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Kieran Doherty & Sue Doherty
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Kieran Doherty & Sue Doherty



Published in Health & Medicine , Spiritual
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  • 1. Alcohol, Drugs and SuicideKieran Doherty, Inclusion MattersSue Doherty, Oldham Substance Misuse Services
  • 2. Contents• Substance misuse and Suicide• Managing substance misuse as a strategyfor suicide prevention
  • 3. Substance misuse and Suicide• Substance misuse is strongly linked todepressed mood and suicide risk –– Substance misuse can cause/enhance depressedmood both when using and in withdrawal– Substance misuse can mask depressed mood– Depressed mood can lead to substance misuse– Substance misuse can lead to impulsive behaviour– Intoxication can impair decision making
  • 4. Substance use and otherMental Health Problems• Psychosis• Personality disorders• OCD• PTSD
  • 5. Substance misuse and suicide• 40% of people seeking help with substance misuse problems reporthaving attempted suicide Between 20 and 35% of completed suicidesare carried out by individuals with an alcohol or drug dependency• There is a greater link with violent suicide in alcohol and cocaineusers eg hanging, firearms. In injecting opiate users it can be moredifficult to determine intent,• Previous suicide attempts while intoxicated are a significant predictorof future attempts• Many of the risks factors that apply to the general population inrelation to suicide also apply to people with substance misuseproblems• Alcohol, Stimulants, Opiates and other pain killers have particularlystrong links to suicide. Other drug can also be involved eg legalhighs, ecstasy
  • 6. Managing alcohol and drug use as partof suicide prevention• Asking about suicide and self harm is central to suicideprevention however asking about alcohol and drug use isequally important• Individuals are not surprised to be asked questionsabout alcohol and drug use• Include alcohol and drug use in any risk screening andcare planning• Use risk assessment and management tools• Your support networks for advice, supervision
  • 7. Using a Brief Interventions model• Feedback - making connections, review risks withindividual• Responsibility – Respecting choices that people makebut recognise that workers have choices andresponsibilities also• Advice – Ideas to reduce risk• Menu – Options for help and support, crisis planning• Empathy – trying to understand the world from theirperspective• Self-efficacy – What has worked before, build onstrengths