Pill Precautions in Denmark

By: Bethany Louise Smith & Elena Stenzel

Danish law reduces “impulsive suicide”.
Photo: Bethany Louise Smith.


The Danes are called the happiest people on Earth. Recent statistics from Livslinien, a suicide helpline in Copenhagen, suggest not.

In 2015 there were 563 suicides – 390 by men and 173 by women.

The Danish government altered laws in 2013 reducing the quantity of painkillers available over the counter. Now you can buy 20 weak painkillers per day, leading to a 59% decrease in attempts with pills.

‘Impulsive’ attempts are being prevented

Jeppe Kristen Toft, the Director of Livslinien, verified that “a lot has been done by the government in the past 20 years” to enforce suicide prevention initiatives.

In Australia, there are few limitations on the quantity of painkillers you can buy. In 2013, it was enforced that only packets of 20 were sold, as oppose to 25 per pack. You can however buy as many packets as you wish.

Since suicide attempts are on the rise in Australia, the Danish regulation might be a possibility for Australia.

Disclaimer: In case you have suicidal thoughts, please talk to a person you trust or turn yourself to a professional. Click here to find further information: https://www.livslinien.dk or http://suicide.org.

This article was written for an Australian audience and could be published on 9news.com.au.