June 15, 2017 – You can prevent suicide before it happens. Doing so begins with identifying its risk factors. An individual with an alcohol and drug use disorder is five times more likely to report suicidal attempts than one without a substance use disorder. Substance abuse contributes to thoughts, plans and attempts of suicide. Any thoughts about suicide should never be ignored.

Identifying the Risk of Suicide

The best way to know whether a loved one is at risk for suicide is to observe them and look out for signs such as:

– Threats that they will commit suicide
– Obsession about dying and death
– Freely giving their valuable items away
– Past attempts at committing suicide
– Increase in alcohol and drug use
– Impulsive promiscuous and dangerous behaviors
– Pre-existing mental health conditions
– Loss of income, home or job
– Emotional emptiness

If you suspect that someone close to you is at risk for suicide, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. Alcohol and drug abuse can cause unpredictable behavior, which may further increase the risk of suicide.

How to Get Help for Yourself or a Loved One

When someone has an addiction problem, they may experience intense feelings of hopelessness and desperation. Sharing the problem with others may be very difficult, but it can help. If suicide is a risk for your loved one, there are various ways to assist, including:

– Taking any threat of suicide seriously
– Refraining from blame, judgment and lectures
– Encouraging constant communication
– Offering reassurance and a helping hand
– Acknowledging the reality of suicide

Keep in mind that impulsive use of drugs increases suicide risk. If you are concerned that your loved one is at risk for suicide, don’t hesitate to talk to someone who can help. This could be a therapist, clergy or even a mentor. Even if your assumptions are wrong, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Thankfully, our compassionate, caring staff at Tranquil Shores is ready to offer you the guidance and help you need through this difficult time. Call (727) 391-7001 or (877) 566-1166 to learn more about our recovery services for self-harm and addiction in Tampa Bay.