May 2, 2016
A Serious Link: Substance Use and Suicide
Suicide is a serious and preventable public health problem in the United States. Collaboration among prevention professionals across behavioral health fields has the potential to reduce suicide rates. While multiple factors influence suicidal behaviors, substance use – especially alcohol use—is a significant factor that is linked to a substantial number of suicides and suicide attempts. This “”nexus” between substance use and suicide provides an opportunity for behavioral health providers working within a public health framework to reduce suicidal behaviors and suicide rates.
How Prevalent Is Substance Use and Suicide?
In 2013, there were more than 41,000 deaths as a result of suicide in the U.S. (CDC, 2015). Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death, claiming more lives each year than death due to motor vehicle crashes. It is the second leading cause of death for young people age 10 to 24, as well as for those age 25 to 42 (CDC, 2015).
Knowing the facts and being aware of the warning signs of addiction and suicide risk are important steps to reducing suicide rates. Below are some helpful resources.
For behavioral health and prevention providers, SAMHSA Brief: Substance Use and Suicide: A Nexus Requiring a Public Health Approach.
CLM’s Emergency Services can be reached 24/7 at 603-434-1577, option 1.