Suicidal ideation, substance use, and sense of coherence in Greek male conscripts

Mil Med. 2003 Jun;168(6):447-50.


This study aimed to estimate the comorbidity of suicidal behavior and substance use in young male conscripts and to analyze the association between personal coping resources and the severity of these behaviors. A total of 1,098 Greek male conscripts participated in this study, completing the Antonovsky's sense of coherence questionnaire and a standard questionnaire concerning their lifetime and current suicidal and substance-use behavior. A proportion of 11.7% and 24%, respectively, had lifetime and current feelings that life is not worth living. The differences between past and current death wishes (8.9% vs. 9.2%), suicidal thoughts (8.3% vs. 7.6%), and suicide attempts (2.4% vs. 2.9%) were not significant. All of the subgroups with suicidal ideation or behavior showed a significantly lower sense of coherence questionnaire score as compared with the whole sample. The comorbidity of past and current suicide thoughts and substance use ranged from 16.4% to 33.3% and 31.4% to 44.2%, respectively, depending on the kind of the substance. Finally, the subjects with past or current substance use had a significantly higher incidence of past or current, respectively, suicidal ideation or behavior, as compared with those without a history of substance use. We suggest the necessity of the early detection of these high-risk behaviors applying closer monitoring and integrated prevention programs.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinking*