September 5–September 11 is suicide prevention week. September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Many of you, may not know that suicide is the leading cause of death among people who abuse alcohol and drugs. Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2013 and ranked higher with individuals between ages 15-54. Compared to the general population, individuals that are treated for alcohol abuse and dependence are at a 10% greater risk to eventually die from suicide. People who inject drugs are at a 14% greater risk of eventually completing suicide. Individuals who have been diagnosed with Substance Abuse Disorders are at greater risk for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts . Additionally, sadness, despair and depression are prevalent among alcoholic and addicts and most research suggests that the rate of depressive disorder is 2-4 times higher among addicts and alcoholics than the general population.
There are many risk factors but it is generally agreed upon that the combination of addiction and depression can be particularly lethal.
Other risk factors for suicide are:
- A prior history of an attempt
- A family history of suicide
- Severe substance use
- Co-occurring disorders
- Childhood abuse
- Stressful life circumstances
- Inflexible personality characteristics
- Absence of resources or living alone
- Current serious illness
- The greater the stress the greater the risk
- Sexual orientation
- Means (access to firearms, pills, etc)
- Warning signs for potential suicide include:
Warning signs for potential suicide include:
- Threatening or talking about suicide
- Seeking access to a means (trying to obtain firearms or pills)
- Making preparations (talking or writing about death when these actions are out of the ordinary)
- Stressful life events
- Experience of trauma
- Legal events
- Job loss or job problems
- Financial crisis
Remember that a suicidal crisis can be overcome as acute suicidality is a transient state. Getting the appropriate treatment is especially important. Please call New Bridge Foundation at (866) 772-8491 for more information on treatment options for drug and alcohol dependency.