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Article

Use of Alcohol and Unprescribed Drugs after Suicide Bereavement: Qualitative Study

1
UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, UK
2
UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, Research Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB, UK
3
UCL Research Department of Primary Care & Population Health, Rowland Hill St, London NW3 2PF, UK
4
UCL Division of Psychiatry, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NF, UK
5
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, St Pancras Hospital, London NW1 0PE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4093; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16214093
Received: 29 September 2019 / Revised: 19 October 2019 / Accepted: 21 October 2019 / Published: 24 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention)
Studies describing the impact of suicide bereavement report an excess risk of suicide, suicide attempt, psychiatric illness, and drug and alcohol use disorders compared with the general population. However, the nature of patterns of drug and alcohol use after suicide bereavement is unclear. We used an online survey to collect qualitative data to understand whether and how drug and alcohol use changes after suicide bereavement. We conducted thematic analysis of free-text responses to a question capturing their use of alcohol and drugs after the suicide of a family member or a close friend. Analysing data from 346 adults in Britain aged 18–40, we identified three main themes describing the relationship of suicide bereavement to alcohol or drug use: (1) control over drug or alcohol use, (2) the perceived purpose of using drugs or alcohol, and (3) the attribution of drug or alcohol misuse to external factors. Overlying these themes were dimensions of control and of awareness of potential harms. This study highlights that increased use of drugs and alcohol after suicide bereavement may form part of a bereaved person’s coping strategies, and that sensitive approaches are needed when judging whether and when to intervene. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide; bereavement; grief; alcohol; drug; qualitative research; thematic analysis suicide; bereavement; grief; alcohol; drug; qualitative research; thematic analysis
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    Description: Survey questionnaire
MDPI and ACS Style

Eng, J.; Drabwell, L.; Stevenson, F.; King, M.; Osborn, D.; Pitman, A. Use of Alcohol and Unprescribed Drugs after Suicide Bereavement: Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4093. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16214093

AMA Style

Eng J, Drabwell L, Stevenson F, King M, Osborn D, Pitman A. Use of Alcohol and Unprescribed Drugs after Suicide Bereavement: Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(21):4093. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16214093

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eng, Jessica, Lauren Drabwell, Fiona Stevenson, Michael King, David Osborn, and Alexandra Pitman. 2019. "Use of Alcohol and Unprescribed Drugs after Suicide Bereavement: Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 21: 4093. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16214093

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