Alcoholics commit about 25% of the more than 30,000 suicides per year in the U.S. This unique, revealing study discusses 50 actual cases of alcoholics who took their lives. The first part of the book covers the background of the study, the method of investigation, and the life histories. This leads to the identification of seven risk factors for suicide in alcoholics, none of them acute. Comparing those findings to the same factors in groups of living alcoholics shows that the risk factors are all more frequently present in the suicides than the living alcoholics. Moreover, they act in a cumulative fashion: the greater the number of factors present, the greater the risk of suicide. The case histories describe how both alcoholism and its suicidal outcome span the ranges of age, sex, race and socioeconomic characteristics. This accessible work offers a broad understanding of the determinants and predictors of suicide in alcoholics, and indicates practical measures to prevent these suicides.
About the Author
George E. Murphy, M.D., is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine. An internationally recognized expert on suicide, he is the author of more than 40 original publications on the subject. Dr. Murphy's other professional interests are in the diagnosis of affective disorders and in cognitive therapy of depression.
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