Alcohol consumption has long been established as a risk factor for suicide. However, this is the first time I’ve anyone study the effect of AA participation:
Lead by Dr. Robert Mann, Senior Scientist at CAMH, this study aimed to identify alcohol-related factors that influence suicide mortality rates in Ontario. Researchers examined the impact of: per capita or average consumption of total alcohol; per capita consumption of distilled spirits, beer, and wine; unemployment rates; and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) membership on suicide rates in Ontario between 1968 and 1991. They investigated the impact of these factors on suicide rates for the total population, and for males and females separately.
…Said Dr. Mann, “these results suggest that a 1-litre increase in alcohol consumption led to an increase of 11% to 39% in suicides. This observation is consistent with individual-level studies that show that heavy drinking, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence increase a person’s risk of suicide substantially. Similarly, increasing unemployment rates increased suicide rates as well. However, it was heartening to see that increasing AA membership was related to reduced suicide mortality rates.”