Year: 2007 Source: Primary Psychiatry, v.14, no.11, (November 2007), p.63-70 SIEC No: 20101208

This article reviews the literature on the toxicology of suicide. Although toxicologic investigations are considered an integral part of medical-forensic investigations in individual cases of suicide, very few American states require comprehensive toxicology on all suicide victims. Instead, subjective determinations for toxicologic testing based on local policy & individual coroner or medical examiner preference are common practices. Systematic routine toxicologic monitoring in all suicides may serve as “ex vivo” markers of treatment rate & substance abuse patterns in suicides. The potential of such markers are noted in studies that evaluate risk factors of suicide, including the effects on suicide rates of changing prescription rates of psychotropic medications. (76 refs.) JA