Alcohol Poisoning: Symptoms, Causes, Complications, and Treatment

Poisoning by and exposure to other unspecified drugs, medicaments, and biological substances, as well as poisoning by and exposure to other gases and vapors, were the second cause of deaths as a result of undetermined intent (Table 6). To properly plan preventive adhd and alcohol actions, it is necessary to determine the scale of a particular problem. Poland does not have one statistical database with the number of suicides. The collection of data by two separate institutions causes a problem with interpreting these data.

International Patients

A person with alcohol poisoning who has passed out or can’t wake up could die. If you think that someone has alcohol poisoning, get medical attention right away. Suicidal poisoning refers to intoxication with carbon monoxide contained in the light gas. Suicide cannot be ruled out when a dead body is found in a garage and the CO is released in car exhaust fumes [22].

Alcoholism: Quantity and Frequency of Alcohol Use

Our findings indicate that these 3 causes of death merit individual consideration, and their underlying causes and optimal prevention strategies may differ in nature, intensity, and duration across populations and contexts. For drug poisoning deaths, there were significant clusters of counties with lower death rates that extended from North Dakota and Minnesota south through Texas and then east from Texas to Georgia and South Carolina. Lower suicide rates clustered along the East coast, and lower alcohol-induced death rates clustered from Missouri east through Pennsylvania and from Louisiana east through Georgia. Cold spots for all three causes were present in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

  1. Clinical studies of suicide prevention are hindered by methodological and ethical problems, especially since many people at risk do not have contact with clinical services.
  2. The toxicological data may help in understanding the mechanism of death.
  3. The guidelines also recommend incorporating promising, but underused, strategies into current programs where possible, expanding suicide prevention efforts for adolescents and young adults, introducing screening programs, and evaluating the prevention programs.
  4. More precisely, greater use of antidepressants than drug abuse has been observed over the years, probably due to their greater availability and the progressive increase in the incidence of psychiatric pathologies and stress-related disorders [45,46].
  5. Most suicides by consuming poison involved the 21–30 age group (36.2%).

Data Analyses

This leads to rapid increases in BAC and significantly impairs brain and other bodily functions. Self-poisoning is one of the most common methods used to attempt suicide in Poland [24]. Nearly 70% of suicide victims consume a toxic substance prior to death, and the primary method used in one in five suicides in the United States in 2006–2008 was overdose [25]. According to Cavanagh and Smith [9], self-poisoning is a common method, accounting for over half of all female suicides. Fatal self-poisoning most frequently involves pesticides, analgesics, and antidepressants.

How Does Alcohol Misuse Affect Suicide and Suicidal Attempts?

Mood [10,16,17], anxiety [18] and schizophrenia-spectrum disorders [16,19,20] have been found to constitute independent risk factors for suicidal behavior. Additionally, co-morbid psychiatric disorders are found to be common in patients with alcohol use disorders [21–24]. Alcohol use is highly prevalent worldwide, and suicide is highly prevalent in populations of patients with alcohol use disorders. However, co-morbid psychopathology is neither sufficient nor necessary for this association [14]. Alcohol use and suicide are intimately linked, but they are both complex phenomena, springing from a multitude of factors. Menninger conceptualized addiction itself both as a form of chronic suicide and as a factor involved in focal suicide (deliberate self-harming accidents) [25].

Holmgren et al. [35] analyzed a case history of autopsies in suicides from 1998 to 2007 and found that 2462 (22%) of the suicides had been committed by consuming poison. Toxicological tests were conducted on urine, blood, and vitreous humor and found that the main substances used were paracetamol, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. In the study by Jones et al. [27] covering 1993–2010, 13,963 poisoning-related autopsies were examined, of which 4843 were suicides (34.68%). Toxicological analyses revealed that ethanol adult children of alcoholics was involved in 55% of the cases, paracetamol in 21% of the cases, diazepam in 19% of the cases, morphine in a similar percentage of cases, and minor antidepressants in a few cases. Suicide, suicidal ideation, and suicidal attempts are major concerns for individuals who misuse alcohol, as alcohol use can lead to impaired judgment, decreased inhibitions, and impulsiveness. The results suggested that alcohol use before suicide was influenced by several factors, including age, race/ethnicity, and suicide method.

