The Link Between Addiction and Suicide

Each year, more people die from suicide than by any other form of violence, including war, terrorist activities, and homicides, an official from the World Health Organization (WHO) said recently, in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day. Nearly 1 million people committing suicide annually, making it the 10th leading cause of death worldwide.

Of those who attempt suicide, about half use alcohol or illegal drugs to do so. Of those who successfully take their own lives, 25 percent were abusing drugs and/or alcohol at the time of their death. For those who suffer from addiction, it’s important to understand that suicide rates increase among those who abuse alcohol and/or drugs, putting users at a greater risk of death. ] Studies show that 50 percent of teens that commit suicide have a history of alcohol and drug use.

Fortunately, suicide is preventable, according to Brian Mishara, president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). In areas that are targeted with prevention campaigns, suicide rates do decline.

Suicide can also be triggered by depression, which often co-occurs with substance abuse disorders. This is why it’s so important to treat any co-occurring disorders that may arise among those suffering from substance abuse disorders. If you or someone you know is abusing alcohol or drugs and is having suicidal thoughts, it is imperative to seek help immediately.