THE most religious states in the US are also the biggest poppers of anti-depressants pills.
According to this report, a Gallup study published yesterday shows that the Mormon stronghold of Utah has long been the nation’s “capital of happy pill popping”, with its citizens twice as likely to be on anti-depressants than the general US population.
But the rest of the the most God-fearing states aren’t far behind. Of the top-ten most religious states, nine have higher than average use of anti-depressants.
The study confirmed that Mississippi remains the most pious state in the Union, followed by a handful of its southern Bible-belt siblings: Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, as well as Utah.
The Gallup poll showed that 58 percent of all Mississippians identify as “very
stupid religious”. The least religious states in the US are the former stomping grounds of the very,very religious Puritans: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.
In Utah, Louisiana and Arkansas – the 2nd, 4th and 5th most religious states in the Union– nearly 20 percent of the population is on some form of anti-depressants, according to a 2006 study by one of the largest prescription companies.
The rest of the highly religious states aren’t far behind. Mississippi (most religious), Alabama (third most religious), South Carolina (6th), Tennessee (7th), North Carolina (8th) and Oklahoma (10th) have above average rates of anti-depressant use, with 15 to 17 percent of the citizens medicated.
Of the top-ten most religious states, only one – Georgia – isn’t disproportionately addicted to anti-depressants. Nationally, the prescription rate was about 14 percent.
Anti-depressants weren’t the only medication being doled out in the most religious states. In fact, a state’s level of religiosity correlates with a state’s overall medication rate. Of the top ten most religious states in the Union, six are also on the list of top-ten most medicated states.