Courtney L. Bagge and Julie A. Schumacher
University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Suicidal Behavior in Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Dependence. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2010, 540 pages.
The aim of this chapter is to characterize the role of acute alcohol use within suicide attempts. Approximately 40% of suicide attempters drink surrounding their attempt and the prevalence is higher among men, adults between the ages of 26 and 50, and individuals with chronic alcohol use. There is empirical evidence that acute alcohol use substantially increases the risk for suicide attempt and some evidence suggests that it is a more important risk factor than habitual alcohol use. The majority of attempters who drink surrounding the attempt use alcohol for non suicide-related reasons (i.e., not to facilitate the attempt). The reason or purpose for consumption could potentially influence the types of mechanisms responsible for increased suicide risk. Methodological limitations include inconsistent assessment of intent to die, potential for inaccurate recording of acute alcohol use, and ascertainment of suicide attempters who only seek medical attention. It is essential for researchers to develop innovative approaches to study potential mechanisms that may underlie an observed acute alcohol-attempt association.