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People who misuse alcohol are at greater risk of suicide, so it's essential they get the support and services they need to manage this.
We know that there are many reasons behind suicide, but there is a strong link between alcohol misuse and suicide – the risk of suicide is as much as eight times greater when someone is abusing alcohol.
Alcohol can lower a person’s inhibitions enough for them to act on suicidal thoughts. It can also affect someone’s mood and deepen depression.
Evidence suggests that men, who are at higher risk of suicide, are more likely than women to turn to alcohol when they’re in distress. People living in the poorest communities are often the most affected.
Governments must take ambitious action on alcohol misuse by:
- Putting in place bold national policies to restrict access to alcohol, such as minimum unit pricing, as part of national suicide prevention efforts.
- Investing and prioritising funding for local alcohol addiction services so more vulnerable people get the support they need, when they need it.
- Rolling out suicide awareness training for staff in addiction services to help staff better support vulnerable people and signpost them to help.
- Supporting public health campaigns around the harms from alcohol misuse to help reduce attitudes that normalise drinking.
Read more in our policy briefing.