You are being redirected because this document is part of your ASTM Compass® subscription.
    This document is part of your ASTM Compass® subscription.

    Volume 34, Issue 1 (January 1989)

    Suicide by Intravenous Injection of Cocaine. A Report of Three Cases

    (Received 15 March 1988; accepted 28 April 1988)


      Format Pages Price  
    PDF (352K) 5 $25   ADD TO CART

    Cite this document

    X Add email address send
      .RIS For RefWorks, EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zoteo, and many others.   .DOCX For Microsoft Word


    Death as a consequence of cocaine abuse is continuing to increase in all parts of the United States. Cocaine use may cause the development of psychosis, with subsequent expression of suicidal ideations, and potentially even successful suicide. Cocaine dependence may also cause depression in the individual who is unable to control his or her craving for the drug, and suicide may be perceived as the only solution to a desperate problem. Despite the dramatic escalation of cocaine abuse and the potential toxicity of this drug, there have been no reports within the United States of cocaine being used as the agent to accomplish a suicide. Herewith are reported three cases in which depression and desperation over cocaine dependence were the motivations for successful suicide, which was accomplished through the intravenous injection of cocaine to the point of death. True cocaine suicide is probably only identified through the presence of objective scene information that unequivocally proves suicidal intent, such as notes or letters which contain information to this effect. A careful search of the scene of death in cocaine fatalities is mandatory, and diligent application of routine scene investigation principles may reveal that suicide through the use of cocaine is more widespread than first appearances would suggest.

    Author Information:

    Sweeney, ES
    Chief medical investigator for the State of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

    Sperry, K
    Assistant professor of pathology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Office of the Medical Investigator for the State of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

    Stock #: JFS12629J


    DOI: 10.1520/JFS12629J

    Title Suicide by Intravenous Injection of Cocaine. A Report of Three Cases
    Symposium ,
    Committee E30