Opioid use and suicide are not as strongly linked as previously thought. Experts had said that up to 30% of opioid overdoses were suicides. A new study by Columbia University researchers found it is actually 4%. That dropped from 9% between 2000 and 2017.
Though the overall proportion of suicides by opioids is down, the rate of suicides involving opioids actually increased. both are ongoing public health issues.
The study’s lead author said findings suggest that for most people who overdose on opioids, the primary clinical focus should be on substance abuse. Researchers say more studies are needed to properly understand the link between suicide and opioid use. The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of American Medical Association.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeinee at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Both helplines are completely free and available 24/7.