Opioid Use, Misuse, and Suicidal Behaviors

Opioid Use, Misuse, and Suicidal Behaviors in a Nationally Representative Sample of U.S. Adults. – PubMed – NCBI – just the abstract available – Mar 2019

This study proves that simply using opioids to treat a medical condition does not lead to increases in suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Prior research has shown associations between opioid misuse and suicidal behaviors, but the relationship between medical opioid use and suicidal behaviors is not known.

We assessed associations between opioid use and misuse to suicidal ideation, suicide plans, and suicide attempts among adults 18-64 years old (n=86,186) using nationally representative cross-sectional data from the 2015-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  

We used logistic regression to estimate associations between opioid use/misuse and suicidal behaviors and propensity score weighted logistic regression to examine the counterfactual scenario in which individuals with misuse had instead not misused opioids

In propensity score weighted analyses compared to opioid misuse,

  • use without misuse was associated with lower odds of ideation (odds ratio [OR]=0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.45, 0.72) and plans (OR=0.53; 95% CI: 0.35, 0.80), and
  • no use was associated with lower odds of ideation (OR=0.62; 95% CI: 0.49, 0.80), plans (OR=0.56; 95% CI: 0.39, 0.79), and attempts (OR=0.54; 95% CI: 0.33, 0.89

Opioid misuse is associated with greater odds of suicidal behaviors but use without misuse is not.

Compared to individuals with opioid misuse, similar individuals without misuse have reduced risk of suicidal behaviors. Clinical and public health interventions should focus on preventing misuse.

Yes, prevent MISUSE, not USE.

6 thoughts on “Opioid Use, Misuse, and Suicidal Behaviors

  1. canarensis

    (hm, lost the first attempt at comment, I think; wonky wifi. Apologies if I repeat myself.)

    “Compared to individuals with opioid misuse, similar individuals without misuse have reduced risk of suicidal behaviors.”

    This would sure seem to validate our contention that with adequate pain relief, we’re more able to go on & NOT kill ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      I don’t understand why the regulators and their minions can’t seem to understand how bad chronic pain is and how desperate we are for relief. Again, it seems impossible for people who don’t have it themselves to understand how chronic pain can destroy a life. (Though they are very concerned about pain during executions)


  2. canarensis

    Reblogged this on ecanarensis and commented:
    If I ever try to make a list of top ten posts from this blog, my brain will surely blow out of my head like an airbag: too many outstanding choices. This is another much-needed piece of excellent evidence to (try to) counteract the fact-free hysteria currently controlling our care –or denial of care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mavis Johnson

    This article will never get published in mass media, it conflicts with the lies, misinformation and industry propagada they are still using to criminalize pain patients and sell products.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. canarensis

      Mavis; you got that right. Plus, they gotta come up with something to justify all that money personnel & equipment the DEA has…& pain patients & doctors are SO much easier to get at & safer to attack than those mean icky drug dealers.

      Liked by 2 people


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