Alcohol use and death by suicide: A meta-analysis of 33 studies

alcohol poisoning suicide

Alcohol misuse is an important risk factor for suicide in elderly people [208]. Psychiatric disorders, especially depression, are common in suicides in Western [208], as well as in Eastern countries [209]. Depression on the other hand, is frequently comorbid with alcohol abuse/dependence in the the twelve steps alcoholics anonymous aged [210–212]. The increasing prevalence of mental health issues among younger people, particularly the high incidence of nonsuicidal self-harm in teenagers [47,48,49], aligns with our finding that younger individuals constitute the majority of those attempting suicide by drug overdose.

alcohol poisoning suicide

Things You Can Do to Prevent Alcohol-Related Deaths

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Data quality

Second, adolescents aged 12–18 years comprised over one-third of the sample. Additionally, patients with different aftercare outcomes were compared to assess whether those requiring hospitalization presented with greater severity of illness. The NVDRS also did not report on toxicology results for psychotropic drugs. A separate study of 333 consecutive suicides in Mobile, Ala., from 1990 through 1998 found that 20 percent of the victims had traces of antidepressants in their systems, which might be considered low today.

Suicide Attempts and Suicides as a Result of Poisoning and under the Influence of Xenobiotics in Poland in 1999–2020

This means that, every year, 8.5% of the adult US population in USA has an alcohol use disorder [33]. This fuzzy picture led suicidologists to try to fill the gap of a lack of an official nomenclature for suicide and related behavior. In 1996, O’Carroll et al. [29] proposed a classification based on three characteristics, that is, intent to die, evidence of self-inflicted injury and outcome (injury, no injury and death).

Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide Represent Growing Share of U.S. Mortality

In fact, we are so concerned about excessive drinking that we implement initiatives like Dry January where we challenge ourselves not to drink alcohol for a month. The pain felt by family members and loved ones of someone who has taken their own life is often harder to deal with than if they died by another means. Often, those who lost someone feel some level of guilt or responsibility.

As Blood Alcohol Concentration Increases—So Do the Risks

Ethyl alcohol poisoning generally results from drinking too many alcoholic beverages in a short period of time. Alcohol poisoning is a serious — and sometimes deadly — result of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect breathing, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex. In addition, Kaplan said, the findings should prompt suicide prevention workers to probe for alcohol intoxication when dealing with people who are suicidal.

  1. Future research should shed light on the correlation between social, medical, and demographic characteristics and the autopsy findings in suicides by self-poisoning to highlight the risk factors and implement tailored prevention programs worldwide.
  2. Thus, these 3 causes of death should be considered separately when targeting public health interventions toward populations at the highest risk.
  3. The aim of this publication was to juxtapose the data from two sources to compare the discrepancies between them.

Understanding the Dangers of Alcohol Overdose

The literature suggests numerous schemas to assist in evaluating individuals for potential suicide risks. One schema categorizes risk factors as either dynamic (acute) or static (long-term) (see box). Regarding patients who are suicidal and have a concurrent substance use disorder, clinicians should pay attention to dynamic risk factors that affect the individual’s life.

alcohol poisoning suicide

Currently, no single rating scale or clinical algorithm can accurately predict the risk of suicide, because suicidal behavior emanates from a convergence of multiple predisposing and concurrent risk factors. Even if all the scales were combined into a single risk assessment form, other clinical risk factors would be omitted (19). Furthermore, suicide is difficult to predict, as shown in one report suggesting lsd: effects and hazards that 83% of deaths by suicide were unexpected or unavoidable (20). Alcohol is the most often detected substance in the body of a person who has committed suicide. It may be used to reduce the last instinctive hestitations to taking one’s own life. People with cancer-related depression often use alcohol as a means of coping but they very rarely use it in order to kill themselves through acute intoxication.

The following resources offer confidential services, so you don’t have to provide any identifying information if you don’t want to. The study was supported by the Mengya Sci-Tech Innovation Fund of Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University [2024(14)]. Raising community awareness and breaking down the taboo is important for countries to make progress in preventing suicide. KFF maintains full editorial control over all of its policy analysis, polling, and journalism activities.

alcohol poisoning suicide

Rates of alcohol-induced deaths were highest during 2013 to 2017 among individuals aged 50 to 64 years but increased most rapidly among individuals aged 20 to 34 years and are exceedingly high among American Indian and Alaska Native individuals. The most common method of suicide in Poland is hanging, especially among men. Self-poisoning suicide attempts are not uncommon in medical practice; in fact, self-poisoning is one of the most frequently used methods for suicide attempts. First and foremost, these are benzodiazepine sedatives and hypnotics, antiepileptic drugs (carbamazepine, valproic acid), antidepressants (tricyclic, serotonin reuptake inhibitors), and neuroleptics (classic and atypical).

