Substance Abuse and Suicide

Alcohol and drug abuse are among the leading risk factors for suicide. People with substance use disorders may experience hopelessness and suicidal thoughts, but addiction treatment has helped people find purpose and happiness in life.

According to, substance abuse commonly co-occurs with several mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. People with mental illness are more likely to use alcohol or other drugs, and some use substances to self-medicate symptoms of their mental illness. As some people recover from addiction, they may develop suicidal thoughts. Stressful events such as a DUI arrest may increase suicidal thoughts associated with guilt and shame.

Friends or family members of a person experiencing suicidal thoughts should be open, honest, and non-judgmental in their interactions. Providing love and support is great, but contacting mental health professionals is the most important thing a person can do.