Tamás Zonda(1), Csilla Csoboth(2) and Károly Bozsonyi(3)
(1) Hungarian Association for Suicide Prevention, Budapest, Hungary; (2) Semmelweis University, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Budapest, Hungary; (3) Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Institute of Sociology, Budapest, Hungary
Suicidal Behavior in Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Dependence. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2010, 540 pages.
The authors summarize the data derived from an extensive literature search regarding the relationship between alcoholism and suicide.
Individual-level studies, which are mainly retrospective, show the frequency and characteristics of suicides and the extent of suicidal behavior among individuals with alcohol-related disorders. The studies show a clear and strong relationship between the two aberrant behaviors. This does not prove an unambiguous causal connection but provides further evidence for the possibility of a link. It seems that Durkheim’s concept regarding the connection between the two phenomena has not stood the test of time. In the last decade, the relationship between alcoholism and suicide has been studied at the population-level, including time-series analyses, which have found sharp cultural differences between alcohol-consumption and suicide (different suicide rates in the ”dry” and “wet” drinking cultures). The effects of restrictive governmental alcohol policies are examined. It is difficult to judge the relationship between drug abuse and suicidal behavior because of the lack of objective data and the frequent co-morbid conditions associated with drug abuse. However, at the individual level, a strong connection between the two deviant behaviors has been demonstrated.