Suicide and drug overdose deaths in the United States, regardless of age or race, have increased since 2001 and the rate of drug overdose death surpassed that of suicide in 2015 (CDC WISQARS, 2018). There are shared risk factors for suicide and substance abuse, including depression, trauma history, hopelessness, and impulsivity (SAMHSA, 2015). Research indicates that individuals who struggle with substance abuse disorders can also be at increased risk for suicide. For example, in one study, adults who abused opioids at least weekly were more likely to engage in suicide planning and attempts (Ashrafioun, Bishop, Conner, & Pigeon, 2017). Individuals who struggle with substance misuse and abuse are at higher risk for suicide, health care providers undoubtedly encounter these challenging and complex patients. Systems that have adopted a Zero Suicide framework are well suited to embed best practices and training that directly targets the impact of substance abuse on suicide.
This webinar will highlight innovative ways that health and behavioral health care organizations are changing organizational practices and providing improved care for patients with substance abuse disorders who are at heightened risk for overdose and suicide. By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to (1) identify ways to improve staff attitudes and confidence towards working with patients at risk for suicide and overdose deaths, (2) share unique patient engagement and suicide care management plan considerations for this population, and (3) describe the importance of a patient-centered perspective to treating suicide risk and overdose risk concurrently.
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