Parents often ignore teen drinking, dismissing it as a rite of passage, but drinking alcohol puts people of all ages at greater risk for suicide.
“As many as 30 percent of those who die by suicide have blood alcohol levels approaching intoxication at the time of their death, so it’s a huge issue,” says McKeon.
Combining alcohol and drugs with depression can be a deadly mix. They can lower your inhibitions and cloud your judgment, especially if you’re already feeling hopeless and having suicidal thoughts.
“If a young person is thinking about taking their life, and they have access to guns or pills, or other lethal methods, that raises their risk significantly,” says Boesky. She advises parents to lock up all alcohol and prescription drugs and to remove weapons from their home. About half of all suicides involve the use of firearms, with males more likely to use them than females.
Throughout their lifespan, males commit suicide four times more frequently than females. However, women of all ages are more likely to attempt suicide.