Britons are increasingly turning to prescription drugs to cure every ailment, a new study found.
The average number of prescriptions dispensed per person rose from eight a year to more than 16 over the past two decades, according to the paper, titled A Pill for Every Ill.
Author Professor Joan Busfield, from Essex University, said the age of "stoicism" was dead and argued that Britain was becoming more like France, with its "long-established tradition of taking medicines to heal problems".
In her study, published in the Social Science & Medicine journal, Prof Busfield said Britain was becoming a nation of pill-poppers despite people living longer, healthier lives. She said: "I think drugs are being overused. The population is getting healthier and healthier, longevity is increasing, but we are using more and more drugs."
She accused the pharmaceutical industry of "disease-mongering", with drugs companies now categorising problems such as sexual dysfunction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and high cholesterol as diseases to maximise profits.