The Cause of Higher Suicide Rate Among Substance Abusers


(Originally written in my Tumblr blog July 14, 2015)

I think I have figured out something. Suicides for people that are substance abusers are higher not due to the substance itself but due to lack of social support. Before, I was assuming that the substances themselves altered the user’s personality and made them more vulnerable to attempt suicide. I was wrong, I think.

Truthfully it requires a scientific study to prove or disprove my hypothesis, but after concluding this was true via two sources, I’m pretty sure it would be proven true if submitted to the rigors of scientific empiricism.

One of the risk factors of suicide as laid out by Thomas Joiner is Failed Belongingness. Not only this, but he cited a study done in which alcoholics who were recently separated or lived alone were more likely to commit suicide and another study in which the elevated rate of suicides among heroin addicts were not linked to heroin overdoses.

Combine what Thomas Joiner said with the TED talk concept of the Rat Park study in which rats ignored the heroin laced water if they had a good social life, and the drug policy of Portugal in which addicts are integrated into society and substance abuse drops…

And, it seems pretty clear how I came to the conclusion I did about the true cause of the higher suicide rate for substance abusers.

The sources that led me to these conclusions are as follows:

Why People Die by Suicide by Thomas Joiner

and this TED talk called Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong.

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