Acute alcohol use linked to one quarter of New Zealand suicide deaths

Dr Rose Crossin. Credit: University of Otago, Canterbury

The authors of the University of Otago, a Christchurch study, have called for urgent changes to Aotearoa New Zealand’s suicide prevention strategy and the Alcohol Advertising and Advertising Act, due to figures showing more than 26 percent of all suicides. in this country. mild alcohol consumption.

The study, published today New Zealand Medical Journalis believed to be the first time corona data has been used in this country to quantify the relationship between suicide death and m alcohol used across the public.

His search results raised several red flags, namely:

  • New Zealand’s 26 per cent of suicide deaths including alcoholism exceed the World Health Organization’s estimate of 19 per cent for alcohol;
  • The mortality rate including alcohol is higher than in Australia
  • Civil society groups that have already experienced high rates of suicide, including minorities in New Zealand and Māori, have the highest proportion of alcohol-related suicide deaths;
  • Alcohol-related suicide deaths have been consistent since 2007, despite repeated campaigns and educational campaigns aimed at reducing alcohol consumption.

Senior author Dr Rose Crossin from the University of Otago, Christchurch Department of Public Health, said the findings have raised fears and sought a response from the government.

“Our research has shown poor reading. It is clear that we have a major public health problem in Aotearoa New Zealand with alcohol consumption now being established as the main cause of suicide in this low. major damage being caused, “said Drs. Crossin.

Author Joe Boden, from the University of Otago, Christchurch Department of Psychology, says the first important step is to integrate specific measures aimed at reducing disease and alcohol in New Zealand’s national suicide prevention strategy.

“The fact that New Zealand’s suicide prevention strategy fails to focus specifically on alcohol is a huge missed opportunity for suicide prevention efforts. These findings clearly show that specific activities focused on reducing the risk of alcoholism are very urgently and urgently. amend the 2012 liquor law. “

The study is the first to use data from the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) to investigate the link between alcohol use and suicide in New Zealand. Data were collected for all suicides involving people aged 15 and above between July 2007 and December 2020. Of the 4,658 included deaths detected at the time, 1,238 (26.6 percent) included heavy drinking. Alcohol consumption is defined as a blood alcohol level of more than 50 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood (legal driving limit for adults).

There was no significant difference between alcohol use and suicide among men and women; The association between heavy alcohol use and suicide was highest for those aged 15–54 years, with the lowest association in the elderly group; and Māori (32.3 percent) and Pacific (35.3 percent) had higher rates of alcohol-related homicides than in Europe (25.4 percent) and Asian ethnic groups (11.9 percent).

High alcohol consumption and suicide rates are widely recognized as major public health issues — the suicide rate in June 2021 is 11.6 per 100,000 population, with the highest rate of Māori (15.8 per 100,000) and for those aged 15-24 (11.4 and 22.2 per 100,000 females and males respectively). New Zealand also has a high alcohol consumption rate; Twenty percent of people over the age of 15 agree to drink to dangerous levels.

Professor Boden says that if that is the case, the effects can be devastating.

“Alcohol consumption is highly effective and increases a person’s risk of suicide, because alcohol use leads to inhibition, discomfort, poor decision making, anxiety and increased fear.”

He said it was also worrying that a recent study showed that the number of homicides involving alcohol was similar between men and women.

“International research confirms that men have the highest percentage of murders associated with heavy alcohol consumption, yet our figures show a gender bias. is higher than the global estimate, which suggests that women’s alcohol consumption may be higher than previous data suggest, “said Professor Boden.

The authors of the study believe that this underscores the need for further research on women’s drinking and suicidal ideation, in order to develop culturally appropriate, responsive approaches.

Dr. Crossin said the highest rate of suicide The combination of alcohol consumption between Māori and Pacific also sheds more light on the issue of health balance.

“This may take into account a number of risk factors for the misuse of alcohol that are negatively affecting the Māori and the Pacific people, including the presence of alcohol in neighborhoods, factors related to discrimination and the consequences of injury. These are issues that need to change at the population level, “said Drs. Crossin. .

Dependence on alcohol increases the risk of suicide significantly

Learn more:
Alcohol abuse and suicide: a New Zealand data breach analysis from 2007-2020,… -data-from-2007-2020

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University of Otago

hintAlcohol abuse is associated with a quarter of New Zealand suicide deaths (2022, July 15) Retrieved 15 July 2022 from alcohol-linked-quarter-zealand.html

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