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June 1986

San Diego Suicide Study: I. Young vs Old Subjects

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of California at San Diego (Drs Rich, Young, and Fowler), and the San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center (Dr Rich).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(6):577-582. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800060071009

• The suicide rate among people under 30 years of age has nearly tripled in the past several decades. We compared 133 suicides under the age of 30 years with 150 aged 30 years and over. After gathering and reviewing extensive clinical information and postmortem toxicologic data, we assigned diagnoses using DSM-III criteria. A major diagnostic finding was the occurrence of more drug abuse than had been previously reported, significantly more often in the young people. Few other differences were found either between our total sample and previous studies or between our younger and older groups. We conclude that a closer look at the young group is necessary to see what other differences might occur between the drug abusers and other young suicides.