Home > Dying for a drink.

Foster, Tom (2001) Dying for a drink. British Medical Journal , 323 , (7317) , pp. 817-818.

URL: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/323/7317/817

Suicide prevention requires a comprehensive response to the intimate link between alcohol use disorders and suicide. Major community based biographical (psychological autopsy) studies in the West and the East have consistently reported a high prevalence of alcohol use disorders among people who committed suicidefor example, 56% in New York, 43% in Northern Ireland, and 34% in Madras.

Such figures are far in excess of the prevalence of alcohol use disorders in the general population. In fact, alcohol use disorder was the most frequent DSM-III-R axis I psychiatric disorder (mood, psychotic, substance use, etc) in the studies cited. According to a meta-analysis of mortality studies, the lifetime risk of suicide is 7% for alcohol dependence.4 Interestingly, in a recently reported time series analysis a significant positive relation between per capita alcohol consumption and gender and age specific suicide rates was revealed most often in dry (low consumption) cultures (northern Europe) and least often in wet cultures (southern Europe).5 How may we use this link in devising strategies to prevent suicide?


Item Type:Article
Date:October 2001
Page Range:pp. 817-818
Publisher:BMJ Publishing
Keywords:alcohol consumption, AODR suicide mortality, Northern Ireland, suicide
Accession Number:HRB 4250 (Electronic Only)
Subjects:VA Geographic area > Europe > Northern Ireland
P Demography, epidemiology, and history > Population dynamics > Substance related mortality / death
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour

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