Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30153638
J Affect Disord 2018 12;241:546-553
BACKGROUND: people suffering from substance use disorders (SUD) often die by suicide, so that the prevention of suicide attempts (SA) remains a top priority in this population. SA recurrence is common and is associated with suicide death, but this phenotype has been overlooked in SUD populations. Thus, we aimed at identifying the risk factors of SA recurrence in SUD, controlling for both gender and levels of exposure to addictive substances, including tobacco.
METHODS: we consecutively recruited 433 treatment-seeking outpatients with either opiate or cocaine use disorder and assessed their lifetime history of addictive and suicidal symptoms by standardized questionnaires. They were reliably classified as never, single or recurrent (≥ 2) suicide attempters, whose characteristics were identified by multinomial regression, stratified by gender; and compared to our previous work on serious SA in order to identify common or different risk profiles.
RESULTS: 86/140 (61%) suicide attempters reported recurrence. The mean number of SA was 3.1. Recurrence was independently associated with psychiatric hospitalization in both genders, with nicotine dependence in men and with sedative use disorders in women.
LIMITATIONS: psychiatric diagnoses were derived from the current medication regimen.
CONCLUSION: specific and possibly avoidable/treatable risk factors for the recurrence of SA in SUD have been identified for the first time, opening new avenues for research and prevention in this high-risk population. Apart from nicotine dependence, these risk factors were very similar to those of serious SA. Although this comparison is indirect for now, it suggests a common liability towards suicidal behavior.