Recovery Awaits You

Speak To A Recovery Advisor

Friday, March 23, 2018

Opioid Overdoses or Suicides?

In the midst of the opioid epidemic, suicide rates have hit a 30-year high – is there a connection?

This was the question posed in a recent NPR article titled “How Many Opioid Overdoses Are Suicidal?” And it’s not the first (or last time) this relationship will be examined. In fact, there are several studies linking drug addiction and suicide. 

One study of nearly 5 million veterans found that diagnoses of opioid use disorders (OUD) led to an increased risk of suicide for both males and females. And women were eight times more likely to be at risk for suicide; men faced a twofold risk. What’s more, researchers found the suicide rate among those with OUD was 86.9/100,000, compared to the already alarming rate of 14/100,000 in the general U.S. population, notes the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Another study of 41,053 participants found that prescription opioid misuse was associated with anywhere between a 40 and 60 percent increased risk for thoughts of suicide, notes the NIDA. And those reporting at least weekly opioid misuse made suicide attempts at a rate 200 percent greater than those unaffected.

While researchers continue to study the link, there are still many unanswered questions. For instance, "no one has answered the chicken and egg [question]," Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, a family physician who runs the Lynn Community Health Center in Mass, told NPR. Is it that patients "have mental health issues that lead to addiction, or did a life of addiction then trigger mental health problems?"

For now, experts like Mahaniah say the best bet is to “provide treatment that covers all those bases." 

Do You Know the Warning Signs of Suicide?
The National Institute of Mental Health recommends seeking help as soon as possible if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following signs:
  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities - seemingly without thinking
  • Feeling trapped - like there's no way out
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and society
  • Feeling anxious, agitated or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes
  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life
Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Complete Harmony
When you're struggling with a mental illness and a substance use disorder, rehabilitation may seem like an impossible journey. Using traditional and holistic therapies, Complete Harmony has a proven history of successfully addressing a dual diagnosis. To learn more, call 866-930-4673

CignaAetnaBlueCross BlueShieldUnited HealthcareMore Options/Verify Benefits

A fulfilling, harmonious life can be yours

Reserve Your Stay