Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, believes more work must be done on connections between suicidal thoughts and overdoses.
As fatal opioid overdoses continue to rise, the causes of each death have become all too familiar: They usually involve a lethal cocktail of heroin, painkillers, and increasingly, the powerful synthetic opioid Fentanyl. But often left out of these tragic stories is the inner turmoil going on inside each victim, and researchers have started examining trauma and depression as well as social connectedness as possible factors in the rise of overdoses.
In addition to the spread of painkillers and cheap heroin, some fatal overdoses may in fact be suicides. Dr. Joshua Gordon, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, believes that there may be a stronger link between the opioid epidemic and suicide than previously realized.
“There are, of course, links between addictions in general and opioid addictions in particular and suicide,” Gordon told HuffPost. “There is a lot of concern that many of the overdose deaths could be suicides. We need to learn more about the prevalence of suicidality amongst opioid addicted individuals.”
Many of the same drivers behind suicidal thinking can be found in those addicted to opioids, from feelings of isolation and despair to economic anxieties and histories of trauma.
For complete article: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opioids-suicide-depression-public-health_us_59d55486e4b0380b6c9a14e1