Year: 2020 Source: Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. (2020). 26(3), p. 291-293. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001161 SIEC No: 20200323

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 the same time period mirrors the trend in opioid overdose deaths, yet it has received less national attention. The 47 173 suicide deaths in 2017 represent a 33% increase and the largest annual increase since 1999.2,3 Emerging data indicate that the increases in opioid overdose and suicide are interconnected,4 but strategies that address the intersections between opioid use, overdose, and suicide have been largely unexamined.