Substance Use and Suicide Outcomes Among Self-Injured Trauma Patients

Previous studies have proven alcohol and substance use disorders are risk factors for suicidal behaviors. A recent study featuring PISC Senior Scholar Elinore Kaufman, MD, MSHP, examined the impact substance abuse has on suicide mortality rates nationwide. A 2017 sample from the National Trauma Data Bank was evaluated. The sample included patients engaged in suicidal acts that required trauma admission. Results indicated that, although patients with alcohol and substance use disorders stay in the hospital for longer, they have reduced suicide mortality rates. Specifically, patients with high Blood Alcohol Content have significantly reduced suicide mortality rates. Healthcare experts associate this reduction in mortality with lower suicide capability due to impaired cognitive processes. Despite reduced suicide mortality rates, substance users are at considerable risk for poor health outcomes overtime. The team concludes, “targeted interventions should be considered to interrupt and develop healthy alternatives for survivors with substance use conditions.”

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