Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Substance-Induced Psychosis Linked to Increased Risk of Suicide Attempt

Experiencing substance-induced psychosis may raise the risk of suicide attempt, a study in Addiction has found. Substance-induced psychosis, also known as substance-induced psychotic disorder, is a form of psychosis brought on by using or withdrawing from alcohol or other substances and usually dissipates within a month of stopping substance use.

Carsten Hjorthøj, Ph.D., M.Sc., of the Copenhagen Research Center for Mental Health and the University of Copenhagen and colleagues analyzed data from 5,806,700 people aged 13 years or older who lived in Denmark from January 1, 1995, to August 10, 2017. The researchers followed the individuals until the individuals had a suicide attempt, had a first psychotic disorder (except for first substance-induced psychosis), died, or emigrated, whichever came first. None of the individuals had a suicide attempt prior to the study.

Overall, 8,900 (78.8% males) individuals were diagnosed with a substance-induced psychosis, and of those, 740 had a suicide attempt during follow-up. In general, people who had experienced substance-induced psychosis had 13.4 times the risk of having a suicide attempt than the general population. After the researchers adjusted for other psychiatric diagnoses, the risk of suicide attempt in people who had experienced substance-induced psychosis was 3.5 times that of the general population.

Within 20 years, approximately 15% of individuals with a substance-induced psychosis had a suicide attempt.

Compared with the general population, people who had experienced substance-induced psychosis from opioids, alcohol, sedatives, and cocaine had 26.4, 17.7, 17.2, and 15.6 times the risk of a suicide attempt, respectively. People who had experienced substance-induced psychosis from either cannabis or hallucinogens had 8.9 times the risk.

“Our findings underscore a need for attention towards people with a history of substance-induced psychosis regarding suicidal behavior, including better follow-up,” the researchers wrote. “The study implies the need of follow-up guidelines for people with a substance-induced psychosis as well as evidence regarding interventions to reduce this excess risk of subsequent suicide attempt.”

For related information, see the American Journal of Psychiatry article “Transition From Substance-Induced Psychosis to Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder or Bipolar Disorder.”

(Image: iStock/nadla)

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