New Information Draws a Distinct Relationship Between Meth and Suicide

Girl depressed from meth use

No one likes to confront the existence of an addiction amongst their family members or loved ones. But sadly, given the current drug scene in modern-day America, that is exactly what many American families are having to do. And confront it they should too because if they don’t, an addiction in a family member or loved one might be the predecessor to a suicide. New information indicates that this is particularly relevant for methamphetamine addiction.

Suicide, whether consciously committed or the result of an accidental overdose, is the end-all of addiction, the final wound, the last injury, and the one, irreparable destruction that all addiction eventually causes if it is not addressed.

There is a particular, gripping misery that is attendant with suicide. And while this article does not mean to disparage addicts or to only speak of the sadness and grief attendant with substance abuse, we do need to confront the fact that drug and alcohol addiction goes hand-in-hand with suicide. When we know someone who is addicted, we have to do whatever we can to get them off of drugs and alcohol so they never meet the grim fate that so many addicts ultimately face.

New Methamphetamine Studies Show Increased Risk for Suicide

New research indicates that methamphetamine, a drug that has increased in interest amongst the young adult crowd for some time, is more likely to push a user to the brink of suicide than other drugs are. According to the Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health located in New York City, IV drug users who are hooked on methamphetamine are eighty percent more likely to attempt a suicide than addicts who abuse other drugs are.

Researchers believe that the very unique phenomena of an IV meth addiction combined with the social, physical, psychological, and even spiritual implications of a meth habit all come together to create and in fact increase the risk for suicide. According to Brandon Marshal, postdoctoral study author from the Columbia University:

“Compared to other injection drug users, it is possible that methamphetamine users are more isolated and have poorer social support systems…”
“Compared to other injection drug users, it is possible that methamphetamine users are more isolated and have poorer social support systems. This is one of North America's largest cohorts of injection drug users, and the research is among the first longitudinal studies to examine attempts of suicide by injection drug users.”

Other study authors and researchers contend that methamphetamine, it seems, causes more volatile behavior and thought patterns, which makes suicide a more likely outcome for them.

Suicide Prevention is a Must

From 2001 to 2008, almost two-thousand regular drug users, men and women alike, were studied, tested, and surveyed. In the research, it was found that, of the eight percent of those individuals who had attempted a suicide, almost all of them had been IV methamphetamine users. In fact, even for those who rarely used drugs, if they were using IV methamphetamine, their odds of having attempted a suicide during the study period was much greater. Frequent, even daily IV meth users had the highest risk for suicide attempts of all drug users.

Brandon Marshal goes on to discuss suicide prevention, and how important it has become for the family members and loved ones of addicts to act fast before a risk for suicide even presents itself:

“The high rate of attempted suicide observed in this study suggests that suicide prevention efforts should be an integral part of substance abuse treatment programs. In addition, 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.”

What this information tells us is that, while no type of drug abuse, no matter what it is, is acceptable, some types of drug use are certainly more indicative of suicide risk than others are. It would seem that with IV meth use, this is the riskiest one.

Parents, family members, loved ones, friends, and associates of those trapped by an addiction crisis must be helped, and they must be helped soon too. Through intervention, inpatient drug rehab, and ongoing care, any addict can escape the clutches of an addictive habit. But nine times out of ten, it will take help and assistance from their family to put them on the right path to do so.




After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.