The Study of Psycho-demographic Factors Associated With Suicidal Thoughts in Poly-drug Users

Baalash AA, Fahmy MT, Haggag WL, Mohamed KA


Background: Patients suffering from suicidal behaviors among substance abusers are common. Although our knowledge about substance abuse and suicidal behavior is increasing, we lack sufficient knowledge about factors associating suicidal thoughts or behaviors and substance abuse. 

Objective: This study aimed to examine the associative factors of suicidal thoughts among poly-substance abusers. Methods: This is a case control comparative study on 239 subjects between 18 and 45 years of age. We reviewed 122 individuals who fulfilled the DSM- IV -TR criteria of substance abuse for two or more substances, and their data were compared with that collected from 117 control persons. Participants' detailed demographic, clinical evaluation and laboratory investigations were conducted and they were administered semi-structured psychiatric interview and examination, on almost the tenth day after admission.

Results: Suicidal cases were 64.75% of poly-substance abusers. Statistically significant relation to suicidal thoughts (p<0.05) was found in older age, living in high altitude, being not married, working in non-professional jobs, lower educational level, presence of academic or occupational deterioration, history of legal troubles, younger age of initiation of cigarette smoking, duration of substance abuse, bereavement before age of 18, disturbed home atmosphere, poor family support, positive family history of substance abuse and positive family history of suicidal attempts.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that associative psycho-demographic factors characterized by chaotic social life and living in high altitude in addition to long duration of substance abuse may trigger suicidal thoughts in poly-substance abusers, and that religious upbringing is a helpful method for protection.

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poly-substance abuser; psycho-demographic; suicidal thought

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