Suicidal motivations among opioid overdose survivors: Replication and extension

Hilary S. Connery, Roger D. Weiss, Margaret L. Griffin, Catherine D. Trinh, Jungjin Kim, Ian R.H. Rockett, R. Kathryn McHugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Several studies suggest suicidal motivation may contribute to opioid overdose fatalities in people with opioid use disorder. In this study, we sought to replicate and extend prior findings suggesting that a desire to die is common prior to nonfatal opioid overdose in people with opioid use disorder. Methods: Adults receiving inpatient detoxification and stabilization who reported a history of opioid overdose (N = 60) completed questions about suicidal cognition prior to their most recent overdose. Results: Approximately 45% reported some desire to die prior to their most recent overdose, with 20% reporting they had some intention to die. The correlation between these ratings was of a moderate magnitude (ρ = 0.58). Almost 40% of the sample perceived no risk of overdose prior to their most recent overdose event, suggesting a significant underestimation of risk in this population. Conclusions: Desire to die was common in adults with opioid use disorder prior to nonfatal opioid overdose events, and 1 in 5 people with a history of opioid overdose reported intention to die prior to their most recent opioid overdose. Careful assessment of suicidal cognition in this population may improve prevention of opioid overdose deaths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109437
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume235
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Opioid use disorder
  • Overdose
  • Self-injury mortality
  • Suicide
  • Suicide prevention

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