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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Blood Alcohol Content and Suicide

It is a sad truth that alcohol often plays a hand in mortality rates in the United States and globally. For a several decades, there have been huge national campaigns to reduce drunk driving rates, as driving under the influence is commonly linked to fatal motor vehicle crashes. Alcohol also plays a role in suicide rates, a connection that new research suggests in overlooked.

Researchers sought out to establish a link between blood alcohol content (BAC) and both motor vehicle crashes (MVC) and suicides. The study found that higher BACs were more common with MVCs, whereas low alcohol levels are more common among suicide, ScienceDaily reports. The researchers point out that there has not been the same level of commitment to prevent alcohol-related suicide, when compared to alcohol-related car accidents.

The findings come from an analysis of BACs in 224 suicide and 166 MVC decedents, according to the article. The incidents all occurred in New Mexico in 2012, among people with ages ranging from 18 to 54 years of age. The data indicated that while both suicides and MVCs were commonly linked to high BACs, low alcohol contents were more common among suicide decedents. The findings were published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

It is important to keep in mind that heavy alcohol use is commonly accompanied by a number of mental health disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder. It is crucial that when people seek help for alcohol misuse and abuse that they are screened for co-occurring mental illnesses as well. Failure to treat both addiction and any other mental health diagnosis can result in relapse down the road or worse. At Whiteside Manor, our residential treatment program focuses on the complete individual. Please contact us to begin the journey of addiction recovery.

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