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Suicidal and self-injurious behavior among patients with alcohol and drug abuse

Authors Sharqi, Sherra, AlHabeeb, Qureshi N

Received 11 May 2011

Accepted for publication 23 May 2012

Published 24 July 2012 Volume 2012:3(1) Pages 91—99


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Abdullah Mohammed Al-Sharqi,1 Khaled Saad Sherra,2 Abdulhameed Abdullah Al-Habeeb,3 Naseem Akhtar Qureshi3,4

Private Clinic, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Psychiatric Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Egypt; 3General Administration for Mental Health and Social Services, 4General Directorate of Research and Studies, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Background: Self-injurious behavior, a major public health problem globally, is linked with alcohol and drug abuse. This cross-sectional study aimed to identify the prevalence and correlates of self-harming behavior in patients with alcohol or drug abuse problems.
Methods: This was a one-year study that recruited a convenience sample of 736 outpatients and inpatients identified with alcohol or drug abuse, and was conducted at Al-Amal mental health hospitals in three major cities. All consecutively selected patients were interviewed on five working days for data collection on a semistructured sociodemographic form using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale Risk Assessment version.
Results: In addition to the socioclinical profile revealed, 50.7% of respondents reported any suicidal ideation, while 6.9% reported self-injurious behavior without intent to die. Any suicidal and self-injurious behavior was reported by 13.1% of participants. A total of 71.3% of respondents reported any recent negative activating events. In addition to any treatment history, observed correlates were hopelessness (60.7%), perceived burden on family (29.5%), refusing a safety plan (26.1%), and sexual abuse (11%). Conversely, reasons for living (64.9%), fear of death or dying due to pain and suffering (64.3%), and spirituality (92%) were largely endorsed as protective factors. There were multiple significant odds ratios (P ≤ 0.01) revealed when independent socioclinical variables were compared with dependent variables in terms of suspected risk and protective factors. In an adjusted logistic regression model, none of the independent variables contributed significantly to any suicidal and self-injurious behavior, any suicidal ideation, or protection from them (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Our preliminary results suggest that there are some socioclinical correlates of any suicide ideation, suicidal and self-injurious behavior, and protection from risky behavior, but which of them contributes significantly to the risk and protective dimensions is yet to be elucidated in prospective community-based studies with larger and more diverse samples.

Keywords: self-injurious behavior, suicidal ideation, risk factors, protective factors, alcohol, drug, abuse

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