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American Indians at Heightened Risk for Suicide After Heavy Drinking
Date:2/5/2013

r suicide risk -- especially for those who are depressed -- into account.

"Addressing cultural, economic and other barriers to alcohol treatment in these populations could simultaneously reduce the prevalence of both alcohol problems and suicide," Sarah Zemore, a scientist at the Alcohol Research Group and an associate adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said in the news release.

Other strategies most likely to work include increasing alcohol taxation and reducing local concentration of outlets for obtaining alcohol, Zemore said.

Threats or insinuations of suicide should be taken seriously, particularly when alcohol is involved, the researchers pointed out.

"Family and friends play an important role here, as people intending to commit suicide often fail to seek formal help -- though they do often inform their social circle in some manner," Zemore said.

Previous research has linked alcohol use to suicide and attempted suicide. The study authors noted, however, that the reason alcohol abuse increases the risk for suicide remains unclear.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about alcohol use and health.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, news release, Feb. 5, 2013


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