Using drugs is one of the most common suicide risk factors when it comes to both teenagers and adults. This is because using drugs can mess with your mind whether or not you already have a mental disorder as well.
Being depressed and having suicidal thoughts is not the same thing. Sure drug and alcohol use can cause depression, but in many, it can cause much worse including a suicide attempt.
When it comes to the numbers, we can’t really know how often drug use does contribute to suicide attempts because if they succeed it is not like we can just ask them questions about it.
But many people who use drugs or alcohol, especially teens, use drugs or alcohol to cope with other problems. These problems for teens could include depression, stress, or even just wanting to have fun but not knowing how to let loose.
Having their friends or peers offer them drugs or alcohol while making it seem normal is another way to get them to use drugs. But if they already are dealing with stress and find that drugs and alcohol help calm them down, this can easily lead to addiction.
This is problematic because many drugs have a crash and alcohol is a depressant. Yes, it can make them feel good for a short burst, but it won’t help with any underlying behavioral disorders. Often if a teen is having issues, it can be because they have mental disorders. Using drugs and alcohol often exacerbates the symptoms of these disorders.
It is possible to develop suicidal thoughts while suffering from addiction because the drugs or alcohol wreak havoc on the mind. This is especially true for the developing minds of teenagers. Epidemiological research shows exactly what kind of impact drugs can have on the developing brain.
Even the recovery process itself can put teens at risk if they are not properly cared for because it can become a stressful situation very easily. For many, suicide feels like an easy escape from the hardship of reality, especially if they no longer have drugs to cope.
Using drugs to cope with suicide is another common reason to use drugs that can contribute to their problems.
If you feel sad and overwhelmed everything is hard, and drugs can make you feel good, relax you, and help you forget about your worries. It can be easy to forget what it feels like to be happy without drugs and this can push suicidal thoughts further forward.
If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts don’t be afraid to reach out and get the help that you need. There are always options.