The link between local alcohol stores and suicide risk

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A new study says living in an area with bars or government-run liquor stores might make young adults, particularly men, more likely to consider suicide.

This is particularly true for those who have a higher genetic risk for attempting suicide. The study was published in the journal Alcohol: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Alcohol and Suicide: The Complicated Connection

Figuring out the connection between easy access to alcohol and suicidal thoughts is tricky. Heavy drinking can make people feel low or act out, which might increase the risk of suicide.

However, the relationship between these two is influenced by many things including genes and environment, such as the closeness of places that sell alcohol.

About the Study

The research team wanted to understand the link between living near places that sell alcohol and both attempted and completed suicides.

They used data from hundreds of thousands of people in Sweden, analyzing information related to population, health, and the location of bars, nightclubs, and government-run alcohol stores.

The researchers looked at data from adults aged 18-25. They gathered information on suicide attempts from different two-year periods in the early 2000s.

They also considered other factors such as the person’s sex, age, parent’s education, and neighborhood. They also considered each person’s genetic risk of suicidal behavior.

What Did They Find?

Here’s what they found: if a young adult lived in a neighborhood with bars or government alcohol outlets, they were slightly more likely to try to take their own lives in the next two years.

People with a higher genetic risk for suicide attempts were a bit more vulnerable to these risks.

Interestingly, living close to bars was linked to a higher risk of suicide attempts but a lower risk of death by suicide.

This could be due to various reasons such as when these bars are open, the age of their customers, and other factors.

Government-run alcohol stores were linked to a higher risk of suicide attempts and completed suicides, especially for men.

What Can We Learn From This?

Previous studies have shown that the impact of alcohol on suicide risk mainly affects men.

These results suggest that changing policies related to different types of alcohol outlets might help reduce suicide attempts, especially among men and those with a higher genetic risk for suicide attempts.

However, the researchers believe there’s more to learn about the complex link between alcohol use, suicidal behavior, and other factors. They suggest more studies to further understand this relationship.

If you care about mental health, please read studies that high doses of common depression drug could switch off the brain, and Vitamin D could help reduce depression symptoms.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that fermented foods could help you reduce stress, and MIND diet could improve cognitive health in older people.

The study was published in Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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