-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. emergency department
visits for drug-related suicide attempts by young adult males rose
55 percent between 2005 and 2009, a government report says.
"The misuse of prescription drugs is clearly helping to fuel the problem," said Pamela S. Hyde, head of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which published the report.
In 2009, men aged 21 to 34 made more than 29,000 emergency room
visits for medication-related suicide attempts compared to just
over 19,000 visits in 2005, SAMHSA noted. Drug-related suicide
attempts by males of all ages accounted for almost 78,000 emergency
department visits nationwide in 2009.
"While we have learned much about how to prevent suicide, it continues to be a leading cause of death among people who abuse alcohol and drugs," Hyde said in an agency news release.
ER visits for drug-related suicide attempts involving
antidepressants among young adult males in those four years jumped
155 percent, and cases involving anti-anxiety and insomnia
medications rose 93 percent.
Emergency department visits for drug-related suicide attempts
involving narcotic pain relievers nearly doubled among men aged 35
to 49, and almost tripled among men aged 50 and older.
The findings are based on data from the 2005-09 Drug Abuse
Warning Network reports.
"Greater awareness about the warning signs and risk factors for suicide, including abuse of alcohol and drugs, can help people take action and save lives," Hyde said.
According to her agency, warning signs that someone might be at
increased risk for suicide include the following:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK)
provides round-the-clock, immediate assistance anywhere in the
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
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