Alcohol dependents show increased suicidal ideation during late evening hours: Study

The addictive nature of alcohol is taking an increasing number of Americans in its fold. The adverse effects of heavy drinking are known to all, yet Americans choose to maintain an ambidextrous attitude toward its impact on the society, family relationships and the economy as a whole.

Drinking alcohol is mostly looked upon as a rite of passage into adulthood, thus, inculcating the habit of indulging in alcohol right from an early stage. Unbridled drinking causes increasing dependence which results in myriad psychological and physiological problems and may also aggravate the risk of suicide during late hours, as per a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania.

Identifying patients at a higher risk of suicide

The researchers aimed to study the extreme highs and lows pertaining to suicidal cases seen in alcohol-dependent individuals. The likelihood of committing suicide among alcohol-dependent individuals was the highest at nine in the night, while it was the lowest at five in the evening. For those who did not drink, chances of committing suicide were the highest around noon and the lowest around 4 p.m.

Commenting on the findings of the study, co-author Dr. Subhajit Chakravorty, assistant professor of psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, said, “The presence of temporal pattern in the incidence of suicides will help us understand the phenomenon from a clinical and a research viewpoint. From a clinical perspective, the results will help us identify patients at higher risk of completing suicide and to allocate our limited resources more efficiently. From a research perspective, future studies should explore the underlying mechanisms of how and why different alcohol doses interact with the time of day and other clinical factors to increase the risk of suicide.”

For the study, the scientists used details of suicides available in the archives of the 2003-2010 National Violent Death Reporting System of the Center for Disease Control in alcohol-dependent individuals whose blood alcohol levels could be accessed.

The findings of the study were published in journal Sleep in June 2016 and was presented at SLEEP 2016, the 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS) held in Denver in June 2016.

According to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of suicides in the U.S. has increased since 1999 in everyone between the ages of 10 and 74. In 2014, 13 people of every 100,000 took their own lives, while in 1999, the figure was  10.5 per 100,000. In 2014, there were 42,773 deaths by suicide in the U.S. and suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.

Road to recovery

Like other deadly diseases, drinking can also get out of control gradually. That’s why it’s important to reconsider your drinking habits. A World Health Organization report revealed that every year, nearly 3.3 million deaths are caused due to alcohol-related disorders. The increasing number of people losing their lives to the disastrous effects of alcohol represents approximately 5.9 percent of deaths resulting from other causes. An excessive intake of alcohol is also held responsible for more than 200 disorders, both physical and mental, the report says.

The fact that more than 30,000 Americans died due to alcohol-induced causes in 2014 alone reiterates the extent to which American societies are besieged by the drinking culture.

Any kind of alcohol is harmful, as it can turn into an addiction and create havoc. The Alcohol Addiction Helpline strives to help people get rid of alcohol dependence. If you or your loved one is battling addiction, call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-281-3014 or chat online for further information about the best alcohol treatment centers in the U.S.