The present study examines a population of criminal justice clients for suspected substance-related problems.
It aims to identify variables associated with a history of suicide attempt (SA).
6,836 clients were interviewed with the Addiction Severity Index (ASI). Attempters were compared to nonattempters regarding substance use, medical/psychiatric status, family history, and social relationships in a stepwise forward logistic regression.
Attempters (21%) were more likely to report binge drinking, intake of illicit drugs, injection of drugs, physical and mental illness, problematic family history, and history of being abused. After logistic regression, SA was independently associated with older age, female gender, binge drinking, delirium tremens, injection, overdose, medical problems, psychiatric symptoms, family history of alcohol or psychiatric problems, and sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. The psychiatric and family/social domains (including being abused) most strongly separated attempters from nonattempters.
Family background factors, psychiatric symptoms, severity of substance use, and sexual, physical, and emotional abuse appear to be factors associated with SA among criminal justice clients.