ERIC Number: ED059499
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971
Reference Count: 0
Alcohol in Suicides and Homicides.
Goodwin, Donald W.
This paper discusses research findings about 2 sources of violent death associated with alcohol -- suicide and homicide. After depression, alcoholism is the 2nd most common psychiatric diagnosis among suicide victims. Suicide attempters also are frequently alcoholic. The association between alcoholism and suicide, however, may only apply to white males during the middle years of life. The relatively low rates of suicide among older black alcoholics may be a consequence of the earlier onset of excessive drinking in this group, although this needs direct confirmation before proven true. The role of alcohol, in contrast with alcoholism, is less clear in suicide, although perhaps a quarter of suicide victims had been drinking at time of death. Homicide, on the other hand, is associated with alcohol more than with alcoholism. In most studies, about 50 percent of both homicide offenders and victims had been drinking at the time of the crime. Two autopsy studies indicate that victims, at least, were often severely intoxicated. However, alcoholism is rarely diagnosed in homicide offenders, suggesting that, while alcohol consumption may contribute to homicide, alcoholism does not. (MA)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.; Public Health Service (DHEW), Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO.