The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2024, 26, 12

Suicidal behaviour and its risk factors in patients with opioid use disorder

İpek Buse Güzelce, Bulent Kadri Gultekin, and Muhsin Koray Kılıç

Digital Object Identifier:

Summary: Background. This study aimed to determine the frequency of suicidal behaviour and sociodemographic/clinical characteristics affecting such suicidal behaviour in patients diagnosed with opiate use disorder. Methods. This is a cross-sectional study conducted on 194 patients referred to the University of Health Sciences, Erenköy Psychiatry Training and Research Hospital, Alcohol and Substance Addiction Treatment Centre between April 15 and July 15, 2019, who had been diagnosed with opiate use disorder according to DSM-5. The participants were administered sociodemographic, substance abuse and suicidal behaviour data form, Beck Depression Scale, Beck Hopelessness Scale, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11, SCID-5 (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 Axis 1 Disorder), Addiction Profile Index (API)-short form and Suicide Probability Scale. Results. Suicidal behaviour was detected in 29.4% of patients diagnosed with opiate use disorder (suicide attempt in 24.2% and suicidal thoughts in 5.2% within the last week). Female gender, opiate and substance abuse at an early age, history of psychiatric conditions and suicidal behaviour in the family, concomitant psychiatric disorders, and history of childhood trauma were significantly more prevalent in patients with suicidal behaviour than in those without. In patients with suicidal behaviour, years of education and monthly income were significantly lower (p<0.05). Depression, anxiety, and impulsiveness levels were significantly higher in patients with suicidal thoughts. A weak-moderate positive correlation between suicide probability and levels of depression, anxiety and impulsiveness was found in patients with suicidal thoughts (BDS; r=0.313, p <0.001* BAS; r= 0.489 p<0.001* BDS-11 r=0.255 p= 0.002). According to logistic regression analysis, the prevalence of suicidal thoughts is 9.4 times higher in patients with a family history of suicidal attempts, and it was determined that the suicidal thoughts increased 0.9-fold with each incremental increase in Beck Depression Scale. Conclusions. The frequency of suicide in opiate addicts has made this a significant public health problem. In order to prevent suicidal behaviour, a comprehensive risk assessment is required.

Keywords: opiate use disorder; suicidal behavior; suicide attempt; suicidal thought; risk factors


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