Multiple suicide attempts associated with addiction to tramadol

Background The opioid tramadol is used as analgesic drug, and more recently was also proposed for the management of major depressive disorder. However, growing evidence suggests a link between opioid system dysfunction and suicidal behaviors, raising the question of tramadol use in view of the high addictive and suicidal risk. Here, we present the case […]

Comparing attitudes toward stigmatized deaths: Suicide and opioid overdose deaths

Death by suicide and opioid overdose has been associated with negative stigmatization. It is important to investigate whether a suicide death and a fatal opioid overdose share similar stigmatized reactions and how attitudes shape the public willingness to intervene in prevention and treatment efforts. Respondents were recruited for an online survey through convenience sampling and […]

Pain catastrophizing as a predictor of suicidal ideation in chronic pain patients with an opiate prescription

Chronic pain and opioid use are associated with increased risk for suicidal ideation and behaviors (SIB) in cross-sectional studies, particularly among individuals who catastrophize about their pain. This study examined the longitudinal association between  two styles of pain coping, catastrophizing and hoping/praying, as predictors of subsequent SIB, as well as possible mediators of this association […]

Suicide, opioids, chronic pain, and mental health disorders: A narrative review

Suicide rates are on the rise in the United States as is mortality associated with opioid toxicity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 7% of opioid overdose deaths are suicide, but this  number may be under-reported. Many people who use opioids or have opioid use disorder, (OUD), may have “passive” intentions […]

Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2020

Deaths from drug overdose continue to contribute to overall mortality and the lowering of life expectancy in the United States (1–4). This report uses the most recent data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to update statistics on deaths from drug overdose in the United States, showing rates by demographic group and by specific […]

The impact of family engagement in opioid assisted treatment: Results from a randomised controlled tria

Background: Family interventions in substance use disorders (SUD) treatment is limited despite the evidence for benefits. Providing family interventions is hampered by patient resistance, social stigma, logistics and factors related to the capacity of the treatment programmes. Aims: The purpose of the study was to examine the association between family engagement in treatment, and opioid […]

Concomitant opioid and benzodiazepine use and risk of suicide attempt and intentional self-harm: Pharmacoepidemiologic study

Background: Overdose due to concomitant use of opioids and benzodiazepines has been raised as a major public health concern, although little research has examined whether this risk extends to intentional overdose or other self-harm. This study examined whether prescription opioids and benzodiazepines interact to increase the rate of suicide attempt and intentional self-harm. Methods: The study analyzed […]

Suicide by opioid: Exploring the intentionality of the act

Opioid toxicity can result in life-threatening respiratory depression. Opioid-overdose mortality in the United States is high and increasing, but it is difficult to determine what proportion of those deaths might actually be suicides. The exact number of Americans who died of an opioid overdose but whose deaths might be classified as suicide remains unknown. It is important […]

Suicide and the opioid overdose crisis among American Indian and Alaska Natives: A storm on two fronts demanding swift action

The opioid crisis in the United States has received national attention and critical resources in the past decade. However, what has been overlooked is the effect the opioid crisis may be having on a three-decade suicide crisis among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities that already have too few resources to address behavioral and […]

Suicide as a hidden contributor to the opioid crisis and the role that primary care and emergency medicine play in addressing it

Deaths from overdose have risen dramatically over the past decade, driven mainly by opioids. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance on safe prescribing, safe storage of medications, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), and the use of Naloxone to reverse an overdose. Even with this guidance, overdose deaths continue to rise. Suicide prevention […]

Current prescription opioid misuse and suicide risk behaviors among high school students

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In previous studies, researchers have reported that youth with a lifetime history of prescription opioid misuse (POM) are at an increased risk for suicidal ideation, planning, and attempts. In this study, we investigate whether the association between youth POM and suicide outcomes differs by recency of POM (ie, none, past, or current misuse). […]

Ecological factors associated with suicide mortality among non-Hispanic whites

Background In this paper, we examine the ecological factors associated with death rates from suicide in the United States in 1999 and 2017, a period when suicide mortality increased in the United States. We focus on Non-Hispanic Whites, who experienced the largest increase in suicide mortality. We ask whether variation in suicide mortality among commuting […]