Additional significant hot spots were identified in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Oklahoma. In contrast, the significant hot spots in suicide and alcohol-induced death rates were largely confined to the western half of the US, with hot spots for both causes of death from Montana and North Dakota to New Mexico and Arizona. Simon et al. [113] found that individuals who made impulsive suicide attempts reported higher rates of aggressive behavior than those who made non-impulsive suicide attempts. They hypothesized that poor behavioral control, largely dependent on factors such as alcohol abuse, was an important indicator of risk for impulsive suicide attempts.

Suicide is one of the priority conditions in the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) launched in 2008, which provides evidence-based technical guidance to scale up service provision and care in countries for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. In the WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2030, WHO Member States have committed themselves to working towards the global target of reducing the suicide rate in countries by one third by 2030. Suicide is a serious public health problem; however, suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions.

The lifetime prevalence suicide of attempts in patients with alcohol dependence is high. About 40% of all patients seeking treatment for alcohol dependence report at least one suicide attempt at some point in their lives [64–66]. Impulsive suicide attempts are common in patients with an alcohol use disorder [67,68]. However, whether a history of suicide attempts is related to the risk for relapse in alcohol-dependent patients is still a matter of debate. Globally, alcohol consumption has increased in recent decades, with all or most of that increase occurring in developing countries.

Excess deaths during 2001 to 2017 were estimated for each cause as the difference between the number of deaths observed and expected if rates had remained stable starting in 2000. In light of the above evidence, it is difficult to attribute a role for alcohol in adolescent suicide. However, drinking alcohol has been used in human societies in ritualistic contexts and has a symbolic value, and it has maintained this role even when the formal framework has changed. Its anxiolytic properties help people in personal and social contexts in which they are confronted with difficulties. Alcohol becomes a way of facilitating communication with others and adapting to the environment. Suicide is also both a social and a personal act and is related to conditions that render life difficult.

The former is subdivided into immediate or remote risk for life and further subclassified, as all other subsets of the classification, according to the outcome, that is, non injury, injury (no matter how severe) and death. The latter subset is further subclassified into suicide-related ideation, suicide-related communications, and suicide-related behaviors. Ideation is further subclassified according to intent, that is, absent, undetermined or present (independent of its degree), and may be casual, transient, passive, active, or persistent. Subgroup analyses were conducted to gain a comprehensive understanding of the data. First, comparisons between 2020 and 2021 were performed to identify potential changes over time.

Rises in alcohol deaths may be attributed to a variety of factors including, in part, increases in drinking and low treatment rates. Alcohol consumption and some indicators of binge drinking have been on the rise in recent years, particularly among some demographic groups. Excessive alcohol consumption is tied to the development of alcohol-related diseases, which can be fatal. dilaudid hydromorphone injection side effects A variety of factors may have contributed to increases in drinking including a growing social acceptability of alcohol and loosening of alcohol policies at a state level. Other factors, such as increased stressors due to the pandemic and other issues may have increased drinking behaviors. However, the states with the most rapid increases differed by cause of death.

Wolk-Wasserman [222] found that the suicidal hints or threats were usually not taken seriously by the partners of those with alcohol dependence, even when suicide had been attempted previously. Parents of substance-abusing suicide attempters fear that their children will commit suicide, which makes them desperate [222]. They often accused their partners of causing their children’s troubles and reproached social service and psychiatric authorities for failing to look after them properly. However, despite higher rates of impulsive attempts and a higher level of lethality in patients with alcohol use disorders, the use of alcohol at the time of attempt did not differ significantly between impulsive and non-impulsive attempters [113–115]. Preuss et al. [87], in a large study involving 3190 individuals with alcohol dependence, demonstrated an association between suicide attempts and current situation of unemployment, separation or divorce and fewer years of education. Until 2012, data on suicides were collected in the General Police Headquarters of Poland after the screening was conducted and completed.