If a loved one becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol there are many concerns that become applicable such as overdose, long-term health complications and mental health instability. The high rate of suicide among addicts is a growing concern. Suicide and addiction are common due to the nature of many addictive drugs which cause depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and with statistics showing that addicts are six times more likely to commit suicide, addiction and suicide is a real concern. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reported that more than 50 percent of suicides are associated with drug and alcohol dependence and as many as 25% of drug addicts and alcoholics commit suicide. Not only does substance addiction increase the risk of suicidal behavior but it is also used as a way to commit the act.
There are several reasons that can cause suicidal behavior in substance addicts. A person using drugs and alcohol as a means to self-medicate may eventually become suicidal due to the ineffective treatment that drugs and alcohol have on treating mental disorders such as depression. During the “high” of the substance, the person may feel better but shortly after the effects wear off, the symptoms of depression or other mental illnesses can become greater. When stressful situations occur such as divorce or relapse, the person can feel hopeless and turn to suicide as a solution to their problems.
Sedative and alcohol abuse can also be the trigger to depression forming. In this case, the person is at greater risk of suicide due to the depression. Not thinking clearly and making bad choices while affected by drugs and alcohol can cause an individual to become involved in risky behavior, including suicidal behavior. Another reason for suicide in addiction cases can be that an infectious disease such as HIV/AIDS was contracted due to risky behavior causing the person to become depressed with their disposition and looking to suicide as an answer when their motivation and hope wanes. Alcohol and drug addiction is a leading factor in suicidal behavior and suicide according to the NCBI.
One of the most concerning facts as documented by the New York Times is the rising rate of suicide through drug overdose in the white male population. White males between the ages of 25 to 34 are 5 times as high in 2014 as it was in 1999. The white male population aged between 35 and 44 also tripled in that same time period.
The Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology reported that in 2014, people addicted to psychotropic drugs such as cocaine were up to six times more likely to commit suicide. If they have previously been in treatment such as a psychiatric hospital, they are 44 times more at risk of suicide.
Antidepressant medication abuse can also cause a person to become twice as likely to kill themselves according to the Department of Health and Human Services in 2013. This was shown in a study done with nine different antidepressant medications in a placebo-controlled trial.
Opiate and alcohol abuse is a concern with suicide as people with PTSD often use them and other mental disorder which have a high risk of suicide. New research shows that opiate and alcohol addicts are more at risk of suicide than previously thought. They can be more impulsive than others can be and are more likely to take a large amount of drugs in order to overdose than the average person is.
Rehab centers for substance addiction across the U.S. are ready to help those that fear suicide in themselves or their loved ones who are involved with drug and alcohol addiction or abuse. Find the information you need to fight addiction and suicide and get on the road to recovery.
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