With Opioid Overdoses on the Rise, How Do We Know People Die by Suicide

May 10, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Mighty

Many opioid overdose deaths may actually be suicides, data suggest. Determining the intent of an overdose death can be difficult, especially in the absence of a suicide note or mental health diagnosis. These classification challenges have critical implications for prevention efforts. “Interventions to prevent overdose deaths in suicidal people will differ from interventions targeted at accidental overdoses,” explained Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Volkow and other experts have called for better screening tools to identify people at risk of suicide and wider implementation of risk assessments throughout the health care system.

Spark Extra! Check out data on suicide and opioids.