Are Suicide and Addiction Linked?
When someone is suffering from an issue with addiction, there are many complications that can come along with that. These can include legal issues, family problems, declining health and even suicide.
Suicide and addiction are absolutely linked. Addiction not only exponentially increases the likelihood that someone will commit suicide, but substances are often used as a means to commit suicide via overdose. According to the CDC, one in three people who die from suicide are under the influence of drugs. They are typically opiates such as oxycodone or heroin, or alcohol.
When someone is suffering from substance abuse, they are more likely than not acting in ways that are very out of character. This can include anything from taking certain attitudes and having fights with loved ones, stealing from loved ones, falling into legal issues and even suicide ideation. Someone who might be thinking about suicide while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may not normally ever think of suicide if they were sober.
When someone is suffering from an addiction, it is because they have an underlying root cause that it is stemming from. This can include anything from depression, anxiety, trauma or other mood disorders. More than 90% of people who fall victim to suicide suffer from depression, have a substance abuse disorder, or both. When the underlying issue never gets treated, the addiction worsens and vice versa. It is a cycle that keeps on going until the person eventually seeks help for both of their disorders.
According to Psychology Today, individuals with a substance abuse disorder are nearly six times as likely to attempt suicide at some point in their life. While substance abuse can offer a quick, short-term relief or numbing of emotional pain, it makes it much worse in the long run. When someone is self-medicating with substance abuse, they are not able to properly deal with their underlying issues and will make the symptoms much worse. This constant cycle can seem much too daunting for many people to live with, and help might feel beyond reach.
Some co-occuring disorders that can be present alongside addiction can include:
- General Anxiety Disorder and other anxiety disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Warning Signs of Suicide
When someone is contemplating suicide, the warning signs can be anywhere from obvious to subtle. Everyone is different, and there is no “one way” that people act if they are contemplating suicide. In fact, some people work hard to cover their warning signs to appear “normal” in front of family and friends. However, there are a few “hallmark” signs that you can look out for, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The most common warning signs for suicide may include:
- Verbalizing a desire for death
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Giving away prized possessions
- Heavy drug and alcohol use
- Extreme irritability
- Acting overly agitated or anxious
- Feeling like a burden to others
- Exhibiting reckless behavior
- No longer taking part in hobbies or other sources of enjoyment
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Sudden decrease in work or academic performance
- Isolation from friends and family
- Feeling of being trapped
- Avoiding social situations
- Declining offers for help
Ways to Help
It is very important to help someone suffering from addiction so that they do not think that there is no other way out. Because of the stigma surrounding addiction, people suffering from it can often feel abandoned and like they are not loved. They can withdraw from friends and family to hide their addiction, making it difficult for family and friends to see that there is even an issue happening.
If you see even just one small warning sign or slightly suspect anything, make sure you reach out and check in on your loved one. Even just having a small support system can potentially make all the difference between life and death. You can stage an intervention to get them the help they need, or call one of our admissions specialists. They are on-hand 24/7 to answer any questions and confidentially work out any logistics with you.
About Cliffside Malibu
If you or someone you know is suffering from a severe addiction and has expressed one of the warning signs of suicide, it is imperative you seek help. Even if you or a loved one has not outwardly expressed any of the warning signs of suicide, there is still a high risk that death can occur as a result of addiction. Overdose rates are on the rise, and suicide rates are extremely high among people suffering from substance abuse. Living a life free of addiction and suicidal thoughts is possible, and we are here to help you every step of the way.
Each patient is then matched with one of these five stages of the Transtheoretical Model: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance. An individualized treatment plan is created based on their current stage of change. This process is in place to ensure that all our patients receive the best treatment path possible for their own specific need. Our goal is to move individuals through their treatment by assessing their readiness for change and formulating stage-matched interventions in order to move them through their respective stage.
It is the policy of Cliffside Malibu to ensure that all individuals who present with chemical dependency issues are assessed for the appropriate level of care. We strive to provide continuum of care including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment and outpatient services. Services are provided to individuals with a primary diagnosis of substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction. Individuals seeking treatment are assessed by qualified staff to ensure program criteria are met and that each individual admitted is placed in the appropriate level of care for treatment. The program is designed and structured for individuals who are in need of a supportive environment in order to maintain Sobriety.
For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com