4 in 10 Suicide Cases Involve Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs, Study Finds

Knowing risk factors for this type of death can help prevent

Four out of ten people who commit suicide use psychoactive substances, especially alcohol, before taking their own life, shows an unprecedented study by the University of Brasília that investigated behavioral and sociodemographic data of victims in order to help in the formulation of policies prevention public.

The study analyzed 1,088 suicides that occurred in the Federal District, in a period of nine years.

Of these cases, 780 underwent toxicological tests and 44% tested positive for psychoactive substances, such as alcohol and other associated drugs, especially cocaine.

The study shows that from 2005 to 2014 the increase in the suicide rate related to the use of psychoactive substances was ten times greater than the population growth of the Federal District.

The results, published in a scientific article in the journal BMC Psychiatric, reflect the worrying situation of the mental health of Brazilians.

The total number of deaths in the country from so-called self-harm has doubled, according to Datasus (the information technology department of the Unified Health System), from around 7,000 to 14,000 in the last 20 years.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language