National Suicide Prevention Month and National Recovery Month (September)are Intertwined

The Corona Virus attacks more than your lungs.  It invades your psyche. Will you have a job?  Can you support yourself and/or family? Will you continue to be isolated?  How long will you have to live riddled with anxiety?

According to cbs news.com, May 8, 2020, Serena Gordon’s article, addiction patients are relapsing and patients, who formerly didn’t have drug use or alcohol problems, are drinking more now, sometimes daily between 4 and 5 p.m., and they don’t stop until they sleep!

The Odds are Greater!

There is a definite connection between suicide and substance abuse disorders. The statistics are sobering:  more than 90% of people who commit suicide suffer from depression and have substance abuse disorders, according to addictioncenter.com.

As substances numb the pain of the depressed, it has the capability of severely impacting good judgment and can lead to suicide attempts.  It’s a vicious cycle!

Did You Know These Facts?

How common is Suicide?

  • It’s the 10th leading cause of death among all Americans.
  • It is the third leading cause of death of the Americans aged 10-14 .
  •  It is the second leading cause of death for Americans 15-34.
  • Individuals with  substance abuse disorders are nearly six times as likely to attempt suicide at some point in their life.
  • Veterans: men with substance abuse disorder are more than twice as likely to fall victim to suicide.  Women with a substance disorder are 6.5 times to attempt suicide.

Source:  https://www.addictioncenter.com

Know the Signs of Suicide:

  • Expressing a desire for death
  • Expressing a feeling of being trapped
  • Acting agitated or anxious
  • Reckless behavior
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Insomnia
  • Abandoning hobbies or other sources of enjoyment
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Heavy drug and alcohol use
  • Extreme Irritability
  • Hopelessness
  • Sudden decrease in work or academic performance
  • Suicide Ideation (planning or obsessing about it)

Source:  American Federation for Suicide Prevention

What You Can Do To Help A Friend or Loved One:#Be the 1 To

  • Learn how to discuss suicide and know where to seek help. Ask the troubled person why they are depressed.  They may find relief unburdening themselves.
  • If the person has a substance abuse disorder, try first to get them off drugs first and then into counselling.
  • Add crisis resources to your phone.  They can be found at fsp.org./Resources.
  • 24/7 Crisis Hotline National Suicide Prevention, Lifeline Network: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • Crisis Text Line:  Text TALK to 741-741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text line for free.
  • SAMSHA (Treatment Referrals Hotline for Substance Abuse.  1-800-273-8255.
  • NAMI (National Association of Mental Illness).  You can text NAMI 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the crisis text line.

September is National Recovery Month as well as World Suicide Prevention Month. The two are strongly linked and should be all year, not just September.  Substance abuse disorders greatly increase the risk of suicide, just as suicide ideation greatly increases the risk of substance abuse disorders.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting. Currently, she is targeting her writing about recovery to parents whose children have substance abuse disorders.