Drink and drugs fuel Scottish suicide and homicide rates
Jun 16, 2008 - 3:59:37 AM

Alcohol and drug misuse mean Scots are almost twice as likely to kill or take their own life compared to people living in England and Wales, research published today (Monday, June 16) reveals.

The findings by The University of Manchester's National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCI) also show that the number of mental health patients committing homicide or suicide was proportionately much higher in Scotland.

The 'Lessons for Mental Health Care in Scotland' report, commissioned by the Scottish Government, blames these higher death rates north of the border on alcohol and drug consumption, both in the general population and among mental health patients.

The NCI examined all suicides and homicides in the general population in Scotland, as well as those committed by people who had sought help from mental health services, and compared them to its findings for England and Wales.

Suicide rates in Scotland equated to 18.7 per 100,000 of the population, compared to 10.2 per 100,000 in England and Wales, while homicide rates north of the border were 2.12 per 100,000 people compared to 1.23 per 100,000 in England and Wales. The north-south divide was highest among teenagers, the report found.

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