Understanding the Correlation Between Addiction and Suicide

Addiction is a complex disease that affects one’s mental, physical, and spiritual health. As addiction progresses, it is common for one to fall victim to depression and despair. Men and women suffering from addiction may feel trapped in the cycle of substance abuse and see no way out. They may think that their addiction has reached a point where recovery is not possible. These thoughts can easily lead to hopelessness and suicidal ideation.
The risk of suicide is greatly increased among men and women suffering from addiction. Ingeborg Rossow, in a 1994 study entitled Suicide Among Drug Addicts in Norway for the Society for the Study of Addiction, explains, “The impact of drug addiction in suicide with respect to gender and trend changes in drug addiction was assessed from Norwegian data on 1608 drug addicts admitted to treatment over the past three decades. The mean annual mortality rate was 2.3%, and 14.7% of those who died committed suicide. The incidence density of suicide was significantly higher among drug addicts than in the total population, and the excess mortality by suicide was higher for women, higher in the youngest age group, and higher for those who died during the 1970s.” Since the 1994 study, suicide rates among men and women suffering from addiction have continued to be higher than the rates of suicide amongst the general population.
Suicide kills more than 32,000 people every year, with a disproportionate number of victims being those suffering from addiction. Rebecca A. Clay, in a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration article entitled Substance Abuse and Suicide: White Paper Explores Connection, explains, “a growing body of evidence suggests that alcohol and drug abuse are second only to depression and other mood disorders when it comes to risk factors for suicide. In one study, for example, alcohol and drug abuse disorders were associated with a six-fold increase in the risk of suicide attempts. And substance abuse and mental disorders often go hand-in-hand, the paper emphasizes.” The correlation between suicide and addiction is evidence that treatment must treat mental health problems in coordination with addiction. Treating mental health problems can be an effective way to treat addiction, as both addiction and mental health problems exacerbate each other.

Your story can become one of mental, physical, and spiritual health in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s Substance Abuse and Dual Diagnosis treatment center located in the heart of Laguna Beach, offers highly effective, affordable, and individualized treatment in a beautiful and serene location. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777