Here in the United States, September is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month. The height of this commemoration is National Suicide Prevention Week, which, in 2021 starts on Sunday, September 5, and ends Saturday, September 11. Given the known links between suicide and substance addiction, now is as good a time as any to reflect and seek help, if needed.
As with substance use disorder (SUD), suicidal ideation is something that happens to people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. Many of the same factors that influence the likelihood of a SUD also increase an individual’s risk of taking their own life. Here we’ll explore some of the connections between these two phenomena.
If you need someone to talk to, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255. If you’re interested in learning more about drug and alcohol rehabs in North Texas, you can call our team at Dallas Drug Treatment Centers.
According to the National Institutes of Health, over half of all suicides are linked to some form of SUD.1 About 1 in 4 people with SUD will also attempt suicide. This risk is distinct from that of unintended overdose deaths or deaths from health conditions connected to drug misuse.
Suicide risks initially dipped in the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as people’s collective mental health deteriorated in the face of uncertainty and social isolation, the risk steadily increased to over pre-pandemic levels.2 Even when the pandemic ends, we are likely to see some lasting negative effects on our collective mental health. The rise in problematic drinking and drug use through 2020 and 2021 may already have increased overall suicide rates.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, several different factors can increase the risk a person may commit suicide.3 While these factors may increase one’s risk, they may not necessarily be direct causes.
Individual risk factors include the following:3
Relationship factors that predict an increase in suicide risk include:3
The type of community a person is in also predicts suicide risks. Some of these risks include:3
Societal risks include the following:3
There is a very real link between SUDs, other mental illnesses, and suicide. Thankfully, finding help for SUD and potential co-occurring mental health disorders can effectively reduce one’s suicide risk.
If you or someone close to you has a SUD, it’s important to get help for it right away. Call Dallas Drug Treatment Centers today to discuss your options for dual diagnosis treatment as well as trauma-informed care.