Alcohol and Suicide


Alcohol is regularly linked with suicide and depression. In 2006, Scottish researchers studied over 3,000 self-harming people at an A&E department. They found that 60% of the men and 50% of the women had been drinking before they self harmed. 25% of the men and 17% of the women said their self-harming was related to alcohol.

Experts suggest that alcohol could be involved in up to 65% of UK suicides annually. In some cases excess alcohol drinking can bring on a kind of psychosis which can cause severe mental confusion and even hallucination. This can lead to unpredictable behaviour and bad judgement.

Alcohol can also affect people emotionally and stop them being able to cope with stress as well as they might usually be able to. Stressful situations include job loss, bereavement, relationship breakdown and more. Alcohol lowers the inhibitions, too, meaning people are more inclined to act on suicidal impulses.

The World Health Organisation says that someone who abuses alcohol is eight times more likely to kill themselves than a non-drinker. Furthermore, the UK Mental Health Foundation highlights alcohol as a high-risk factor for suicide. The Foundation’s report finds a link between drinking alcohol and suicidal thoughts and attempts.

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