Franklin James Cook

Federal Agency Examines Substance Abuse, Suicide Link

In Prevention, Research on November 30, 2008 at 11:16 am

ORIGINAL PAPER — The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has announced the publication of “Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention: Evidence & Implications,” a white paper that “stresses substance abuse as a risk-factor for suicide and suicide attempts and the importance of continued learning about this connection to help prevent suicidal behavior.”

The document is described in its introduction as focusing “on the current state of knowledge at the
intersection of suicide and substance abuse.”

The first section focuses on the epidemiology of suicide itself and presents a brief history of the growing focus on suicide as a public health issue of significant concern.

The second section provides an overview of what we know and do not know of the impact of substance
abuse—including both drugs and alcohol—on suicide risk. It also acknowledges the critical
interrelationships among substance abuse, mental illness, and suicide risk.

The final section of the document explores suicide prevention within the public health context of behavioral health promotion and illness prevention.

The white paper presages the publication of “a far more extensive, consensus-built Treatment Improvement Protocol on substance abuse and suicide.”

Treatment Improvement Protocols, or TIPs, are SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s best practice guidelines for the treatment of substance abuse.

[The abridged URL for this post is .]


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