Text Size

Small Town Bars Linked to Suicide

posted 11:48 PM EST, Tue September 22, 2009
-- filed under: |
Small Town Bars Linked to Suicide © Photo Credit: Darwin Bell

Living in a rural area with a high density of bars and taverns may increase the risks of suicide.

Researchers at the Prevention Research Center took aggregate data from 581 zip codes in California to evaluate for environmental risk factors amongst a population of subjects that had committed or attempted suicide.

The Results:

The researchers found that living in a rural area with a lot of bars is correlated to an increased risk of suicide.

Other findings include:

  • Suicides were more common in zip codes populated with a higher percentage of older white males and less common in areas populated largely by Hispanics and African Americans.
  • Fewer suicides occurred in areas that boasted a higher number of restaurants instead of bars, leading the authors to suggest that something about a community with restaurants is protective against suicide.

Dennis Gorman, Director of the Health Science Center at A&M University commented on the study results, saying that suicides may occur more often in areas with high bar density because, “Rural places with lots of bars might be depressing places to live in due to isolation, lack of social ties, etc. This 'depressing' context would affect all who live there, both drinkers and non-drinkers.”

Gorman recommends avoiding relocating to any area with a higher density of bars, saying, "There are a number of social problems that seem to cluster in places with high alcohol-outlet density, excluding restaurants, whether this is as a result of alcohol consumption or a result of problem-prone individuals being attracted into such areas."

More people, per capita, commit suicide in rural America than in bigger centers. White men are most likely to commit suicide and people with alcohol dependence account for 20% of suicides.

The study results are published in the December 2009 edition of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Helpful Information
Alcohol Addiction - the Straight Facts
Addicted to Alcohol? Learn About Alcoholism & Treatment © Josep Salvia I Bote
The difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction (alcoholism), what puts you at risk of becoming an alcoholic and what to do once you’ve crossed that invisible line to addiction. Read Article
Addictions December 11, 2023
An Alcoholism Progression Timeline
A Timeline Charting the Progressive Nature of Alcoholism © Flannol
Here are 2 facts about alcoholism: It tends to get worse over time (it is progressive) and most people experience a fairly similar progression of symptoms and consequences. Here is a timeline which charts the progressive experiences of alcoholism through the early, middle and late stages. If you have a drinking problem, find out where you fall on the timeline and consider what’s coming in the future. Read Article
Alcoholism July 11, 2013 (18)

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.

Find Treatment
Browse by region »
Scan to call us
using your phone camera app