Invited Commentary: Stop Analyzing Suicides, Drug-Related Deaths, and Alcohol-Related Deaths Together.
In the accompanying article, Spark et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2023;192(5):720-731) estimate the undercounting of deaths due to suicide, drug use, and alcohol use in a Colorado veteran population and argue for a standardized case definition for the 3 causes of mortality. Use of a case definition for these 3 causes of death combined implies that they should be analyzed together. This is problematic, given the disparate trends in and historical contexts behind these 3 different causes of death.