A Rise in Alcohol-Involved Suicides Among Women

An article in Spectrum, the online magazine of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, showcased research co-authored by Social Welfare Professor Mark Kaplan showing that suicide deaths involving heavy alcohol use have increased significantly among women in the United States in recent years. The study included data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, in which 115,202 suicides of adults 18 and older were reported between 2003 and 2018. Suicides among people who had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater were considered alcohol-involved. During the study period, the proportion of alcohol-involved suicides significantly increased each year for women of all age groups, with the greatest increase among women over age 65. In contrast, only middle-aged men had a significant yearly increase in alcohol-involved suicides. The findings point to a need for more education and awareness of the relationship between heavy alcohol use and suicide, as well as improved screening and intervention strategies.

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