Some manuscripts from these areas were initially assessed for eligibility and excluded after full-text reading because they did not adhere to the inclusion criteria. In Australia, according to a recent study [50], an increasing trend of deaths due to intentional consumption of poison was observed, with a significant increase in medical prescription drugs, especially opioids, as in other high-income countries. Moreover, Australian epidemiological data show a changing trend among different jurisdictions in terms of the manner of death due to poisoning. In most eastern European countries, according to the WHO mortality database on methods of suicide [54], poisoning is the third-leading cause of suicide death, after suicide by hanging and suicide by using firearms. Pharmaceutical agents are the most frequent victims of intentional suicide in this area. No autopsies related to suicide by poisoning were found in this area and other missing geographic regions according to our research and selection criteria.

Although it is abundantly clear that people released from incarceration are at an increased risk of death from a range of preventable causes, including suicide, identifying the most effective ways of improving the health of these individuals is complex. Commensurate efforts to achieve better health outcomes for people who experience incarceration are also essential. Miller and colleagues1 applied national and international data on the suicide rate after release from incarceration to national jail releases to estimate the proportion of suicide deaths in the US that were among people recently released from jail. From an estimated 7.1 million jail releases in 2019, the authors estimated that 9121 people died by suicide within a year of release, accounting for 19.9% of all suicide deaths nationally.

Overdoses of illicit substances, such as heroin, are also common, but the intention to die may be difficult to determine. The analysis does not include the ICD-10 code X84 “Intentional self-harm by unspecified means”, which could involve poisoning suicide attempts. They are often described as an “external cause of death,” which is imprecise and untrue [4]. The studies examined showed a clear majority of male subjects; however, there were no sufficient data on the type of suicide or the relationship between the kind of substance in case of self-poisoning and gender. This could be a basis for further investigation to shed the light on the emerging gender medicine [43].

Of 40,000 Norwegian conscripts followed prospectively over 40 years, the probability of suicide was 4.76% (relative risk +6.9) among those classified as alcohol abusers compared with 0.63 for non-drinkers [84]. Murphy et al. studied 50 suicides and found that an alcohol use disorder was the primary diagnosis in 23% and a co-occurring diagnosis in 37% [86]. Conwell et al. performed a study in New York City and reported that alcohol misuse was present in the history of 56% of individuals who completed suicide [43]. Several reviews have discussed the relationship between alcohol use disorder (AUD) and suicidal thoughts and behavior, but none has given a pooled effect estimate [9–11]. An old meta-analysis was conducted by Smith et al [12] based on studies published before 1999.

The findings are limited, given that only articles published in the English language were included and that National data is often published locally. Furthermore, the selected studies lack significant anamnestic and socio-demographic data, which could be important in investigating the risk factors involved in suicide by consuming poison. Moreover, the data that correlated self-poisoning as the method of suicide lacked variables regarding essential issues such as illness-related factors and psychopathological issues, known to influence suicide risk. Moreover, in autopsy studies, it is hard to differentiate between medications taken for medical treatment as opposed to those taken only to commit suicide, especially in the case of medically prescribed drugs.

The quality of race/ethnicity data in NVDRS was limited; for example, Asians/Pacific Islanders could not be differentiated. Data on some major aspects of suicide, including planning or intent, were not available in NVDRS. In later life in both sexes, major depression is the most common diagnosis both in those who attempt suicide and those who complete suicide. In contrast to other age groups, comorbidity with substance abuse and personality disorders is less frequent [207].

Alcohol-induced disorders comprise delusions and delirium, memory disorder and sleep disorders appearing during intoxication or withdrawal and, in addition, anxiety, mood and psychotic disorders, dementia, and sexual dysfunction related to both acute and chronic alcohol use. These disorders also include the typical microzooptic hallucinations, delirium tremens and Korsakoff’s syndrome, which may occur in the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. U.S. deaths from causes fully due to excessive alcohol use increased during the past 2 decades. Meanwhile, the liver is able to process alcohol at a rate of about one standard drink an hour, so somebody who spaces out their drinks is likely to decrease their chances of dying from drinking alcohol.

This could be an important indication for further research in the future. However, the WHO highlights that some risk factors, such as harmful use of alcohol and substance use disorders, contribute to suicide new life house ideation in all age groups [14,53]. According to one of the selected studies, the National Institute of Statistics in Spain argues that the number of suicides is higher in men than in women [55].