A growing body of research points to the relationship between alcohol and suicide. Taking steps to reduce the availability of alcohol may help to reduce the number of suicides, says Raul Caetano, MD, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Oakland, California.
Dr. Caetano was a co-author of a study published in the journal Addiction in 2015 that found in the United States, the density of both on- and off-premises alcohol outlets in a county is associated positively with alcohol-related suicide.
“It’s pretty clear from that study that there is a relationship between alcohol outlets, such as bars, restaurants and liquor stores, and suicide,” he said. “That suggests that public health policies that affect the availability of alcohol in the community can also help prevent suicide. It’s an opportunity for prevention that hasn’t been fully utilized.”