Opioid Misuse Linked to Increased Suicide Risk in Persons With Disabilities

Opioid Misuse Linked To Increased Suicide Risk In Persons With Disabilities

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Opioid misuse is associated with an increased risk for suicide, and people with disabilities have a further increased risk, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in Substance Use & Misuse.

Keith T. Chan, Ph.D., from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York City, and Christina N. Marsack-Topolewski, Ph.D., from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, used data from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to examine the effect of opioid use and disability on serious thoughts of suicide, having a suicide plan, and making a suicide attempt among a sample of 38,088 persons aged 18 years and older.

The researchers found that opioid misuse was associated with increased odds of having a suicide plan in the past year (odds ratio, 1.37). People with disabilities had higher odds of having a suicide plan and for a suicide attempt in the past year (odds ratios, 1.30 and 1.73, respectively). In an interaction analysis, opioid misuse was associated with increased odds of having a suicide plan and having a suicide attempt among those with disabilities (odds ratios, 1.89 and 2.57, respectively).

“We recommend that health care professionals who work with people with disabilities take into account the risks of suicide for those with a history of prescription opioid misuse,” Chan said in a statement. “There is a need for effective mental health services tailored for people with disabilities to address the impact of the opioid epidemic.”

Abstract/Full Text