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Substance misuse in life and death in a 2 year cohort of suicides

Galway, Karen; Gossrau-Breen, Diana; Mallon, Sharon; Hughes, Lynette; Rosato, Michael; Rondon-Sulbaran, Janeet and Leavey, Gerry (2016). Substance misuse in life and death in a 2 year cohort of suicides. British Journal of Psychiatry, 208(3) pp. 292–297.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.114.147603
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Abstract

Background
Although substance misuse is a key risk factor in suicide, relatively little is known about the relationship between lifetime misuse and misuse at the time of suicide.

Aims
To examine the relationship between substance misuse and subsequent suicide.

Method
Linkage of coroners’ reports to primary care records for 403 suicides occurring over 2 years.

Results
With alcohol misuse, 67% of the cohort had previously sought help for alcohol problems and 39% were intoxicated at the time of suicide. Regarding misuse of other substances, 54% of the cohort was tested. Almost one in four (38%) tested positive, defined as an excess of drugs over the prescribed therapeutic dosage and/or detection of illicit substances. Those tested were more likely to be young and have a history of drug misuse.

Conclusions
A deeper understanding of the relationship between substance misuse and suicide could contribute to prevention initiatives. Furthermore, standardised toxicology screening processes would avoid diminishing the importance of psychosocial factors involved in suicide as a ‘cause of death’.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 The Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN: 1472-1465
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Understanding SuicideCOM/4032/08HSC Public Health Agency Research and Development Office
Keywords: suicide; substance misuse
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care > Health and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 44937
Depositing User: Sharon Mallon
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2015 10:30
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2019 05:57
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/44937
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