The addictive soul is a sad and tricky thing. When a loved one is dependent on drugs or alcohol the condition creates a lot of anxiety and fear. The foreground of those worries is the potential for life-threatening accidents or overdoses. However, an additional prevalent and all-too familiar problem associated with addiction is the possibility of suicide. Despite the fact that suicide is a well- acknowledged risk among people with mental health disorders, analyses has also shown suicide shares a precarious and undeniable link with the disease of addiction.
While depression and other mood syndromes are the number one risk factor for suicide, alcohol and drug abuse – even devoid of depression – are rated a close second. According to SAMHSA, suicide kills more than 39,000 a year in the United States; this comes out to roughly 108 per day. Further data from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) expose suicide as the 10th primary reason for death in the United States , with addicts six times more probable to take their own lives. Research has revealed that the clearest predictor of suicide is not psychiatric diagnosis, but alcoholism. Addiction not simply increases the probability that a person will take their own life; the disorder itself is a method of suicide. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in three people who die from suicide are under the influence of drugs, stereotypically opiates and/or alcohol. Poisoning is the third-leading manner used in suicide deaths, and drugs make up 75% of suicide deaths caused by poisoning.
News of Robin Williams’s suicide has sited the link between depression and addiction in the spotlight. In the past, the actor spoke openly about his struggles with clinical depression and addiction, alongside with his ongoing treatment efforts. With addicts that have a degree of depression that is three or four times higher than the overall public, treatment for both disorders is essential. If you only treat the depression without treating the chemical enslavement, you won’t be successful in treating either. The National Institute on Health found that 1/3rd of the people who die from suicide have a substance abuse disorder, along with a diagnosable mental health disorder. The analysis also uncovered that alcoholic men have rates of depression three times higher than the conventional public. Alcoholic women have a rate four times higher.
Substance abuse problems interpose to suicidal behavior in various ways. The danger of alcoholics ultimately committing suicide is over five times more than that of non-alcoholics. In fact, alcoholism is directly linked to nearly half of all suicides. Furthermore, when intoxicated or suffering withdrawal, addicts become more reckless, making them more prone to attempt suicide and less likely to ask for help when they’ve made a decision to commit the act.
The good news to all of this (it’s about time…) is that there are a number of effective prevention efforts that reduce the risk for substance abuse in younger people and there are applicable treatments for alcohol and substance abuse problems. There is current research being done for those explicitly with substance abuse struggles who are suicidal or who have tried suicide in the past.
There are steps that you can take if you or a loved one are in this condition. If someone is threatening, talking about or making specific plans for suicide, it’s a situation that necessitates immediate attention: Do not leave the person alone or postpone seeking help.
Remove any weapons, drugs or sharp objects that may be used for self-harm.
Take your loved one to a psychiatric hospital or emergency room.