9 Minutes

Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
Fact checked

It is now a well-known fact that people who drink excessively are more susceptible to depression and suicide. According to the evidence from scientific studies, alcoholics are more prone to suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide-related deaths.

Suicide is death caused by actions you indulge in with the aim to die, suicidal attempts are life-threatening activities that are aimed at causing death but do not result in death, and suicidal ideation is the preparation or contemplation of suicide.

If you (or anyone you care about) have self-harming thoughts or are considering hurting yourself, you must know that help and assistance are available and that you are not alone. There’s always a way out, regardless of how awful or hopeless your current position may appear.

One of the most effective means of obtaining support, overcoming alcoholism, and preventing suicide is to reach out for assistance and seek professional high-end residential treatment at an upscale treatment center for alcohol abuse.

Suicide is a difficult subject to address for many. Culturally, it is taboo, and our terminology is frequently contentious and stigmatizing. It is essential to provide a forum for discussing thoughts and emotions related to suicide so that individuals afflicted by its weight can more easily get the assistance they require. This is particularly crucial when a person is suffering from alcoholism and suicidal thoughts.

Alone in 2019, 47,500 Americans perished by suicide. Although there is seldom a single cause for a person’s suicide, over one-third of suicide fatalities have been connected to alcohol consumption.

Alcohol reduces a person’s neural inhibitions and impairs his or her capacity to think rationally. As a result, individuals may be more prone to act on their impulses, including those related to self-injury or suicide.

Additionally, alcohol alters mood, which can increase the likelihood of suicidal ideation. When people are intoxicated, they are more prone to act on suicide ideas as a result of their worsening mood, increased negativity, and decreased self-control.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration further warns that alcohol promotes psychological distress and aggression while lowering cognitive function. Alcohol can occasionally provide individuals with the urge to act on suicidal ideas while diminishing their capacity to use other coping mechanisms.

In addition, alcohol use disorders frequently co-occur with other mental health illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder,  post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), personality disorders, or other substance use disorders.

Many people who commit suicide have a background of both alcohol abuse and depression, according to a number of studies.

In some instances, individuals may seek to self-medicate symptoms of mental illness using alcohol. This co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental health disorders can further increase the risk of suicide.

Individuals frequently use alcohol as self-medication. Whether they struggle with anxiety or some other psychiatric condition, a mood or personality condition, or are coping with a traumatic event, many individuals resort to alcohol to forget their difficulties. Chronic use of this chemical may result in tolerance, dependence, and ultimately addiction.

What has previously been considered a help is now an additional (if not bigger) burden on their lives, negatively impacting relationships, careers, duties, and even the body. Alcoholism has the ability to ruin a person with no prior history of health problems; as a result, those with underlying health disorders who experiment with alcohol as a comfort or coping technique are more likely to commit suicide over time.

Although alcohol might provide some brief comfort from suicidal ideation (suicide thoughts), it really exacerbates the problem tenfold. In most cases, moderate to long-term alcohol misuse increases the frequency and intensity of suicidal thinking, hence increasing the risk of suicide attempts.

Additionally, alcohol misuse typically exacerbates other suicide risk factors. Alcohol, for instance, exacerbates the symptoms of numerous mental health disorders, like borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression, all of which can lead to suicide.

Twenty-two percent of all suicide deaths are related to alcohol abuse. Alcohol use disorders were found to be a major factor among those medically treated after an attempted suicide, with acute alcohol intoxication occurring in 30 to 40 percent of instances.

According to prior studies, suicide by alcohol poisoning or by heavy drinkers may be five times that of moderate or social drinkers, while the suicide risk of those with alcohol dependence or abuse may be ten times that of the general population.

Suicidal ideation and alcoholism are both complex disorders that originate from a wide range of reasons that might vary depending on the individual. In addition to characteristics such as reduced inhibitions and impaired judgment, the potential for alcohol to exacerbate psychological discomfort and violent conduct may raise the likelihood of suicide behavior. Additionally, alcohol can impair cognition, causing individuals to abandon good coping mechanisms.

People with co-occurring mood disorders (especially depressive disorders) and alcohol addiction may have a higher suicide risk than those without mental health concerns, and this risk may increase with age. This is especially true for males of middle age and older.

A meta-analysis of 31 studies examined the association between alcohol use disorder (AUD), the medical name for alcoholism, and suicide. The results demonstrated a correlation between suicidal ideation and AUD, completed suicide, and suicide attempts. The authors conclude that a diagnosis of AUD is a substantial suicide predictor and major cause of early death.

Multiple studies have indicated that more than 80 percent of suicide victims have a history of both alcohol abuse and depression. Doctors believe that excessive alcohol use may be an attempt by some individuals to treat their depression.

