The Risks of Suicide Associated with Substance Abuse

The Risks of Suicide Associated with Substance Abuse

Intentional self-harm (suicide) is the 10th leading causes of death in the United States. While the number-one suicide risk is depression and other mood disorders, two other influences come in second — alcohol and drug abuse.

Even without a diagnosis of depression, substance abuse addiction is still a significant risk point in suicide. According to the CDC, out of the reported suicides in the 10 to 24 age group, 81% of the deaths were males. The CDC also reports that boys are less likely to report an attempted suicide.

While these statistics are alarming, here’s what you need to know and how you can help:

The Risks

In addition to substance abuse and the unwillingness to receive help, below are some other top suicide risk factors:

  • Depression
  • Impulsive or aggressive behavior
  • Isolation
  • Limited or no access to mental health treatments
  • Loss of job or relationships
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide
  • Access to firearms or other lethal methods
  • Talking, thinking about or threatening to attempt suicide

The above factors are just some of the top traits that may be present in those who could be at risk for suicide, however, these factors might not necessarily be directly related to the cause.

How You Can Help

If you are concerned about a loved one with an alcohol or drug addiction, here are some things you can do to keep your family member or friend out of harm’s way until you can get them professional help through a substance abuse treatment program:

  • Seek out clinical care for substance abuse

  • Look for support through clinical interventions

  • Find community support groups

  • Encourage treatment and support

While there are some things you can do to help your loved one, suicide prevention starts with treatment. Blueprints for Recovery is a rehabilitation center for young men between the ages of 18 and 30. If you or a loved one have been struggling with substance abuse combined with depression or thoughts of suicide, we can help. Contact us today for more information about treating addiction with dignity and integrity.


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