Males' Drug-Related Suicide Attempts Vary by
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The number of adolescent
males treated in emergency rooms for drug-related suicide attempts
swings sharply depending on what month it is, a U.S. government
A similar pattern was found for men aged 50 and older, while
there was little monthly variation in the rest of the population,
according to the report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA).
From 2004 to 2008, the number of emergency department visits for
drug-related suicide attempts by patients aged 12 or older averaged
178,423 per year. Overall, the average number of visits per month
ranged from 12,656 in February (7.1 percent) to 16,812 visits in
September (9.4 percent).
The investigators found that only 2.5 percent of these suicide
attempts by males aged 12 to 17 occur in February, compared with
18.9 percent in December.
Emergency department visits for drug-related suicide attempts by
men aged 50 and older also peak in December (12.9 percent) and are
lowest in October (5.5 percent).
The findings were announced in conjunction with a meeting on
Wednesday of the National Action Alliance for Suicide
"Emergency departments present an opportunity to intervene in a way that can help prevent future attempts," SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in an agency news release. "While the study does not identify the factors that lead to fluctuations in drug-related suicide attempts, it does point to the need for additional research in the factors that play a role in suicidality, particularly among both younger and older males."
The American Association of Suicidology outlines the
warning signs of suicide.
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