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NCJ Number: 201898 Find in a Library
Title: Suicidal Thoughts Among Homeless Alcohol and Other Drug Abusers
Journal: Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly  Volume:21  Issue:2  Dated:2003  Pages:57-74
Author(s): Daniel E. Rodell; Brent B. Benda; Luci Rodell
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined predictors of suicidal thoughts among homeless veterans in a substance abuse program.
Abstract: The authors examined several variables as possible predictors of suicidal thoughts, including the duration of alcohol and other drug abuse, the intensity of alcohol and other drug abuse, attachment to caregivers as a child, early sexual abuse, and whether alcohol and other drug abuse interacts with or amplifies the effects of sexual abuse and attachment on suicidal thoughts. Study participants included 188 homeless male veterans in a substance abuse program. Participants were interviewed on 2 separate days within the first 3 weeks of their arrival at the substance abuse program; they completed the 11-item suicidal thoughts subscale of Hudson’s Multi-Problem Screening Inventory (MPSI) and the Addiction Severity Index (ASI). Results of ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis revealed that early attachments to caregivers had an inverse relationship to suicidal thoughts and sexual abuse before the age of 18 had a positive relationship to suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, attachments and sexual abuse significantly interacted with both intensity and duration of alcohol and other drug abuse to predict suicidal thoughts. All relationships found were consistent with attachment theory. The implications include the fact that the drugs that survivors of sexual abuse use to cope with feelings and memories associated with insecure attachments and sexual abuse actually worsen the effects of early experiences on suicidal thoughts. These findings should be given serious consideration among practitioners who intervene with homeless people who use drugs and alcohol. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Alcoholics; Suicide
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Drug abuse; Homeless persons; Long term health effects of child abuse
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