FREQUENCY OF SUICIDE ATTEMPTS BY INGESTION OF DRUGS SEEN AT A TERTIARY CARE PEDIATRIC HOSPITAL IN MEXICO

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Hugo Juárez Olguín
Lina Barrañco Garduño
Janett Flores Pérez
Mario Acosta Bastida
Carmen Flores-Pérez

Keywords

Suicide attempt, intentional intoxication, children, adolescence, drug ingestion, suicidal behavior

Abstract

Suicide is a complex behavior with biological, psychological and social causes. It has predisposing family factors such as domestic violence, psychiatric disorders and parents’ alcohol abuse. Suicides have increased in children and adolescents in the last decade and it is now the third leading cause of death. Mexico has the second highest mortality rate in adolescents between 10-14 years old, of which 21.9 % are suicides. This study aimed to determine the frequency of suicide attempts using drugs in children and adolescents in a tertiary care hospital and to identify the causes. A retrospective and descriptive study was performed considering socioeconomic, cultural and biological issues related to suicide attempts using drugs in children and adolescents who were treated at the National Institute of Pediatrics from January 1995 to March 2005. A total of 141 drug intoxication cases were detected including 47 suicide attempts; 25 girls and 22 boys, with a median of 13 years of age. The most frequently used drug classes were analgesics 21 of 47 cases and antidepressants 11 of 47 cases. Risk factors were parents’ divorce and family dysfunction in 16 of 47 cases of the population. Suicidal behavior in children and adolescents can be attention seeking, as well as an alarm signal asking for help. Analgesics and antidepressants are the most commonly used drugs in suicide attempts.

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