Approximately 18 percent of fatal suicides had a background of alcohol dependence, and consuming alcohol regularly will significantly increase the risk of suicide. Suicide rates have been higher among alcoholics, which may explain why the two are linked. To reiterate, depression can be incapacitating in and of itself. Alcohol is also a depressant. This implies that it impairs cognitive function by slowing things down. Intoxicated individuals have poor coordination, may appear more relaxed, have slurred speech, and make poor decisions. When these effects are combined with suicide ideation, depression, or antidepressant medication, the result could be deadly.

In some instances, individuals with depressive symptoms may be less sensitive to the consequences of alcohol. First, they may be emotionally numb or have developed an alcohol tolerance (requiring more alcohol for the desired effect). If a person has a history of using alcohol as a coping mechanism for depression, they may build a tolerance, leading to increasing levels of consumption, which can circle back to the lonely, dark, hopeless sentiments; a never-ending cycle of destruction.

It might be difficult to determine whether someone is contemplating suicide. Among the warning indications that someone is considering suicide are the following:

  • Discusses the desire to die or obvious suicidal tendencies
  • Considers ways to commit suicide, like purchasing a firearm or visiting websites with suicide instructions.
  • Discusses feeling as though there is no hope or purpose to live.
  • Discusses their suffering in agonizing pain that they cannot bear.
  • Saying they are a drag on the community
  • Consumes more alcohol or illicit drugs than usual
  • Behaves irresponsibly, anxiously, or agitatedly
  • Has sleep problems
  • Pulls back from the company of others
  • Shows anger or discusses seeking revenge
  • Has changes in mood

If you suspect that a loved one is contemplating suicide, you must seek immediate assistance.

The manner in which you communicate with someone who is suicidal might also be crucial. If you are thinking about how to assist an alcoholic who is suicidal, consider the following:

  • Ask them directly whether they are considering suicide.
  • Listen without judgment, arguing, or displaying surprise
  • Demonstrate support for the individual and that you are willing to help them.
  • Do not guarantee the confidentiality of your chat.
  • Keep away the means of suicide, like rope, firearms, and car keys, from the individual.

Whether you are seeking treatment for yourself or are worried about a loved one, remember that there are multiple techniques to avoid suicide and end alcohol consumption. In many cases, people who have struggled with both mental health issues and substance abuse have benefited greatly from receiving treatment for both conditions simultaneously.

Based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), particular programs that give assistance and training in life skills have been demonstrated to protect individuals from both substance abuse and suicide. Identification and treatment of alcoholism are essential elements of suicide prevention. Failure to recognize particular alcohol-related problems can increase morbidity and death among individuals at risk for suicide.

Behavioral methods for alcoholism treatment should also include specialized therapy features, such as social skills education and training, goal setting and action planning, and relapse prevention education. Among the evidence-based treatments for alcoholism are:

Brief Interventions: These are short, time-limited strategies in which a counselor provides tailored feedback on your drinking patterns and dangers and assists you in identifying treatment goals in order to develop a plan to stop drinking.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: This type of therapy can be administered alone or in small groups. It tries to assist individuals in recognizing maladaptive or irrational feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that may contribute to problematic drinking practices. The objective is to help people build healthier ideas and coping abilities so they can reduce their drinking behavior or avoid future relapses.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy: This is a short-term therapy designed to boost a person’s motivation to quit drinking. People actually work with a therapist to discuss the advantages and drawbacks of seeking treatment, gain confidence, establish a treatment plan for quitting drinking, and acquire the necessary skills for long-term abstinence.

Marital and Family Counseling: As spouses, friends, and family members are also affected by an alcoholic, it is essential to include them in the therapy program. Counseling for couples and families tries to enhance and heal relationships. It has also been shown to aid with the maintenance of abstinence.

  1. Alcohol and suicide. Alcohol Rehab Guide. Available at:
  2. Are Alcohol & Suicide Linked?: How to help an alcoholic with suicidal thoughts? The Recovery Village Drug and Alcohol Rehab. Available at:
  3. Suicide and alcohol – how to help a suicidal alcoholic. Available at:
  4. What is the connection between alcohol and suicide? Verywell Mind. Available at:



The Balance RehabClinic is a leading provider of luxury addiction and mental health treatment for affluent individuals and their families, offering a blend of innovative science and holistic methods with unparalleled individualised care.


a successful and proven concept focusing on underlying causes


0 Before

Send Admission Request

0 Before

Define Treatment Goals

1 week

Assessments & Detox

1-4 week

Psychological & Holistic Therapy

4 week

Family Therapy

5-8 week


12+ week

Refresher Visit

Dual Diagnosis Insights

latest news & research on Dual Diagnosis


British Psychology Society
Institute de terapia neural
pro mesotherapie
Somatic Experience


Woman & Home
National World
American Banker
Marie Claire
La Nacion
Metro UK
General Anzeiger
Live Science
Mallorca Magazin
Apartment Therapy
Express UK
Manager Magazin
Entrepreneur ME
Khaleej Times
Business Leader
The Guardian
Daily Mail
Mallorca Zeitung
Mirror Uk
The Times
The Standard
The Stylist