Controversy has surrounded the use of antidepressants and suicidal behaviors in youth. This study reviewed the Medical Examiner's Office records of 253 persons aged 24 years or younger classified as suicides in Miami-Dade County, Florida, from 1990 to 2007. Information was collected regarding demographic information, suicidal characteristics, psychiatric and psychosocial factors, and toxicology results. Eighty-five percent of the sample was men, and 53.4% of the subjects were Hispanic. Consistent with previous literature, the existence of antidepressants at autopsy was rare; present in only 6% (n=15) of the victims. The occurrence of antidepressants was not significantly different between Hispanics (n=7) and non-Hispanics (n=8). The incidence of antidepressants was weakly correlated with a tendency to be men and no history of psychiatric illness. The presence of antidepressants in Hispanic youth suicide victims was similar to non-Hispanics.
© 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.