When you know someone struggling with drug addiction, your main concern may be that he or she will accidentally overdose. If you know someone with a drinking problem, you may worry that he or she will end up in a car wreck or other accident due to being intoxicated. Suicide is not always a number one concern but it can be an issue for someone with an addiction problem. Getting the right types of help for them is crucial. Call Legacy Freedom, we're a top rated alcohol and drug treatment in Wilmington NC. We can help.
The 10th leading cause of death is suicide, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2014, over 40,000 people took their own lives. Risk factors for suicide include cases of depression, but drug and alcohol use are also factors because approximately one in three people who die from suicide have alcohol or drugs in their systems.
Someone who has an addiction problem is more likely to think about suicide, and is more likely to turn to drugs as the means to do it. The CDC reports that poisoning is the third leading way people commit suicide, and 75 percent of the deaths are due to drug overdose.
Risk Factors for Suicide
Mental illness is one of the many risk factors for suicidal thoughts and attempts, but in many cases mental illness and substance abuse go hand-in-hand. People with depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and other mental illnesses may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.
Other risk factors for people who commit suicide are family life, a history of abuse or other trauma. He or she may deal with these issues by using drugs or drinking, which does not help the problem go away. It can increase the risk of suicide because it can make a situation seem even harder to break free from because it seems hopeless.
The Connection Between the Two
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) examined the connection between suicide and substance abuse in a 2014 research study. They found that it is a proximal risk factor, meaning that a person who has committed suicide is likely to have alcohol or drugs in his or her system.
Although the statistics are complicated and often overlap each other, they offered some numbers that can help correlate the incidents of suicide and substance abuse disorders.
For instance, of the over 20 million adults who have a problem with drugs or alcohol, 8.4 million of them also have a mental illness. So, with both problems present, the likelihood of suicide could be greater.
They also noted that the 18-25 year olds with mental illness disorders also had the highest rate of substance abuse problems. Men with alcohol problems have higher rates of depression than the general population, coming in at three times higher the risk, with woman having four times higher the risk.
Alcohol abusers are also five times more likely to commit suicide. Over 50 percent of all suicides are somehow linked to alcohol abuse. One theory is that when someone is intoxicated, he or she is more likely to do something irrational or impulsive rather than seek help. If someone you love needs outpatient alcohol and drug treatment in Wilmington NC, get them help at Legacy Freedom. Call today to learn more.
Suicide Warning Signs
If you feel a loved one may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, here are some signs to look for.
- Withdrawal from normal activities
- Appears depressed
- Shows signs of increased anxiety
- Has fits of rage or violent outbursts
- Cries excessively or for no reason
- Lack of interest in work or school
- Prefers to be alone
- Sleeps too little or too much
- No interest in personal grooming
- Makes morbid comments or jokes
- Appears to be drinking or using drugs excessively
- Begins giving away personal items
Signs of a Substance Abuse Problem
Someone who may be struggling with an addiction problem on top of suicidal thoughts may show the following signs or symptoms:
- Increased drinking
- Secretive behavior
- Bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils
- Appears shaky or has tremors
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination
- Appears to have lost weight
- Has no appetite
- Has major mood swings
- Complains of headaches or body aches
- Seems preoccupied
- Has bouts of insomnia
- Has periods of blackouts or can’t recall certain events
If you recognize these signs in someone you care about, get them help. Call Legacy Freedom and ask about our affordable programs for alcohol and drug treatment in Wilmington NC.
Violence, Suicide and Substance Abuse
The combination of a substance abuse problem and suicidal thoughts can increase the risk of someone engaging in violent behavior, according to research. Nearly 75 percent of people in treatment for addiction report that they have been involved in physical assaults, robberies or attacks on others. Research points to a connection between violent behavior and suicide. A person who felt they could not control their own behavior was more likely to have attempted suicide. This relates to the idea that if someone can’t control their own behavior, they think impulsively and are more likely to do something irrational like try to kill themselves.
A study of 6000 adults in addiction treatment reinforced this theory. The ones who had been involved in violent acts such as murder, rape and assault causing serious injury were twice as likely to admit to multiple suicide attempts.
In another study that compared people who had committed suicide to people who had died accidentally showed that in the person’s last year of life, there were more cases of violence even when other risk factors for suicide, such as mental illness, were under control.
Prevention and Treatment
Stigma can play a major part in why people do not see treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, or when they struggle with suicidal thoughts. It can be hard to admit you need help. Only 11 percent of people who struggle with addiction get help according to data from drugfree.org.
Addiction is a chronic disease that should be seen as a condition that can be treated, much like any other health issue. The treatment of addiction can also include treatment for mental illness disorders such as depression and anxiety, which may cause suicidal thoughts in addicts. If you, or a loved one, need help, do not be afraid to speak out. It could save a life.
Legacy Freedom | Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Wilmington NC
If life's grand problems have led to addiction and substance abuse, and you want to get help, call Legacy Freedom. There is no reason to wait if you're finally ready to get sober. Our caring admissions counselors can answer any questions you may have about our alcohol and drug treatment in Wilmington NC. We have alternative therapies that we customize to meet your individual needs. We want to be a part of your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Call Legacy of Wilmington today to discuss the many outpatient treatment options we offer.