Don’t Drink and Die

Peoria Alcohol Related Issues

Suicide is a topic most people do not enjoy discussing. A death of a loved one, or the thoughts of suicide, can be a crippling event. Most people will have suicidal thoughts at one time or another in their life. This is normal and if the thoughts are short lived and no plan to commit suicide is developed then most likely the person is going to be fine. To give you and your loved ones a greater chance to avoid the horrible outcome of suicide it is important alcohol and marijuana be avoided and discontinued immediately.

The main mental health diagnosis’ that people assume suicide occurs often are: PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Personality Disorder. These illnesses do carry a higher rate of suicide than other diagnosis but the good news is the rate is roughly 3-5%. A person suffering from PTSD or Major Depressive Disorder commits suicide at a rate of 5% of all people who commit suicide. When either alcohol or marijuana is brought into the mix the 5% rate of suicide jumps to an alarming, and terrifying, 95%!. So to put that into perspective if you take a sample of 100 people who suffer from severe PTSD and this sample does not consume alcohol or smoke marijuana, maybe 3-5 of them will attempt suicide. In a sample of 100 people with the same diagnosis who do consume alcohol or smoke cannabis the chances are 95 of them will attempt suicide. It doesn’t have to be both marijuana and alcohol, it could be one or the other. 

The question then turns to why does this happen? Marijuana and Alcohol break down the emotional defense mechanisms in your brain. The two substances take away inhibitions that your sober self would have. Also marijuana and alcohol make what feels unnatural natural. Since suicide is the most unnatural act a person can commit and it goes against every survival instinct we have; marijuana and alcohol are a direct threat to our survival. Sometimes a person can be depressed on a low level and they’re defense mechanisms are holding that depression down but when alcohol comes into the system, and breaks down that defense mechanism, bad things can happen. It’s possible for someone to become intoxicated and commit suicide without even knowing that they are depressed. 

Once again, alcohol and marijuana force the brain to drop inhibitions and survival skills. I encourage anyone who may have the slightest form of depression or anxiety to immediately stop consuming these substances. Or if you are currently having any suicidal thoughts I beg of you to discontinue both of these substances immediately. These substances are not the cure for uncomfortable emotions and potentially will produce uncontrolled, life altering catastrophic events.

For more information please contact Paul Schellenberg, LLC, Nationally certified EMDR Therapist.  Call: 309 696-0267, E-mail:

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