Addiction and Suicide: The Connection That Hides In The Everyday

Addiction and Suicide: The Connection That Hides In The Everyday
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Addiction and Suicide: The Connection That Hides In The Everyday

Times are challenging right now. If you’re feeling like you need help coping or might want to harm yourself, you don’t have to be alone. You can contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at any time by calling 1-800-273-8255.

The world is different these days. More and more people are finding themselves feeling sad, depressed, or even suicidal. The risk rates for addiction and suicide have escalated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, the connection between addiction and suicide needs to be addressed.

Addiction and Suicide: A Circular Connection

When you are struggling with substance misuse or addiction, you are likely at an increased risk of suicide. [1] In scientific surveys, respondents who struggle with addiction report more feelings of deep depression and suicidal ideation than those suffering from mental health issues alone. [2]

You may turn to the aid of substances because of conflicts or difficulties in your work or personal relationships. Because the brain chemistry of addiction begins with small steps, you might find that your personal or work relationships suffer and are damaged after a while. It’s like a catch-22. You drink excessively to numb work or relationship problems, but then the alcohol abuse and addiction impacts your relationships and often leaves you feeling alone and isolated.

It’s this isolation and depression that researchers believe fuels the connection between addiction and suicide. Still, it begs the question of which came first? The chicken or the egg? The addiction or the depression/suicidal ideation?

Whatever the answer, the residual feelings can be overwhelming and painful. You may feel you are alone, but that’s not true.

Stats on Addiction and Suicide

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. [3] It’s been shown that about 90% of all people who committed suicide met the criteria for at least one diagnosable psychiatric condition. [4] There is also a documented correlation between substance abuse and addiction. In fact, over 70% of adolescent suicides alone may be complicated by drug or alcohol abuse. [5]

Research suggests that alcohol and drug use disorders are strongly associated with suicide risk. [6] In fact, those who suffer from a substance use disorder are almost 6 times more likely to attempt suicide in their lifetime than those who do not struggle with substance abuse. [4] Studies show men who struggle with substance abuse are 2.3 times more likely to die due to suicide than those who do not struggle with substance abuse. In women, those who have substance use disorders are 6.5 times more likely to commit suicide than those who do not have substance use disorders or addiction. [7]

How A Global Pandemic Impacts The Suicide and Addiction Connection

Since March of 2020, the world in which we live and work has become very different. You may not have seen family members you regularly see during holidays or other events due to contagion concerns. Your work environment is likely very different as well, and that’s if you’ve been able to keep your job.

For many, working virtually brings about a myriad of interpersonal communication difficulties. It’s hard to understand the meaning and tone in an email or even a glitchy zoom call. There’s merit to gathering at the water cooler each day to interact with co-workers on a social level, and for many, that’s no longer a possibility. A connection is lost, and isolation reigns. This definitely has an impact on not just our depression but our suicidal ideations.

A Centers For Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of people who’d considered suicide in 2020 was nearly double than it was during comparable times in 2019. [8] Throw in that overdoses due to addiction have exponentially grown since the start of the COVID pandemic, and it’s not hard to see why there’s such concern about mental health and addiction. [9]

Clear Life Recovery: Protecting Mental Health During Addiction

At Clear Life Recovery, we understand these times are isolating, and you may be struggling. Whether you’re struggling with depression or addiction or both, it’s important to address both issues immediately. You may feel like you need to turn to substances to numb your sadness, or you may feel your addiction leads you to be so depressed.

We understand these feelings and how intertwined they may be. We know that your addiction and your emotions feed off of each other. We recognize how to work with them simultaneously to help give you the best chance of long-term recovery. You don’t have to walk through the uncertainties and difficulties alone. You can contact us today, and one of our compassionate and qualified specialists will help get you back on the path to yourself again.

And again, if you feel like you may want to hurt yourself or are having suicidal ideations, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at any time by calling 1-800-273-8255.

 

Sources:

[1] https://ascpjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13722-020-0181-1

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499285/

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10401507/

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1932152/

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15555812/

[7] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/210919

[8] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm?s_cid=mm6932a1_w

[9] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicagold/2020/12/14/overdoses-are-increasing-in-the-us-over-covid-19-heres-what-addiction-experts-want-you-to-know/?sh=250d72a54ffa

About Benjamin Hogan

Over the years, Benjamin has held positions in many different areas of alcohol and drug addiction services all over the country. He made a name for himself as an interventionist and has held certification as a Certified National Drug and Alcohol Interventionist (CNDAI-II). Benjamin specializes in helping support families of people struggling with addiction by focusing on education and instilling healthy boundaries to ensure lasting changes. Addiction is a progressive disease, but using an evidence-based approach, an intervention, when done correctly, can help to increase the willingness of a loved one to seek sobriety faster.

"In my experience, by helping families make necessary changes, they not only get their lives back, but they also help change the mind of their loved one more quickly. In an intervention, family and other loved ones take a proactive approach, instead of waiting and being stuck between fear and (false) hope. I realized in my own recovery, that when my family changed, I had to change in response. That is where I found sobriety. This is why I believe in what I do!"