Expert: Large Percentage of Deaths by Drug Overdose May be Suicides


Between 25 and 45 percent of deaths by overdose may be suicides, according to the immediate past president of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Maria Oquendo told NBC News the opioid epidemic is occurring at the same time suicides have risen to a 30-year high. One study of overdoses from prescription opioids found almost 54 percent were unintentional. The rest were either suicide attempts or undetermined, the article notes.

Few doctors are looking for a connection between opioid addiction and suicides, Dr. Oquendo said. “They are not monitoring it,” she said. “They are probably not assessing it in the kinds of depths they would need to prevent some of the deaths.”

Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

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    April 16, 2018 at 11:46 AM

    So then I could only assume that the amount of other drugs pale in comparison to the opiate % or mg numbers. It also says fetnayl & synthetic opioids deaths are rising as well.
    Deaths from heroin and herion use accompanied by at least one other drug are NOT the same statistically speaking. Just because a drug is in an overdose deaths system, doesn’t make it the cause of death. The medical examiner would go by the numbers from the lab, past experience, personal patient history, ect… Hope that helps..

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    Dave Finch

    March 30, 2018 at 11:24 AM

    Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015.

    Where do you get such information? CDC tells us 90% of heroin use is accompanied by at least one other drug.

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