Substance Use and Suicide Risk: Understanding the Connection and Finding Hope

Substance use and suicide are deeply intertwined, with one significantly elevating the risk of the other. It’s a concerning reality that demands attention and understanding. 

Understanding the Statistics

The statistics surrounding substance use and suicide are staggering, shedding light on the magnitude of the issue:

  • Over 50% of suicides are associated with drug and alcohol use.
  • At least 25% of people with alcohol or drug dependence commit suicide.
  • More than 70% of adolescent suicides are associated with drug and alcohol use.
  • The risk of suicide is significantly higher for individuals with substance dependence, with rates being 7.9 times higher for men and 16.7 times higher for women compared to those without substance dependence.
  • Alcohol and opioids are the most common substances identified in suicide decedents, with alcohol accounting for 22% and opioids for 20%.
  • Individuals using opioids are 14 times more likely to die by suicide.
  • The lifetime rates of suicide attempts among individuals with opioid dependence range from 17% to 48%.
  • Alcohol dependence is associated with a suicide risk 10 times greater than the general population.
  • Alcohol dependence ranks as the second most common psychiatric diagnosis in completed suicides after mood conditions.

Understanding the Connection

The connection between substance use and suicide is multifaceted. Substance use can exacerbate underlying mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, which are significant risk factors for suicide. Additionally, intoxication impairs judgment and decision-making, potentially leading individuals to engage in impulsive and high-risk behaviors, including suicide attempts.

Furthermore, the stigma surrounding substance use can create feelings of shame and isolation, further exacerbating psychological distress and increasing the likelihood of suicidal ideation. This vicious cycle underscores the urgent need for integrated approaches to substance use treatment and suicide prevention.

SUD Treatment and Suicide Prevention

Integrating substance use disorder (SUD) treatment into suicide prevention strategies is paramount in addressing this complex issue. By providing comprehensive care that addresses both substance use and mental health concerns, individuals can receive the support they need to regain control over their lives and reduce their risk of suicide.

At Wasatch Crest, we recognize the importance of holistic care in supporting individuals struggling with substance dependence and suicidal ideation. Through evidence-based treatments, experiential therapy, and personalized support, we help clients build resilience, develop coping skills, and foster a sense of hope for the future.

By addressing the underlying factors contributing to substance use and suicidal behavior, we can empower individuals to overcome their challenges and live fulfilling lives. Together, we can break the cycle of substance use and suicide, offering hope and healing to those in need.

Reach out to learn more about our gender-specific and mixed-gender substance use treatment programs in Park City and nearby Heber.

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