AddictologyIssue 3/2022
Scientific article
Publication Date
Published by / Citation
Muneer, A., Abdemaqsoud, S. H., Foad, W., & Zidan, M. (2022). Epidemiological study of suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour among patients with substance use disorders in a rehabilitation and treatment centre for addiction in Dubai. Adiktologie, 22(3), 172–183.
Partner Organisation
United Arab Emirates
mental health

Epidemiological Study of Suicidal Ideation and Suicidal Behaviour Among Patients with Substance Use Disorders in a Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre for Addiction in Dubai

BACKGROUND: Suicide is considered a severe global phenomenon as near to 700,000 people die annually as a result of suicidal behaviours. Suicide is a major public health problem among patients with a substance use disorder.

AIM: To determine the prevalence of suicidal ideation/behaviours and to investigate the factors associated with this problem among a selected sample of patients with a substance use disorder (SUD) in a specialised centre for treatment and rehabilitation for addiction in Dubai.

METHODS: An observational cross-sectional study design was used to collect data from the target population between May and August 2021 (n = 103), using a structured face-to-face interview questionnaire which included Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9).

RESULTS: This study revealed that the positive/acute suicide risk was 44.7% and the most common risk factors for suicide as reported by the participants were the presence of a legal problem, the presence of a significant financial crisis, and the recent death of a family member or close friend (63.7%, 50%, and 41.2% respectively). More than half of the patients currently using methamphetamine and amphetamine (51.9% and 51.1%) had a positive suicide risk, compared to half of the patients who reported using alcohol and opioids (50% each). Finally, a positive association between depression and the risk of suicide was found, with a highly statistically significant difference between the severity of depression and the risk of suicide (χ2 = 22.928, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest a crucial need to adopt standardised evidence-based risk assessment, interventions, and further research that target the epidemiology of suicide and its risk factors. 

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