Indian Journal of Private Psychiatry

Register      Login

VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 1 ( January-June, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Suicide Attempt by Toothbrush Consumption in a Polysubstance-dependent Person

Sarthak Kamath, Shreekara Adiga

Keywords : Polysubstance dependence, Suicide, Toothbrushes

Citation Information : Kamath S, Adiga S. Suicide Attempt by Toothbrush Consumption in a Polysubstance-dependent Person. Ind J Priv Psychiatry 2022; 16 (1):46-47.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10067-0107

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 16-03-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Aim: To report a case of suicidal attempt by toothbrush consumption in a polysubstance-dependent person. Background: Substance dependence is a common psychiatric illness. Tobacco and alcohol are the most commonly abused drugs. Polysubstance dependence has the highest prevalence in 18–29-year-old people at 13%. Suicide is one of the most dangerous consequences and is more than ten times the rate in the general population. Case description: We present a case of a 19-year-old unemployed male patient from Bengaluru who is dependent on tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine with heroin use in a harmful use pattern. He attempted on life by consuming four toothbrushes for which surgical intervention was done and they were removed successfully. In addition, he had substance-induced psychosis and possibility of antisocial personality disorder. We applied the alcohol, smoking and substance involvement screening test (ASSIST) scale, which showed a moderate risk of a health problem with tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine. Conclusion: This is a unique method of a suicide attempt by consuming four toothbrushes in a substance-dependent person. Clinical implications: Polysubstance dependence is frequently complicated by suicide attempts. Our case report shows that even apparently harmless objects like toothbrushes could be used to attempt on life. Hence, it is imperative to keep such patients with suicidal risk under 24-hour supervision to prevent complications.

  1. Connor J, Gullo M, White A, et al. Polysubstance Use. Curr Opin Psychiatry 2014;27(4):269–275. DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000069.
  2. Murthy R. National Mental Health Survey of India 2015–2016. Indian J Psychiatry 2017;59(1):21. DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_102_17.
  3. Pereira-Morales A, Adan A, Camargo A, et al. Substance Use and Suicide Risk in a Sample of Young Colombian Adults: An Exploration of Psychosocial Factors. Am J Addict 2017;26(4):388–394. DOI: 10.1111/ajad.12552.
  4. Polimanti R, Levey D, Pathak G, et al. Complex Multi-Environment Gene Interactions at the Basis of the Interplay Between Polysubstance Abuse and Suicide Behaviors. Biological Psychiatry [Internet]. 2020 [cited 15 November 2021];87(9):S155. Available from:
  5. Armoon B, SoleimanvandiAzar N, Fleury M, et al. Prevalence, Sociodemographic Variables, Mental Health Condition, and Type of Drug Use Associated with Suicide Behaviors among People with Substance Use Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Addict Dis 2021;39(4):550–569. DOI: 10.1080/10550887.2021.1912572.
  6. Humeniuk R, Henry-Edwards S, Ali R, et al. The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) Manual for Use in Primary Care. World Health Organization; 2010.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.