Reciprocal relationships between substance use and disorders and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in the Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism.

Substance use and misuse and suicidal thoughts and behaviors tend to co-occur. The purpose of this study was to examine whether (a) suicidal ideation and attempt are related to onset of alcohol, nicotine and cannabis use and dependence; (b) early use of alcohol, nicotine and cannabis is associated with onset of suicidal ideation and attempt; and (c) whether these associations persist while controlling for covariates, such as family history of alcohol problems, major depression and other internalizing and externalizing disorders.


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Ideation was related to 0.71-0.77 odds of onset of subsequent alcohol, nicotine and cannabis use. Attempt was associated with 1.44-1.61 odds of later alcohol, nicotine and cannabis dependence, even after accounting for covariates. Evidence for early substance use being related to subsequent onset of ideation or attempt was limited. Several sex and race differences emerged.

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RESULTS: Suicide attempts are associated with increased likelihood of onset of substance dependence.