New Report Released on Excessive Alcohol Use and Suicide in Colorado
Excessive alcohol use is a risk factor for many harmful health conditions in our communities, such as injuries, violence, including suicide, and mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released a new data report detailing how excessive alcohol use connects with suicide in Colorado. It is important to note that many factors contribute to suicide, such as substance use, depression, and intimate partner problems. Suicide prevention requires a comprehensive approach to adequately address multiple risk factors. However, it is clear that reducing excessive drinking could also reduce suicide deaths in Colorado.
The new CDPHE Health Watch report summarizes Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC) among suicide decedents between 2011-2015. Key findings include that almost 1 in 3 suicide decendents (29.3%) had a BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dL at the time of death. Among those who had a a BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dL, almost 2 in 3 (61.4%) had a problem with alcohol, and more than half were depressed (56.8%), used a firearm as a method of suicide (53.1%), and were having intimate partner problems (50.6%). When compared to suicide decedents with a a BAC < 0.08 g/dL, suicide decedents with a BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dL were more likely to be male, working age adults (ages 21-54) and Hispanic or American Indian/Alaskan Native.
To view the report, please visit this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W9wW49RJ84trGacpGq3Cz2ovLzyoumR-/view.
For more information on how to prevent excessive alcohol use, please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/alcohol.