Intros later...

Jeton Musliu
16 Aug 2010 / 16:23

My last stop

Georgiana Ilie
13 Aug 2010 / 10:09

The hardest thing in my research

Majlinda Aliu
02 Aug 2010 / 10:20

Two months of silence, so much info

Mircea Dan Opris
27 Jul 2010 / 14:54

Now is the time to write

Jeton Musliu
16 Jul 2010 / 11:13

Heat Follows Me Everywhere, Even to London

Mila Popova