A lethal cocktail–shining a light on the relationship between alcohol use and pesticide self-poisoning

Lisa Schölin*, Jane Brandt Sørensen, Michael Eddleston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Introduction: Alcohol and pesticides are toxic substances that each cause acute and chronic harm to humans. Alcohol plays an important and complex role in pesticide self-poisoning, involving toxicological, public health, and social aspects important for research, prevention, and interventions. Alcohol use disorder and social harms: While the evidence on alcohol co-ingestion in the context of pesticide self-poisoning is limited, it appears that alcohol use increases complications. Even fewer studies address alcohol use disorder and dependence among pesticide self-poisoning patients. The harmful use of alcohol also impacts social life, families, and communities in several ways, including pesticide self-poisoning among individuals around the alcohol user. This, however, is vastly understudied. Outside influences: Agrochemicals and alcohol are produced by industries with financial interests, and the outcome of individual acts of pesticide self-poisoning depends on the lethality of the pesticide purchased and ingested. The promotion of acutely toxic pesticides by companies must be acknowledged within this issue. Conclusion: The relationship between alcohol and pesticide self-poisoning is increasingly clear, but more studies are needed to guide management. We cannot ignore that pesticide self-poisoning and harmful use of alcohol occur within the context of wider, often structural, stressors and are influenced by commercial entities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-583
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Toxicology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • alcohol
  • Pesticides
  • public health
  • self-poisoning
  • suicide


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