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Alcohol, drug problems leads to suicide rise in elders

The study finds highest suicide risks are among those, who misuse prescription sedative medicines, such as tranquilizers.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Mar 19, 2017, 12:55 PM IST
Alcohol, drug problems leads to suicide rise in elders

New Delhi: As per a recent study, elders who have drug or alcohol problems are more than twice as likely to die by suicide as their comrades.

The research got published in the journal Addiction.The study finds highest suicide risks are among those, who misuse prescription sedative medicines, such as tranquilizers.

Women veterans who misuse opioid drugs also have an especially high risk of suicide.

 

The findings point to a need to focus more veteran suicide-prevention efforts on those, who have substance use disorders, especially if they also have depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety.

These findings come from one of the largest-ever examinations of substance use disorders and suicide, involving more than 4.4 million veterans.

"We hope these findings will help clinicians and health systems care for people with substance use disorders, with mental health conditions, and with both -- and focus suicide prevention efforts accordingly.

Substance use disorders may be important markers for suicide risk," says Kipling Bohnert, Ph.D., lead author of the study and researcher with the VA Center for Clinical Management Research who is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical School.

Using statistical techniques, the team calculated suicide rates per 100,000 veterans, and then calculated those rates for veterans with substance use issues overall, and for specific substance use disorders.

(With ANI inputs)