Cocaine use associated with increased suicidal behavior in depressed alcoholics

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Addictive Behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.76). 01/1998; 23(1):119-21. DOI: 10.1016/S0306-4603(97)00019-1
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to determine whether depressed alcoholics who used cocaine would display a higher prevalence of suicidal behavior and suicidal ideation than depressed alcoholics who did not use cocaine. Forty-one depressed alcoholics participated in this prospective study of consecutively admitted inpatients. Seventeen patients (41.5%) had made a suicide attempt during their current depressive episode, and all but 1 of these attempts occurred during the week prior to their hospitalization. Ten patients used cocaine in the week prior to hospitalization, and 7 of these 10 (70%) had made a suicide attempt during that week. In contrast, only 32% of the depressed alcoholics who did not use cocaine made a suicide attempt during that week (p < .05). Suicidal ideation was also more prevalent in alcoholics who used cocaine. These data provide evidence that cocaine use is associated with an increased prevalence of suicidal behavior and suicidal ideation in depressed alcoholics.

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    • "In particular, the strongest association between suicidal behavior and drug use was found among cocaine users (Burge et al., 1995; Garlow et al., 2003). Furthermore, Cornelius et al. (1998) found that SI was more prevalent in depressed alcoholics who also used cocaine compared with depressed alcoholics not using cocaine. The study was limited by the small sample size of less than 50 patients. "
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