People with opioid use disorder have high suicide rate

April 26, 2018

(HealthDay)—Patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) seem to have a high rate of suicide, according to a perspective piece published in the April 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Nora D. Volkow, M.D., from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Md., discuss the role of suicide in opioid overdose deaths.

The researchers note that patients with chronic pain and those with mood disorders are more likely to receive opioid prescriptions and are also at greater risk for suicide. Between 1999 and 2014, the proportion of suicides that were opioid overdoses increased from 2.2 to 4.3 percent, with the highest increase among those aged 45 to 64 years. Data from multiple sources strongly suggest that a considerable proportion of opioid-overdose deaths are suicides. Based on data from the National Death Index and , was 87 per 100,000 among persons with OUD, six times that of people in the general U.S. population. Efforts should be made to change opioid prescribing practices and to expand treatment for people with OUD. In addition, interventions could be tailored to reduce opioid-overdose deaths. Education campaigns to increase public awareness of risks could engage family and friends in interventions to prevent suicidal overdoses by getting medical assistance.

"These two epidemics are intermingled, and solutions to address the opioid crisis require that we tailor interventions to preventing -overdose deaths due to suicidal intent," the authors write.

Explore further: Opioid use may lead to suicide in elderly

More information: Abstract/Full Text

Related Stories

Opioid use may lead to suicide in elderly

January 3, 2018
A new study published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics suggests that suicidal ideations and suicide attempts are linked to opioid use and pain sensitivity in the elderly. The recent dramatic increase ...

Medicaid patients continue high prescription opioid use after overdose

August 22, 2017
Despite receiving medical attention for an overdose, patients in Pennsylvania Medicaid continued to have persistently high prescription opioid use, with only slight increases in use of medication-assisted treatment, according ...

Marijuana legalization may reduce opioid use

April 4, 2018
(HealthDay)—State implementation of medical marijuana laws is associated with a reduction in the rate of opioid prescribing, according to a study published online April 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Opioid overdoses in ERs up 30 percent as crisis worsens

March 6, 2018
Emergency rooms saw a big jump in overdoses from opioids last year—the latest evidence the nation's drug crisis is getting worse.

An emergency response to Canada's opioid overdose crisis

January 15, 2018
To help address the opioid overdose epidemic, Canada should develop a regulated program to distribute opioids and prevent deaths, argues a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Doctors prescribe opioids at high rates to those at increased overdose risk

April 24, 2018
The number of first-time prescriptions for opioid drugs has not risen since about 2010, according to UCLA researchers. However, patients taking a class of drug known to increase the risk for overdoses were likelier to receive ...

Recommended for you

Drug overdose epidemic has been growing exponentially for decades

September 20, 2018
Death rates from drug overdoses in the U.S. have been on an exponential growth curve that began at least 15 years before the mid-1990s surge in opioid prescribing, suggesting that overdose death rates may continue along this ...

Anti-cancer drugs may hold key to overcoming antimalarial drug resistance

September 20, 2018
Scientists have found a way to boost the efficacy of the world's most powerful antimalarial drug with the help of chemotherapy medicines, according to new research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Probiotic use may reduce antibiotic prescriptions, researchers say

September 14, 2018
Use of probiotics is linked to reduced need for antibiotic treatment in infants and children, according to a review of studies that probed the benefits of probiotics, say researchers in the U.S., England and the Netherlands.

Recalled blood pressure drugs not linked to increased short term cancer risk

September 12, 2018
Products containing the withdrawn blood pressure drug valsartan are not associated with a markedly increased short term risk of cancer, finds an expedited analysis published by The BMJ today.

Sugar pills relieve pain for chronic pain patients

September 12, 2018
Someday doctors may prescribe sugar pills for certain chronic pain patients based on their brain anatomy and psychology. And the pills will reduce their pain as effectively as any powerful drug on the market, according to ...

A new approach for finding Alzheimer's treatments

September 11, 2018
Considering what little progress has been made finding drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease, Maikel Rheinstädter decided to come at the problem from a totally different angle—perhaps the solution lay not with the peptide ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.