Posted on September 11, 2020 by Origins Behavioral HealthCare
In 2018, over 48,000 people committed suicide, making it a leading cause of death with incidences more than doubling the number of homicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people age 10 to 34, and the fourth leading cause of death ages 35-54.
In 2013, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported approximately 22% of deaths by suicide involved alcohol intoxication with a blood-alcohol content at or above the legal limit, while 30-40% of suicide attempts involved acute alcohol intoxication. Opiates were present in 20% of suicide deaths.
And the numbers linking suicide to opioid misuse continue to rise. A 2017 study by Ashrafioun et al. found that people who misused prescription opioids were 40-60% more likely to have suicidal ideation, and people with an opioid use disorder were twice as likely to attempt suicide.
Additionally, we know those suffering from substance use disorders also frequently have co-occurring conditions such as mood or anxiety disorders or suffer from untreated trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All of these factors are associated with increased suicide risk.
And the reverse is also true.
According to SAMHSA, in 2015, 2.7 million adults reported having a suicide plan, and 1.1 million people reported a suicide attempt.
Risk factors for suicide vary widely from mental health disorders and substance use disorders to environmental factors like bullying. Significant life events, loss of a loved one or job, and historical elements like a family history of suicide may also increase the risk of suicide.
If you or a loved one are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential support 24/7.
The Lifeline website also provides prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones and best practices for professionals. Visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information.