Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Alcohol and suicide risk

The relationship between alcohol consumption and suicide or attempted suicide is well established among heavier drinkers. The risk of suicidal behaviour in this group increases with psychiatric comorbidity. Suicide rates are also found to rise with increased per capita consumption. The suicide rate for younger people seems to be more signifi cantly related to per capita consumption than that for older people.

In addition, research suggests that suicide rates tend to be more responsive to changes in per capita alcohol consumption in drinking cultures characterized by irregular heavy drinking occasions. Thus, cultural factors condition the association between alcohol consumption and suicide at the population level, and the strength of the overall relationship is greater in cultures where intoxication is a more prominent characteristic.

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