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Link Between Addiction and Suicide

Link Between Addiction and Suicide

Addiction means an individual or addict has abused a specific drug, manipulating proper functioning in the brain and forming a physical dependency. Suicide is a side effect of long-term drug abuse, and often people will misuse drugs because they are suicidal. Thoughts of dying, severe depression, family history of sexual abuse or violence, and alcohol and drug abuse are signs and symptoms of suicide. There is a distinct connection between addiction and suicide, the former of which could worsen suicidal ideations.  

The Brain When It Comes to Suicides and Drug Addictions  

The brain’s chemistry plays a primary role in inflicting addiction, especially if someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts. If a person attempts to self-medicate to distract their thoughts from thinking negatively about life, the brain’s reward system is altered. In addition, since dopamine and other chemicals in the brain spike after drug consumption, eventually, a person will refrain from social interaction and family activities since their feelings of pleasure begin to only stem from the abused drug.  

The neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for mood and judgment are improperly operating, which inflicts a depressive and low-motivated feeling and can lead to suicidal thoughts. Addicts who undergo addiction for an extended period may impulsively commit suicide. However, since addiction can lead to many harmful side effects, many people will not plan suicide but instead compulsively commit the action.  

Common Addictions Linked to Suicide  

Methamphetamine is a controlled substance since it’s used for some medical purposes. The stimulant is often illegally obtained and consumed, leading to high overdose accounts. Meth causes many physical issues like increased blood pressure and heart rate but also inflicts harmful psychological effects. Side effects of the drug are paranoia, extreme mood swings, homicidal tendencies, and suicidal thoughts. If a person has a mental health condition like schizophrenia, ingesting meth can worsen symptoms. Meth and suicidal actions include delusions, anger, and psychosis can increase and cause a person to impulsively commit suicide or hurt someone else.  

Gambling Addiction and Suicide 

Besides drug abuse, gambling is a serious addiction that is a leading cause of suicide. Nearly 50% of those struggling with gambling disorder will have thoughts of suicide. Unfortunately, people struggling with the problem are almost 2.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. One out of five gamblers will attempt suicide. Brain chemistry and genetics also play a role in addiction.2  

Alcohol Addiction and Suicide  

According to studies, in 2019, 47,500 Americans passed away due to suicide. Additionally, research indicates that nearly ⅓ of suicide deaths are linked to alcohol consumption.3 Alcohol is a socially accepted drug that many people, especially those with mental health issues, will abuse to attempt self-medication. Alcohol may temporarily relieve thoughts of suicide, but overall, chronic drinking worsens mental health disorders from anxiety and depression to inflicting thoughts of impulsively committing suicide.  

Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention at Banyan Pompano  

From alcohol addiction treatment to meth addiction treatment and more, Banyan Treatment Centers Pompano has you covered. We understand that addiction is experienced differently by everyone, which is why we offer various unique treatment programs like motivational interviewing and pet therapy. Our experienced medical staff will work with you to design a personalized treatment plan that will help you reach your recovery goals.  

Speak to specialists at Banyan Pompano by calling 888-280-4763 and asking about our mental health program to get started on the path to recovery today! 



  1. Springer - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11469-006-9030-z 
  1. NIH - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7701043/ 
  1. Alcohol Rehab guide - https://www.alcoholrehabguide.org/resources/dual-diagnosis/alcohol-and-suicide/ 


Related Readings:  

The Most Dangerous Alcoholic Drinks in the World 

Difference Between Worry and Anxiety  

Helping a Depressed Spouse 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.