This isn't a subject that's talked about a lot because it's extremely sad but drug related suicide attempts take place all the time. Did you know that in the United States suicide is the 11th most common cause of death? A big portion of the time suicide is associated with major depression, substance abuse, alcohol use or an extremely stressful situation.
Even though suicide is a subject that most people don't want to think about, the reality is that it happens, it's devastating and it's important to know the warning signs and some of the risk factors associated with suicide.
According to a report, Emergency Room visits by males who were 21 years of age to 34 years of age had increased over 50% from 2005 to 2009 for suicide attempts that were drug related. In the year 2009 there were over 77 thousand ER visits for males in all age groups that were suicide attempts and were drug related.
Another government report I ran across says that drug related suicide attempts can fluctuate depending on the month. Research shows that boys that are 12 years of age to 17 years of age and men that are over 50 years of age have a much higher risk of attempting a drug related suicide in the month of December. Research showed that drug related suicide attempts were at their lowest in the month of October.
Unfortunately suicide is still the leading cause of death among those who abuse drugs and alcohol. Prescription drug misuse is making matters worse now, many of them are extremely powerful especially when taken in high doses or combined with other drugs or alcohol. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety and insomnia medications are being misused and many people are ending up in the Emergency department due to suicide attempts associated with these drugs also.
Behaviors associated with suicide can be very complex and risk factors can vary depending on a person's age, sex, or ethnic group. There are certain issues that are considered risk factors that can be associated with non-fatal adult suicide attempts and these include; mental disorders, depression substance abuse, alcohol abuse, separation and divorce. Non-fatal youth suicide attempts factors include: depression, alcohol problem, drug use problems, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and problem behavior.
The elderly and men are more likely to have fatal attempts than youth or women.
It's extremely important to be aware of the warning signs and risk factors associated with suicide. Many people have some of the risk factors mentioned below; this doesn't mean that everyone with these issues is suicidal. Risk factors include; Over 90% of people who die because of suicide suffer from depression and other mental health disorders. Substance abuse disorder is included in the 90%, many people who have substance abuse problems also have mental disorders. Another factor to take into consideration is prior suicide attempts. Other risk factors include a family history of substance abuse or mental disorders, family history of suicide, violence in the family which includes physical or sexual abuse, more than half of all suicides are associated with firearms that were in their home, incarceration is another risk factor, and exposure to suicidal behavior of other people like family members, peers or media figures.
Warning signs can include; increased use of alcohol or drugs, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and despair, feelings as though life isn't worth living, pulling away from family, loved ones, friends or people in general, anxiousness, problems with sleep either can't sleep or sleeping all of the time, and drastic changes in mood. Major signs include; threats of hurting themselves or taking their own life, talking or writing down thoughts associated with suicide, death, or dying, searching for ways of harming themselves or taking their own life.
Our hearts go out to anyone that has ever lost a loved one or friend due to suicide or anyone who has ever attempted it. If you know someone and suspect that they're suicidal you should never leave them alone. If they're not willing to seek help on their own, call 911 or contact a crisis center for help. For assistance call 1-800-559-9503 and get the help you, a loved one or friend needs to receive information, guidance and treatment.