Teenagers who harm themselves are more likely to develop substance use problems later in life, compared with their peers who do not engage in self-harm, according to a new study.
Almost 5,000 16-year-olds participating in the study completed a questionnaire. They were asked whether they had ever hurt themselves on purpose in any way, such as by cutting themselves or taking too many pills. They were also asked if they had ever seriously wanted to kill themselves, Medical Daily reports.
“This is the first study to investigate outcomes amongst those with non-suicidal self-harm,” lead researcher Dr. Becky Mars of Bristol University in England, told Medical Daily. “We were quite surprised at just how high the risks were in relation to non-suicidal self-harm, given its high prevalence in the community.”