Substance Use and Suicidal Behaviors Among Young Adults

32 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2002 Last revised: 30 Jul 2021

See all articles by Sara Markowitz

Sara Markowitz

Emory University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Pinka Chatterji

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dhaval Dave

Bentley University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - NY Office

Date Written: February 2002

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the causal impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on suicidal behaviors among college students. Every year, more American youth die from suicide than from all leading natural causes of death combined. Substance use has been identified as a leading risk factor in suicidal behaviors. We use instrumental variables to estimate a structural model of suicidal thoughts and attempts. A reduced form equation is also estimated which directly relates the determinants of alcohol and drug use to suicidal behaviors. Data come from the Core Institute's Alcohol and Drug Surveys of College Students. The results are consistent with a causal mechanism from alcohol and illicit drug consumption to suicide thoughts and attempts.

Suggested Citation

Markowitz, Sara and Chatterji, Pinka and Kaestner, Robert and Dave, Dhaval, Substance Use and Suicidal Behaviors Among Young Adults (February 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w8810, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=302571

Sara Markowitz (Contact Author)

Emory University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Pinka Chatterji

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago ( email )

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Dhaval Dave

Bentley University - Department of Economics ( email )

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