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Substance Use and Suicide

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. For individuals between 15-25 years old and 25-34 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death. In 2014, 9.4 million adults 18 years or older thought seriously about trying to kill themselves in the past 12 months. Of this group, 2.7 million people made actual plans while 1.1 million made a nonfatal suicide attempt.

The number one risk factor of suicide is depression and mood disorders. Alcohol and drug use are the second greatest risk factors for suicide. When compared to nonusers, substance users are six times more likely to commit suicide. Alcohol is linked to approximately half of all suicides. 1 our of every 3 people who die from suicide are under the influence of drugs (often, these drugs include opiates, oxycodone, heroin, and/or alcohol). Since substances typically increase the amount of risks a person might take, intoxicated people may be more prone to committing suicide. Likewise, those who suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems often use substances to cope. This is often problematic in long-term effects.

If you or a loved one is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please seek help immediately. We at South Bay Connect are here to support you through whatever substance use or mental health issue you may be facing. Call 911 in cases of emergency, and call the national suicide prevention lifeline to seek help (1800-273-8255).

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