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04.17.2016

Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol Increases Risk of Suicide Attempt

crisisjournalcoverCocaine is the type of drug that is often used in conjunction with other drugs. Simultaneous cocaine and alcohol consumption is a common mixture among users. In addition to the usual warnings against cocaine and alcohol abuse, researchers from Brown University have released a study that shows that people who abuse the two drugs together are more likely to attempt suicide.

The research team was led by Sarah Arias, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior in the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and investigated 874 suicidal patients from several hospital emergency rooms around the country between 2010 and 2012. All of them were screened for several issues, including substance abuse. After pouring over the information, the researchers noted that of all the patients, 298 had abused alcohol before being admitted into the emergency room, 72 were abusing cocaine, and 41 people were using both cocaine and alcohol.

Researchers then tracked the group again and found that 195 of the total had another attempt within the next year. Through this follow-up information they found that people who were abusing both alcohol and cocaine were 2.4 times more likely to have another suicide attempt. The results of the study appear in the journal Crisis.

Preventing suicide is a major factor when it comes to future treatment and prevention planning. The effects of cocaine paired with the effects of alcohol can increase feelings of depression, anxiety and hopelessness. These are the exact feelings that can fuel a suicide attempt, and another reminder of how successful drug treatment programs can help save lives.

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