1 in 100 deaths a re­sult of sui­cide: Al­co­hol, co­caine con­tribut­ing fac­tors – Joe Cas­sar

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Binge-drink­ing and co­caine are con­tribut­ing fac­tors in the rise in the num­ber of peo­ple who com­mit sui­cide, psy­chi­a­trist Joe Cas­sar said.

In­ter­viewed by The Malta In­de­pen­dent online ed­i­tor Stephen Calleja on IN­DEPTH, Dr Cas­sar said that al­co­hol re­duces a per­son’s in­hi­bi­tions, and peo­ple tend to do things they nor­mally wouldn’t. Un­for­tu­nately, some take the ex­treme mea­sure of com­mit­ting sui­cide.

There have been 350 sui­cides in Malta in the last 12 years, an av­er­age of one ev­ery two weeks. Of each 100 deaths reg­is­tered in Malta, one is a sui­cide. Dr Cas­sar was in­ter­viewed in the wake of an in­ter­na­tional cam­paign to raise aware­ness on men­tal health is­sues.

Ef­fects of al­co­hol use, es­pe­cially in cases of binge-drink­ing, do not go away once the hang­over passes. They have a more last­ing ef­fect on peo­ple, Dr Cas­sar said. Al­co­hol is a de­pres­so­genic agent (it leads to de­pres­sion), and de­pres­sion is one of the ma­jor causes of sui­cide.

The same goes for co­caine, Dr Cas­sar said. There is a grow­ing use of co­caine in Malta, even among the high and mid­dle classes, and once the ef­fect of the drug passes it is fol­lowed by what is known as co­caine crash- ing, which causes se­vere de­pres­sion. It is no sur­prise that peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­ence co­caine crash­ing have sui­ci­dal ten­den­cies in the sec­ond 24 hours af­ter con­sum­ing the drug.

In­depth will be up­loaded on www.in­de­pen­dent.com.mt today

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