• No, not everyone who dies by suicide has a drug or alcohol problem.
  • The relationship between drug and alcohol use, mental health and suicidal behaviour is a complex one.
  • We do know that there is sometimes an increase in alcohol and other drug use in the period before a person dies by suicide. Western Australia data from the Coroner’s Database indicates that nearly a third of males and a quarter of females had alcohol and other drug use issues noted in the three months prior to their death. On the other hand, two thirds of males and three quarters of females did not have drug or alcohol issues noted in the three months prior to their deaths. We need to be really careful when we look at statistics and try not to generalise them to everyone.
  • Alcohol and other drugs are sometimes used by people to temporarily feel better when they are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. In the long-term, over-use of alcohol and other drugs can actually make mental health issues worse, which could lead to an increase risk of suicide.