Tag Archives: suicide

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.   Continue reading

Chronic Pain, Depression & Antidepressants

Managing Chronic Pain, Depression & Antidepressants: Issues & Relationships – Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center – by Michael Clark, M.D., M.P.H. – 1995, updated August 15, 2017

Signs, Symptoms, and Prevalence

In several studies of patients presenting to clinics specializing in the evaluation of pain, the prevalence of psychiatric conditions was systematically assessed.

Affective and anxiety disorders were the most commonly found (Reich et al. 1983). For example, the prevalence of major depression in patients with chronic low back pain is 3-4 times greater than in the general population (Sullivan et al. 1992). However, the causal relationship between these syndromes remains controversial.    Continue reading

Suicide falling around the world, but rising in U.S.

Why suicide is falling around the world, and how to bring it down more – Nov 2018

Suicide fascinates us. It is at once appalling and yet, in the darkest places in our minds, appealing. It is the most damaging sort of death.

A child’s suicide is a parent’s worst nightmare, and a parent’s marks their children for life. It is a manifestation not just of individual anguish but also of a collective failure: if society is too painful to live in, perhaps we are all culpable.

The suicide rate in America is up by 18% since 2000.   Continue reading

Suicide Accounts for Higher Percentage Of Opioid Deaths

Suicide Accounts for Higher Percentage Of Opioid Deaths Than Previously Believed – Pain Medicine News – Sept 2018

In 2016, 42,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose, according to the CDC. In the past, just a tiny fraction of those deaths would have been counted as suicides.

But now, , writing in The New England Journal of Medicine, Maria A. Oquendo, MD, PhD, the chair of the Psychiatry Department in the Perelman School of Medicine and Nora D. Volkow, MD, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that 20% to 30% of these deaths (8,400-12,600) were likely by suicide. Dr. Oquendo told Pain Medicine News that the rate could be as high as 40% (16,800).

Pain Medicine News editorial advisory board member Lynn R. Webster, MD, believes death by suicide may be even more prevalent among opioid overdoses than Drs. Oquendo and Volkow suggest. [see Suicide Due to Chronic Pain]

Continue reading

Suicide Due to Chronic Pain

Here are excerpts from 4 more articles showing that many suicides classified as “overdose” deaths are likely due to chronic pain.

The first article I include below started the “official awareness” that many opioid-overdose deaths may have been due to unbearable pain. Patients are committing suicide when their pain medications are taken away by the over-zealous promotion of anti-opioid policies.

With a powerful and well-known author like the head of NIDA, Dr. Nora Volkow, we can hope that other professionals will take note.  Continue reading

Chronic Pain and Suicide: a Deadly Link

It is becoming more and more obvious and even studies and publicly recognized that the forced reduction of opioid doses for pain patients are causing suicides.

Here are several recent posts on this topic:

PubMed studies from the NIH

Psychogenic pain

Treat pain to prevent suicides

 

People Can Die From Giving Up the Fight

People Can Die From Giving Up the Fight – 25-Sep-2018 – Source Newsroom: University of Portsmouth

We had a neighbor downstairs, a single woman who retired and then, within a few years, lost all interest in life. She never left her townhouse anymore, but she always acted almost normally when social workers visited. On the rare occasions someone would see her it was clear that she was losing a lot of weight.

She had no relatives nearby and it turned out that she had no friends either. She refused to see a doctor or be hospitalized, so there was nothing anyone could do (which I think is exactly what she wanted). She was eventually found dead, lying neatly and perfectly dressed on her bed.

People can die simply because they’ve given up, life has beaten them and they feel defeat is inescapable, according to new research.  Continue reading

The causes of anxiety and suicide

Commentary: We must understand the causes of anxiety and suicide – By Perry G. Fine – September 16, 2018

Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asserts that there is no single cause that can be attributed to this national trend, we know that serious, life-impacting anxiety, depression and chronic pain are at an all-time high and strongly correlated with suicide attempts.

The 25 percent increase in the suicide rate has mirrored similar upswings in other harmful behaviors and chronic illnesses.

These include parallel increases in diabetes and obesity-related mortality, gun violence deaths and drug overdose fatalities.   Continue reading

Suicide Notes Suggest Role of Chronic Pain

Suicide Notes Suggest ‘Chilling’ Role of Chronic Pain – Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE – Sept 2018

Every time I talk about the opioid epidemic and how physicians should be careful prescribing opioids for chronic pain, I get a significant backlash from patients with chronic pain and their providers, who feel that opioids are the only thing keeping patients from suicide.

This concern is actually supported by the researcher’s analysis of 95 suicide notes from individuals with chronic pain;

64 of those notes stated that pain played a role in their decision to die by suicide—chilling and heartbreaking data.  Continue reading

Many Opioid Deaths are Suicides

Suicide Accounts for Higher Percentage Of Opioid Deaths Than Previously Believed – Pain Medicine News – by David Holzman – Sept 2018

In 2016, 42,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose, according to the CDC. In the past, just a tiny fraction of those deaths would have been counted as suicides.

But now, Maria A. Oquendo, MD, PhD, the chair of the Psychiatry Department in the Perelman School of Medicine.and Nora D. Volkow, MD, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse,estimated that 20% to 30% of these deaths (8,400-12,600) were likely by suicide. Dr. Oquendo told Pain Medicine News that the rate could be as high as 40% (16,800).

Pain Medicine News editorial advisory board member Lynn R. Webster, MD, believes death by suicide may be even more prevalent among opioid overdoses than Drs. Oquendo and Volkow suggest.   Continue reading