Addictions to Cocaine and Amphetamines Linked to Suicidal Thoughts and Actions

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Mental health issues don’t mix well with addiction and substance abuse. There has been a well established link between drug and alcohol abuse in conjunction with mental disorders like bi-polar disorder and even schizophrenia and of course, depression. To some, drugs like alcohol serve as a self medication program that helps them escape their real life problems and eventually drown themselves in the bottle, so to speak, but of course that is only a temporary solution. A solution that will eventually become a very bad way to treat the underlying issues that drove someone so deeply into alcoholism. The same applies to other drugs, in particular cocaine and amphetamines which have now been linked to a very serious increase in the percentages of suicide. Suicide caused by the drugs, that is, which is breaking news in the drug and addiction community because scientists have now pinpointed the two drugs that seem to be causing the most trouble.

The study, published in the Nov. 26 issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, followed the users of injectable drugs over a seven-year period. The users answered questionnaires twice a year. The study found that users of cocaine and amphetamines were roughly twice as likely to attempt suicide than users of opiates, sedative-hypnotics, cannabis and alcohol. Didier Jutras-Aswad, one of the study’s authors, said the findings are important because while it is well known that people who abuse alcohol and drugs are more likely to commit suicide, no study has broken down which substances put users more at risk for suicidal behaviour.

Because cocaine and amphetamines are such potent mood changers, it made sense that their effect on the brain would be substantial indeed. Not only do these two drugs affect the brain in such a profound way, users who contemplate and make a first attempt at taking their own lives often fail the first time but because of that failure and the subsequent changes in the brain, the second time they try they are far more likely to succeed, which poses a very serious risk to an addict who’s brain is under attack both by the drugs themselves and the symptoms and side effects which can have profound psychological implications on an already stressed brain.

The problem now facing the medical community, in particular those physicians and other experts who specialize in mental health and addiction related medicine, is to discover a more accurate and targeted approach to dealing with cocaine and amphetamine abuse. The science on the subject is proving just that, and to protect those who are suffering from an addiction to either one of those drugs deserves a more precise form of recovery and monitoring in order to accurately interpret and diagnose any psychological changes that pose a serious risk of suicide among cocaine and amphetamine addicts. It’s possible these particular addicts should receive different care and recovery options than users of other drugs that don’t pose as much risk for suicidal thoughts, attempts and ultimately the successful act.

 

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Sobriety Foundation

Addictions to Cocaine and Amphetamines Linked to Suicidal Thoughts and Actions

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