Epidemiological Study of Suicide in Croatia (2004-2009) - Motive Alcohol Dependence

Article excerpt

Abstract

Modern cognitions in the field of criminology have analyzed alcohol as a significant, even decisive factor in extrovert and introvert violent behavior. Introvert manifestation of violence results in a certain number of suicide cases. The statistical data analysis regarding the number of suicides carried out by the Croatian Ministry of the Interior aimed at determining the number of suicides induced by alcohol dependence, its portion in the total number of suicides and regional distribution of the number of suicides committed due to alcohol dependence and acute alcohol intoxication. According to the data on the number of suicides provided by the Ministry of the Interior, there were 4727 suicides in the period from 2004 to 2009; 3529 were committed in the continental part of the country and 1198 in the Mediterranean part. In the same period there were 294 suicides induced by alcohol dependence in the continental part of the country and 25 in the Mediterranean part. The average number of suicides in the Mediterranean part of Croatia was lower (4.17 suicides per annum) in comparison to the continental part of Croatia (49 suicides per annum). As far as other non-determined motives of committing suicide are concerned, the research showed significant differences in gender at the expense of men and a significantly higher percentage of married persons committing suicide. The ratio of suicides committed due to alcohol dependence in the continental part of Croatia compared to the one in the Mediterranean part is smaller than the ratio of the total number of suicides committed in the continental part of Croatia compared to the suicide rate in the Mediterranean Croatia. In the whole country there is a tendency towards a decrease in the number of suicides motivated by alcoholism, but there is also a statistically significant increase in the number of suicides motivated by alcoholism in the Mediterranean Croatia.

Keywords : Croatia; suicide; suicide motive; alcohol dependence; socio-demographic characteristics

INTRODUCTION

Very often motives for suicide can be guessed or determined by probabilities resulting from the collected data, determined facts and medical documentation. Amotive is considered the one that, besides internal and external factors affecting the decision of committing suicide, was decisive in the moment of suicide commitment. Alcohol dependence and alcohol intoxication are significant risk factors for suicidal behavior. However, the relationship between alcohol dependence, acute alcohol intoxication and suicide is not entirely clear. But one is convincing: acute intoxication conditions reduce an individual's self-control activating thus the already existing suicidal tendencies. The connection between alcohol abuse and suicide has been confirmed by a number of epidemiologic and psychiatric studies.1

Suicide rate depends on a great number of interfering factors of dependence, disease, socio-demographic characteristics and geographical area. However, recent studies of suicide in Croatia have shown that the distribution of suicides is mostly connected to the geographical position of the region. So, the suicide rate is lower in the Mediterranean part of the country than in the continental part.

Suicide rate research includes all characteristics of suicide, socio-demographic data and the regional distribution of suicides. The authors analyzed the rates of suicide committed due to alcohol dependence and acute alcohol intoxication according to previously determined parameters. The initial research hypothesis starts from the fact that the rate of all suicides in the Mediterranean part of the country is several-fold lower than the rate in the continental part, so, as a result, the rate of suicide committed because of alcohol dependence and acute alcohol intoxication should follow, with small deviations, the rates of the regional distribution of the total suicide rates.

Subjects and methods

The Ministry of the Interior and the Croatian Bureau of Statistics register the data on the number of suicides in Croatia. …