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  • Writer's pictureTyler Zuccarelli

Suicide and Drug Addiction

Suicide is a heartbreaking issue that, unfortunately, ranks among the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 40,000 people in the United States lose their lives to suicide each year, equating to approximately one person every 13 minutes.

To put this into perspective, more lives are claimed by suicide than by automobile accidents, highlighting the magnitude of this problem. It's also worth noting that for every person who dies by suicide, there are nearly 25 more individuals who attempt it. This staggering statistic paints a grim picture of the number of people grappling with feelings of unhappiness or desperation.

Know That Help is Available

In this challenging landscape, it's crucial to understand that help and hope are readily available. However, taking advantage of these resources often requires individuals to step out of their comfort zones and reach out, a daunting task when faced with the weight of depressive or suicidal thoughts. Suicide poses a real risk to anyone dealing with mental health issues or life's numerous challenges (i.e. relationships, family issues, career, education–to name a few).

Thankfully, professional treatment and personal support can serve as lifelines, capable of not only preventing suicide but also restoring joy and improving one's overall quality of life. Resources such as addiction rehabilitation, therapy, and mental health treatment play a pivotal role in reducing the risk of suicide.

The Dangers of Drug Use

Now, let's delve into the dangers associated with drug use. Not only does drug abuse often lead to various serious health risks, you also start to develop a dependency on the substance. The more you put in your body, the more it will start to need to get the same effects. This is all-to-often the case for many addicts before there drug use turns into a full-blown addiction.

The impact of drug use is severe, with some consequences resulting in fatality or long-term health implications. It's imperative to recognize that suicide is one of the very real and potential outcomes of addiction. Fortunately, these consequences can be avoided through the path of recovery. The earlier someone embarks on this journey, seeking professional help and attention, the safer their future becomes. Many adverse consequences can be averted, and others can even be reversed through comprehensive care, both physically and mentally.

The Relationship Between Suicide and Drug Use

Now, let's explore the intricate relationship between suicide and drug use. These two issues are intertwined because substance use and mental health are closely connected. Addiction is not only categorized as a mental health issue but often intersects with various other mental health concerns. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders are approximately twice as likely to experience a drug use disorder (abuse or dependence). Conversely, those diagnosed with drug disorders are roughly twice as likely to grapple with mood and anxiety disorders.

Feelings of being overwhelmed, depression, and suicidality can affect anyone, and the risk of these thoughts and related actions becomes even more pronounced in the context of drug use. When these feelings are already present, individuals might attempt to self-medicate or escape through drug use, even though this ultimately exacerbates feelings of depression and elevates the risk of suicide. It can seem like an attractive or quick-fix solution when life feels insurmountable.

The Link Between Suicide, Addiction, and Mental Health

Suicide risk is intricately linked to addiction and mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and more. Since each of these factors independently heightens the risk of suicide, when they co-occur, the risk becomes multiplied. SAMHSA emphasizes, "The most critical risk factors for suicide are prior suicide attempts, mood disorders (such as depression), alcohol and drug use, and access to lethal means." In fact, alcohol was a contributing factor in approximately one-third of suicides reported in 16 states in 2008. Additionally, there was a concerning 51% increase in drug-related suicide attempt visits to hospital emergency departments in 2011.

Drug addiction not only increases the risk of suicide but also provides the means and methods for suicide attempts or accidents. However, the crucial point to remember is that treatment serves as a safeguard by restricting access to drugs and providing individuals with the support and tools they need to alter their thought patterns and behaviors. Programs like those offered at LA Valley Recovery comprehensively address both mental and physical health concerns, ensuring that patients leave equipped to lead happy, healthy lives, free from the grip of drugs.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and mental health concerns and would like to explore treatment options, don't hesitate to reach out.

You are not alone.



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