Division of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2006 Jan;113(1):13-22.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper was to provide a clinical review of the literature on the relation of alcoholism to suicidal behavior. METHOD: Studies of alcoholism and suicidal behavior available in MEDLINE, Institute for Scientific Information Databases (Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index), EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were identified and reviewed.
RESULTS: Alcoholism is associated with a considerable risk of suicidal behavior. Individuals with alcoholism who attempt or complete suicide are characterized by major depressive episodes, stressful life events, particularly interpersonal difficulties, poor social support, living alone, high aggression/impulsivity, negative affect, hopelessness, severe alcoholism, comorbid substance, especially cocaine abuse, serious medical illness, suicidal communication, and prior suicidal behavior. Partner-relationship disruptions are strongly associated with suicidal behavior in individuals with alcoholism. CONCLUSION: All individuals with alcoholism should receive a suicide risk assessment based on known risk factors.