Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 371-375

Putative Effect of Alcohol on Suicide Attempters: An Evaluative Study in a Tertiary Medical College

1 Department of Psychiatry, NRSMCH, Burdwan, West Bengal, India
2 Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, Burdwan, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Anaesthesiology, IPGMER Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Om Prakash Singh
Department of Psychiatry, Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, Burdwan, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.108224

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Context: Alcohol abuse is a known risk factor for suicide. Alcohol increases aggression and impulsivity, which are strongly related to suicidal behavior. Sociocultural factors influence both alcohol use and suicide rates. Studies, conducted in one population, are not applicable to other and the results cannot be generalized. Aims: The aim was to study the putative role of alcohol in suicide cases in the rural Indian population by analysis of various sociodemographic variables. Settings and Design: This was a cross-sectional study in conducted in a tertiary medical college. Materials and Methods: Two hundred consecutive patients who survived a suicide attempt were evaluated by a psychiatrist. The data were recorded for sociodemographic variables, psychiatric disorders, suicide intent, lethality of the suicide attempt, and history of alcohol intake prior to the suicide attempt. Using alcohol intake prior to the suicide attempt as a determining dimension, various sociodemographic variables were analyzed for their statistical significance and the role of alcohol in suicide cases was assessed. Results: Seventeen percent suicide attempt survivors had a history of alcohol intake prior to the suicide attempt. Fifteen percent had a history of alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use affected the suicide rate in the male population in the late twenties to mid-thirties age group, illiterate and people with high school education, semiskilled workers, shop owners, and student population. Alcohol dependence, bipolar II disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, and dysthymic disorder had higher rate of suicide attempt with the use of alcohol prior to the suicide attempt. Alcohol users attempted a more lethal suicide attempt and were found to have problems with primary support group and occupational problem as precipitating stressor for suicide attempt. Conclusions: Alcohol use increases the suicide rate, in the specific rural Indian population.

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