Tag Archives: drug use

Should You Talk to Someone About a Drug, Alcohol, or Mental Health Problem?

Many people struggle with both substance use and a mental disorder. These questions can help you decide whether you need help with substance use, a mental health issue, or both. For people who suffer from both, receiving treatment for both is important for getting better. Recovery starts with understanding that you may have one or both of these problems.

  • Over  the past two weeks, have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless?
  • Over the past two weeks, have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?
  • In the past year, have you had significant problems with insomnia, bad dreams, or falling asleep during the day?
  • In the past year, have you thought about ending your life or had thoughts of suicide?

-If you have had thoughts of suicide, please call 1-800-SUICIDE. 

  • In the past year, did you have a hard time paying attention at school, work, or home?
  • Have you ever felt you should cut down on your alcohol or drug use?
  • Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
  • Have you ever felt bad or guilty about drinking or drug use?
  • Have you ever taken a drink or drug first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

-In the past, have you ever:

  • (for men) Had 5 or more drinks in a day?
  • (for women or anyone over age 65) had 4 or more drinks in a day?
  • used recreational or prescription drugs to get high?

Unless you answered “never” to all of the above questions, talk to your doctor, nurse, or counselor about the details. They can help you decide what do to next. They may also help you find more information and resources.

For more information on treatment for co-occurring mental and substance use disorders, call Apex Behavioral Health to set up treatment. You can also go to www.samhsa.gov/treatment.

New Studies Show Suicide Attempts Constitute a Significant Portion of Drug Related Hospital ER Visits

A new series of studies that analyzed drug-related hospital emergency room visits throughout the country in 2008 revealed that a substantial percentage of these visits involved suicide attempts. According to these studies conducted by SAMHSA, more than 1 in every 12 (8.8%) drug-related hospital emergency department visit by an adolescent is a suicide attempt. This is double the rate found among cases involving those aged 25 and older (4.4%). The attempted suicide rate among adults aged 18 to 25 was 6.6%.

The vast majority of the suicide attempts by adolescents were made by females (72%). Females made up the majority of cases among young adults aged 18-25, and over 25, but at a decreated rate of 57%.  

Pharmaceutical drugs were involved in more than 9 out of 10 of the drug-related suicide attempt cases. However, there were differences in the patterns of substances used among the various age and gender groups.

Acetaminophen products (Tylenol) were the most commonly used substances involved in emergency room visits by female adolescents attempting sucide (28%), while anti-anxiety drugs were the most commonly used substances in cases involving females aged 25 or older (49%).

Adolescent males admitted for drug-related suicides were more than three times as likely to have used antipsychotic drugs as females were (14% vs 4%).

The studies also revealed differences in the level of follow-up care (inpatient admission, referral to detoxification, or transfer to another hospital facility). These types of differences are often associated with the type of substance used and the age of those attempting suicide.

While over 90% of adolescents admitted for attempting suicide with antidepressants received follow-up care, only 52% of adolescents involving cases with ibuprofen received it.

83% of the cases involving adolescents using alcohol received follow-up care, while only 59% of alcohol related cases among those aged 25 or older received it.

In 2007, suicides in the United States accounted for 34,598 deaths; almost twice the number of homicides at 18,361. To help address this problem, SAMHSA sponsors the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. This is a network of crisis call centers located throughout the nation that can immediately link a caller seeking help to a trained counselor located closest to the caller. The lifeline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are confidential.

“The sheer numbers of young people that continue to end up in costly hospital emergency rooms as a result of substance abuse and suicide is truly alarming and is a clear signal that we must continue to evaluate the impact of behavioral health on health and health care costs,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “The studies also point out the need to provide better follow up services after visits to emergency departments and other healthcare settings in working with people who have attempted suicide.”