Opioid Treatment Programs Gear Up to Provide Suicide Care

April 19, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


Addiction treatment programs will soon be required to provide standard suicide care to patients. Evidence suggests that the country’s increasing rates of drug overdose and suicide deaths are linked. People who abuse opioids are at higher risk for suicide, and opioid use contributes to a large percentage of suicide deaths. Providing effective suicide care to patients in behavioral health care is critical for addressing these trends, say experts. Starting in June, suicide care recommendations from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention will become the required standard for addiction treatment programs. For the first time, inpatient and outpatient facilities will have to meet the minimum standard of suicide care in order to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. “We know that if you have a substance use disorder, your risk of suicide is five to six times higher than the general population,” said Brian Ahmedani, a suicide researcher at the Henry Ford Health System. “It makes sense to provide high-intensity suicide care for everyone in this population.”

Spark Extra! Read the recommended standard care report.