Injected drug linked to higher suicide risk



Injected drug linked to higher suicide risk
Toronto: Drug abusers who inject themselves with methamphetamine had an 80 higher chance of attempting suicide than those who rely on other substances, says a study.

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that increases energy and decreases appetite. It is used to treat narcolepsy (uncontrollable bouts of sleep during daytime) and some forms of depression.

"The high rate of attempted suicide observed suggests that suicide prevention efforts should be an integral part of substance abuse treatment programs," said Brandon Marshall, postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University Mailman School of Public.

"People who inject methamphetamine but are not in treatment would likely benefit from improved suicide risk assessment and other mental health support services within health care settings," added Marshall, also research coordinator for University of British Columbia`s Urban Health Research Initiative.

The Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study is part of the ongoing Urban Research Initiative, which focuses on the effects of substance use, infectious diseases, and the urban environment on the health of urban populations, according to the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The researchers evaluated 1,873 participants whose median age was 31, while 36.2 percent of participants were female, and 32.1 percent were of Aboriginal ancestry. In total, eight percent of participants reported a suicide attempt, according to a British Columbia statement.

IANS