After the drinking stops: Completed suicide in individuals with remitted alcohol use disorders

Kenneth R. Conner, Paul R. Doberstein, Yeates Conwell, John H. Herrmann, Christopher Cox, Dorrie Susan Barrington, Eric D. Caine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A substantial minority of suicide victims have remitted alcohol use disorders. The authors hypothesized that psychiatric disorders are likely to be present in this group to create the necessary conditions for suicide. They compared suicide victims with active alcohol use disorders and those with remitted alcohol use disorders. Using data on a community sample of suicide victims (N = 141), it was determined that 39% (N = 55) had a history of alcohol misuse. These subjects were categorized by alcohol use disorder status (remitted versus active) and by age (<50, ≥50), creating four cells: younger remitted (N = 8), older remitted (N = 9), younger active (N = 22), and older active (N = 16) alcohol misusers. Results comparing proportions of DSM-111-R Axis I disorders in the four groups indicated that suicide victims with remitted alcohol use disorders were predominantly younger victims with psychotic disorders or older victims with major depression. These findings have implications for identifying those at risk for suicide even after the cessation of alcohol misuse. Case examples of suicide victims with remitted alcohol use disorders—a younger woman victim with a psychotic disorder and an older man with major depression—are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of psychoactive drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcoholism
  • Remitted alcoholism
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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