Substance abuse and suicide prevention: Evidence and implications – A white paper


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

This white paper provides an overview of the advances made over the past decade in the areas of substance abuse prevention and treatment, and suicide prevention. It then examines how this knowledge can be effectively interwoven in suicide prevention efforts. The first section of the paper focuses on the epidemiology of suicide and presents a brief history of the growing focus on suicide as a public health issue. The second section provides an overview of what we know and do not know about the impact of substance abuse on suicide risk. The final section of the document explores suicide prevention within the public health context of behavioral health promotion and illness prevention.