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Trends in deliberate self-poisoning and self-injury in the Oxford area have been monitored between 1972 and 1980 by examination of data on all referrals to the general hospital in Oxford. The incidence of self-poisoning and self-injury in Oxford City increased between 1972 and 1978, although far more slowly than in previous years, and then flattened out in the late 1970's. The highest incidence for females during the period under review was found in age group 15-24 years and for males in age group 25-34 years. The numbers of young adolescents being referred have increased recently. Overall annual rates of repetition remained very stable until 1978 but showed a decline in 1979. Self-poisoning with non-opiate analgesics became more common during the study period; this was entirely due to the increased use of paracetamol. There was a small decline in the use of minor tranquillisers and sedatives in self-poisoning during the last 2 years of the study. The use of alcohol in association with attempts was more common among males than females. Similarly, higher rates of alcoholism, drug addiction and epilepsy were found in male subjects. © 1982 Springer-Verlag.

Original publication




Journal article


Social Psychiatry

Publication Date





175 - 179