The Disturbing Link between Opioids and Suicide

January 25, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


Opioid abuse is fueling a rise in both unintentional overdose and suicide deaths, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine article. Analyzing national data from 2000 to 2017, the authors found that roughly 10 percent of suicide deaths were a result of intentional overdose—of those, a third involved opioids. They recommended that prevention efforts address shared risk factors for suicide and opioid abuse. “Many of the things that could lead to someone becoming suicidal, such as depression and stressful life events, could also lead to someone making riskier choices with substance use that could increase the risk of an unplanned overdose,” said Amy Bohnert, lead author and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

Spark Extra! Watch our webinar on the intersection of opioid abuse, overdose, and suicide.