Suicide in Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

  • Norman S. Miller


The word suicide has a Greek derivation, meaning “self–death” (sui, self; cide, kill). Suicide as a consequence of alcoholism and drug addiction has always been found to be common in many sources of inquiry. The association between suicide and alcohol and drugs has been noted by investigators from a variety of disciplines that have assessed suicide. Many past as well as recent studies have confirmed that alcohol and drug addiction are major risk factors for suicide, as causes and precipitants for suicidal behaviors (1–4).


Toxicity Depression Dopamine Schizophrenia Serotonin 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Frances RJ, Franklin J, Flavin DK (1986). Suicide and alcoholism. Ann NY Acad Sci487:316–326.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rushing WA (1968). Individual behavior and suicide. In Suicide, JP Gibbs, ed., pp. 96–121. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Beck AT, Weissman A, Kovacs M (1976). Alcoholism, hopelessness and suicidal behavior. J Stud Alcohol37:66–76.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Marzuk PM, Mann JJ (1988). Suicide and substance abuse. Psychiatr Ann18 (ll): 639–645.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ward NG, Schuckit M (1980). Factors associated with suicidal behavior in poly–drug abusers. J Clin Psychiatry41:379–385.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Murphy GE (1988). Suicide and substance abuse. Arch Gen Psychiatry45: 593–594.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Frances A, Fyer M, Clarkin J (1986). Personality and suicide. Ann NY Acad Sci487:281–293.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fowler RC, Rich CL, Young D (1986). San Diego Suicide Study: II. Substance abuse in young cases. Arch Gen Psychiatry43:962–965.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dorpat TL, Riley HS (1960). A study in the Seattle area. Compr Psychiatry1:349–359.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Shaffii M, Carrigan S, Whittinghill JR, et al. (1985). Psychological autopsy of completed suicide in children and adolescents. Am J Psychiatry142:1061–1064.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Barraclough B, Bunch J, Nelson B, et al. (1974). A hundred cases of suicide: Clinical Aspects. Br J Psychiatry125: 355–373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kessel N, Grossman G (1961). Suicides in alcoholics. Br Med J2:1671–1672.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    James IP (1967). Suicide and mortality amongst heroin addicts in Britain. Br J Addict62:391–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Murphy SL, Rounsaville BJ, Eyre S, et al. (1983). Suicide attempts in treated opiate addicts. Compr Psychiatry24:79–89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rich CL, Young D, Fowler RC (1986). San Diego Suicide Study: I. Young vs. old subjects. Arch Gen Psychiatry43:577–582.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Brent DA, Perper JA, Goldstein CE, et al. (1988). Risk factors for adolescent suicide: A comparison of adolescent suicide victims with suicidal inpatients. Arch Gen Psychiatry45: 581–588.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Heizer JE, Przybeck TR (1988). The co–occurrence of alcoholism with other psychiatric disorders in the general population and its impact on treatment. J Stud Alcohol49 (3): 219–221.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Rich CL, Fowler RC, Fogarty LA, et al. (1988). San Diego Suicide Study: III. Relationships between diagnoses and stressors. Arch Gen Psychiatry45: 589–592.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bouknight RR (1986). Suicide attempt by drug overdose. Am Fam Physician33:137–142.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Vaillant GE (1966). A twelve–year follow–up of New York narcotic addicts: I. The relation of treatment to outcome. Am J Psychiatry122:727–737.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Litman RE, Feberow NL, Wold CI, Brown TR (1988). Prediction models of suicidal behaviors. In Prediction of Suicide, Beck H, Resnik LP, Lettieri DJ, eds., p. 141. Bowier, MD: Charles Press.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tuckman J, Youngman WF (1968). A scale for assessing suicide risk of attempted suicides. J Clin Psychol24:17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Beck AT (1985). Hopelessness and eventual suicide. Am J Psychiatry142:559.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hawton K, Catalan J, eds. (1975). Attempted Suicide. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mayfield DG, Montgomery D (1972). Alcoholism, alcohol intoxication, and suicide attempts. Arch Gen Psychiatry27:349–355.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Brown GL, Goodwin, FK (1986). Cerebrospinal fluid correlates of suicide attempts and aggression. Ann NY Acad Sci487:175–188.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Dackis CA, Gold MS (1985). New concepts in cocaine addiction: The dopamine depletion hypothesis. Neurosci Biobehav Rev9:469–477.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Post mortem monoamine receptor and enzyme studies on suicide. (1986). In Psychobiology of Suicidal Behavior. Annals of the New York Academy of Science, Vol. 487, Mann JJ, Stanley M, eds., pp. 114–121.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Khantzian E J (1985). The self–medicated hypotheses of addictive disorders: Focus on lesion and cocaine dependence. Am J Psychiatry142:1259–1264.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Vaillant GE (1983). The natural history of alcoholism. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Mayfield DG (1979). Alcohol and affect: Experimental studies. In Alcoholism and Affective Disorders, Goodwin DW, Erickson, CK, eds., pp. 99–107. New York: SP Medical and Scientific Books.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Miller NS, Dackis CA, Gold MS (1987). The relationship of tolerance, dependence and addiction: A neurochemical approach. J Subst Abuse Treat4:197–207.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Martin RL, Cloninger CR, Guze SB, Clayton PH (1985). Mortality in a follow–up of 500 psychiatric outpatients. I. Total mortality. Arch Gen Psychiatry42:47–66.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman S. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell University Medical CollegeNew York Hospital-Cornell Medical CenterUSA

Personalised recommendations