Health and Medical Professionals

Suicide Deaths Are a Major Component of the Opioid Crisis that Must Be Addressed

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In observance, our two institutes, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), are taking this opportunity to highlight a dimension of the opioid crisis that receives too little attention—the links between opioid use, opioid use disorder (OUD), and suicide.

The Importance of Treating Opioid Use Disorder in the Justice System

Effectively delivering OUD treatment in the justice system will give individuals with OUD a chance of recovery, and will make a huge difference in reducing the toll of the opioid crisis in the U.S. It will also bring about additional health and economic benefits like reducing the spread of HIV and hepatitis C and reducing the costs from re-incarceration and family disruption, which are much higher when OUD is not treated.
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