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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2013 Apr;43(2):198-212. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12008. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Hospitalizations for suicide-related drug poisonings and co-occurring alcohol overdoses in adolescents (ages 12-17) and young adults (ages 18-24) in the United States, 1999-2008: results from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-9304, USA. whitea4@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

Drug poisoning is the leading method of suicide-related deaths among females and third among males in the United States. Alcohol can increase the severity of drug poisonings, yet the prevalence of alcohol overdoses in suicide-related drug poisonings (SRDP) remains unclear. Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample was examined to determine rates of inpatient hospital stays for SRDP and co-occurring alcohol overdoses in adolescents (ages 12-17) and young adults (ages 18-24) between 1999 and 2008. Among adolescents, there were 14,615 hospitalizations for drug poisonings in 2008, of which 72% (10,462) were suicide-related at a cost of $43 million. Rates of SRDP in this age group decreased between 1999 and 2008. The prevalence of co-occurring alcohol overdoses increased from 5% in 1999 to 7% in 2008. Among young adults, there were 32,471 hospitalizations for drug poisonings in 2008, of which 64% (20,746) were suicide-related at a cost of $110 million. Rates of SRDP did not change significantly between 1999 and 2008. The prevalence of co-occurring alcohol overdoses increased from 14% in 1999 to 20% in 2008. Thus, while rates of SRDP decreased for adolescents and remained unchanged for young adults, the prevalence of co-occurring alcohol overdoses increased for both age groups. Such hospitalizations provide important opportunities to employ intervention techniques to prevent further suicide attempts.

© 2013 The American Association of Suicidology.

PMID:
23356834
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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