A cross-sectional study of opioid involvement in non-poisoning suicide: Risks and prevention opportunities

Background The current opioid epidemic has drawn attention to drug overdose deaths including unintentional and suicide poisoning deaths which peaked in the United States in 2017. Concurrent with the opioid epidemic, the number and rate of suicides in the United States has increased. At the same time, the proportion of suicide deaths across cause of […]

Association of opioids prescribed to family members with opioid overdose among adolescents and young adults

Importance  Family members are cited as a common source of prescription opioids used for nonmedical reasons. However, the overdose risk associated with exposure to opioids prescribed to family members among adolescents and young adults is not well established. Objective  To assess the association of opioids prescribed to family members with pharmaceutical opioid overdose among youth. Design, Setting, […]

Non-opioid substances acute poisonings with suicidal intent in patients with opioid use disorder

Introduction: Several epidemiological studies have evaluated the role of illicit drug use in suicide behaviour. Aim: To assess patients with opioid use disorder and suicidal intent related to behavior, severity of acute poisoning and the most commonly used non-opioid substances. Materials and methods: This cross sectional study included 67 patients diagnosed with opioid use disorder. The study was […]

Opioids and suicide: Opportunities for comprehensive prevention

The opioid epidemic in the United States has garnered widespread attention and substantial investments in prevention over the last decade as the number of opioid overdoses rose exponentially. The age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths increased by 9.6% from 2016 to 2017, resulting in 47 600 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017.1 An increase in suicide deaths during […]

Associations between stopping prescriptions for opioids, length of opioid treatment, and overdose of suicide deaths in US veterans: Observational evaluation

Objective To examine the associations between stopping treatment with opioids, length of treatment, and death from overdose or suicide in the Veterans Health Administration. Design Observational evaluation. Setting Veterans Health Administration. Participants 1 394 102 patients in the Veterans Health Administration with an outpatient prescription for an opioid analgesic from fiscal year 2013 to the end of fiscal year 2014 (1 […]

The role of opioid use in distinguishing between suicidal ideation and attempts

Objective Opioid use disorders are associated with heightened suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide death. This study aimed to examine the extent to which opioid differentiates between those with suicide attempts from those with lifetime suicidal ideation but no history of attempt. Methods Participants were drawn from the US National Guard and a residential substance […]

Importance and approach to manner of death opinions in opioid-related deaths

The majority of opioid‐related deaths are accidental. However, the number of opioid‐related suicidal deaths is likely under recognized. Presented here is a case of suicide by heroin overdose. The manner of death would have likely been deemed accidental if not for critical information shared by the decedent’s family during follow‐up telephone interviews between the forensic […]

The role of opioid toxicity in suicide deaths in Alberta, 2000-2016

Given the current opioid crisis in Canada, there is interest in the role of opioid toxicity in suicide deaths, particularly in whether any observed patterns are similar to those of unintentional deaths. The present analysis examined characteristics of opioid-toxicity suicide, and its role in relation to other suicide methods, from 2000 to 2016 in Alberta. […]

Suicide: A silent contributor to opioid-overdose deaths

Interventions to prevent overdose deaths in suicidal people will differ from interventions targeted at accidental overdoses. Yet most strategies for reducing opioid-overdose deaths do not include screening for suicide risk, nor do they address the need to tailor interventions for suicidal persons. Moreover, the inaccuracy of available data on the proportion of suicides among opioid-overdose […]

Opioid-related deaths in Alberta in 2017: Review of medical examiner data

Alberta Health undertook a review of the Chief Medical Examiner’s case files on all unintentional opioid-related deaths in 2017, supplemented by administrative data from Alberta Health. The purpose of the review was to learn more about the people dying from opioid-related deaths and the circumstances of those deaths, and to identify trends and inform potential […]

Association between parental medical claims for opioid prescriptions and risk of suicide attempt by their children

Importance  The rate of youth suicide has increased over the past 15 years in the United States as has the rate of death due to opioid overdose in adults of parental age. Objective  To explore the possible connection between parental use of prescription opioids and the increasing rate of youth suicide. Design, Setting, and Participants  […]