Alcoholism and Abetment to Suicide

Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of preventable death across the world, and the United States is no exception. Though the use of alcohol may not necessarily lead to suicide, it is a primary risk factor responsible for suicidal behavior, according to a study titled “Alcohol — The Lubricant to Suicidality.”

“There is very little data showing how and why alcohol exerts such tremendous influence and ‘lubricates the gears’ to propel the act of committing suicide. This article will elucidate the complex relationship between alcohol and suicide and how alcohol use can lead to suicide,” said the authors of the study, published in PubMed in 2013. It establishes how alcohol affects brain neurophysiology in regard to suicidal behavior.

Suicide, America’s key concern

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of deaths in the U.S. There are several factors that drive people to suicide, which include divorce, substance abuse, alcoholism, job or financial loss, lack of social support, sense of isolation, incarceration, family history of mental disorder, and major medical illnesses.

Alcohol is regarded as a key cause for suicides among people. Reputed rehabs, like the detox centers in Florida, often come up with cases wherein alcoholics receiving treatment tried committing suicide at some point in their lives. Seeking help is the best solution to prevent any such mishap. A natural detox center in Florida, being among the best in the country, is the most natural address for an alcoholic under such circumstances.

How alcoholism causes abetment to suicide?

Even though alcoholism itself might not drive one to commit suicide, its effect on people definitely “lubricates the gear” for suicidal behavior, as per the study. “Alcohol abuse is linked to impulsivity, aggression, dis-inhibition of social norms, poor judgment, abnormal speech, blunting of the senses, and increased pain threshold. If a person has other risk factors for suicide, the above-mentioned behaviors facilitate the process of suicidality,” it mentions.

Alcohol is known to cause and exacerbate symptoms of mental disorders, which may lead to suicide in some people. Conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dementia, sleep disorders, and personality disorder, especially cluster B personality disorders, are worsened by excessive consumption of alcohol, which can precipitate suicidal tendency in them.

“Alcohol dependence often increases an individual’s vulnerability to environmental and socio-cultural risk factors,” says the research. As an aftermath of alcoholism, self-esteem takes a serious beating, leading to depression and isolation. These psychological upheavals predispose a person to suicide.

Alcohol’s impact on brain’s functioning

Once consumed, alcohol enters the blood stream and reaches the brain. The alcohol begins to disrupt the functions of neurotransmitters and receptors. The abnormal behavior of an inebriated person is due to this impact on neurotransmitters. The quantum of abnormalities is also proportionate to the amount consumed.

The study admits that the relationship between alcohol abuse and suicidality is quite complex. Two ways of deciphering the topic suggested by the researchers are biochemical effects of alcohol and the psychosocial effects.

Biochemical effects are the alterations in the brain caused by alcohol making a person behave irrationally and impulsively. This could be the driving force behind the suicidal tendencies.

The psychosocial effects of protracted alcoholism are dwindling self-esteem, depression and social isolation which can also severely contribute to suicidality in a person.

To sum up, alcohol may not be a primary cause for suicides, but the presence of other risk factors, like mental illnesses, financial losses, social and interpersonal relationships, coupled with the biochemical and psychosocial mechanisms, can raise the risk of suicidality in a person.

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