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The Link Between Addiction and Suicide

Addiction and suicide often go hand in hand. Those who are struggling with addiction can feel like there is no way out of the world they live in, and the results of such a skewed thought pattern can be devastating. The number of people who struggle with addiction that turn to suicide as a way out is staggering.

Shedding light on this topic can help loved ones to recognize the signs and encourage their struggling loved ones to get the right support and help to ensure they can grow and thrive in the future. 

Addiction and Suicide Facts

Across all age groups, suicide is a leading cause of death for people in the United States. Struggling with addiction makes the risks of suicidal tendencies higher. The connection between addiction and suicide is complex, and the number of men struggling with addiction who commit suicide is higher than the number of women in the same predicament.

Addiction to substances like drugs and alcohol often contributes to suicide due to impaired judgment and lowered inhibitions. Meaning, that the little voice that tells someone not to make a permanent decision due to temporary circumstances isn’t as effective as if substances hadn’t played a part. Having the right type of support and receiving proper care at Enlightened Recovery can make a world of difference when someone is struggling with addiction and suicide seems to be the only way out. 

Addiction and Suicide Risk Factors

There are different factors that play a part in addiction. These factors can be environmental, social, and economic. Mental health can play a big role in addiction. Things like depression, anxiety and PTSD can all play a role in addiction to substances like drugs and alcohol. In addition, easy access to substances can also play a role in addiction. When someone can easily get a hold of something, it can be detrimental for someone who is struggling to stop using drugs and alcohol.

Along with accessibility, peer pressure, life stressors, and financial stressors can also play a part in someone’s addiction. Those with a family history of addiction, or past traumas are generally at a higher risk for addiction. Risk factors for suicide include mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Other risk factors include relationship issues like divorce and breakups, rejection, bullying, financial issues, history of suicide attempts, and family history of suicide. The risk factors for addiction and suicide are similar.

Addiction can also be a risk factor for suicide. Struggling with addiction often feels hopeless, and like there is no way out. Many people struggling with drugs and alcohol feel like suicide is a better option than continuing to struggle with the substances. Getting help as soon as possible can change the outcome of these situations.

Signs Someone With Addiction Is Contemplating Suicide

There are signs someone can look out for if they believe their loved one is contemplating suicide. These signs could help to save someone’s life if they are recognized and swift action is taken.

These signs include:

  • Talking about suicide
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Talking about their life being meaningless
  • Increasing drug and alcohol use
  • Isolation
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Becoming unusually aggressive 
  • Loss of interest
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Shame and guilt

The Link Between Alcohol, Depression and Suicide

The link between alcohol addiction, depression, and suicide is prominent. Alcohol is a depressant. It can exacerbate feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and uselessness. Someone who struggles with these feelings and begins drinking could end up feeling worse. When drinking alcohol, depression worsens.

This can lead to dangerous results. When feelings of depression and hopelessness are heightened as a result of alcohol use, the person feeling that way could begin to foster thoughts of suicide to alleviate the pain they are feeling. When this happens, and alcohol is involved, it could be devastating. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment. Thus, this could be dangerous for those who are struggling with depression.

Suicide Warning Signs

Being as vigilant as possible when someone believes their loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts can be life-saving. Signs someone is at risk of attempting or committing suicide include things like increased drug and alcohol use, increased anxiety and agitation, extreme mood swings, talking about feeling hopeless, wanting to die, or being a burden, and withdrawing from social and family commitments.

Recognizing these warning signs, and having a plan of action to help a loved one can be crucial to ensure their safety and survival. Anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide can reach out to the suicide prevention hotline by dialing 988 from a phone and speaking to someone who can listen and help.

Detox can be extremely beneficial to start with a clean slate, and therapy can help those struggling to find positive and helpful coping skills that can assist when thoughts of using substances or suicide begin to creep in. Having the right tools can help in these stressful situations. 

Begin a Journey of Recovery

Addiction is a challenge for anyone to go through. The impacts on a person’s life and happiness can be severe. The effects of drugs and alcohol on mental health can lead to devastating results. Those struggling with addiction often feel like there is no way out, no way to live a better life. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, Enlightened Recovery can help. We offer comprehensive care for those struggling with addiction to find hope and healing for a better life.

Reach out today to begin a journey to recovery.

Begin Your Recovery at Enlightened Recovery

Enlightened Recovery is here to help you or your loved one overcome drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. Our holistic treatment programs treat the whole person in recovery. We have locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Get the help that you deserve now with Enlightened Recovery.