Examining the Associations Between Substance Misuse and Suicide Bereavement

William Feigelman, Julie Cerel, Nina Gutin, John L. McIntosh, Bernard S. Gorman, Jamison S. Bottomley, Alice Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Focusing on the understudied question of substance misuse among suicide bereaved adults we investigated patterns of binge drinking and non-prescribed drug use among a recently bereaved sample (n = 1,132). Comparing our respondents to the non-bereaved, those in the 2022 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (n = 71,369), we did not find heightened problematical substance misuses among our respondents. With t-tests and multiple regression analyses we examined whether binge drinkers and non-prescribed drug users had heightened levels of grief difficulties, PTSD, self-blaming and depression compared to others not bingeing or using non-prescribed drugs. Results showed binge drinkers had more of all these grieving problems when important confounding variables were also considered. Analysis of the demographic correlates of bingeing showed them dimly aware of their own additional grieving and substance misusing problems. Since 75% indicated being under the care of counseling professionals, this represents an important opportunity for psycho-educational helping.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOmega (United States)
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • binge drinking
  • grief problems
  • substance misuse
  • suicide bereaved

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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