Emergency Department Visits for Drug-Related Suicide Attempts Have Increased


Drug-related emergency department (ED) visits involving suicide attempts have increased in recent years. From 2005 to 2011, there was a 51 percent increase for these types of visits among individuals aged 12 or older (from 151,477 to 228,277 visits). Specifically, such ED visits involving patients aged 18 to 29 increased 58 percent from 2005 to 2011 (from 47,512 to 75,068 visits). For patients aged 45 to 64, such ED visits increased 104 percent during this period (from 28,802 in 2005 to 58,775 in 2011). In 2011, 18 to 29 year olds and 45 to 64 year olds comprised approximately 60 percent of all drug-related ED visits involving suicide attempts. Despite the apparent increases in such visits among other age groups, these increases were not statistically significant.

Suicide prevention information resources are available from SAMHSA's Suicide Prevention Resource Center at http://www.sprc.org. Crisis counseling is always available through the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or 1-800-273-TALK(8255). To learn more about suicide and suicide prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/index.html.

Figure. Emergency department visits involving drug-related suicide attempts, by age group: 2005 and 2011
This is a bar graph comparing emergency department visits involving drug-related suicide attempts, by age group: 2005 and 2011. Accessible table located below this figure.

Figure Table. Emergency department visits involving drug-related suicide attempts, by age group: 2005 and 2011
Age Group 2005 2011
Aged 12 to 17 17,869 23,005
Aged 18 to 29* 47,512 75,068
Aged 30 to 44 53,213 66,470
Aged 45 to 64* 28,802 58,775
Aged 64 or Older   4,079   4,953
* Difference between 2005 and 2011 is statistically significant at the .05 level.

Source: 2005 and 2011 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). DAWN is a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related hospital emergency department (ED) visits and drug-related deaths to track the impact of drug use, misuse, and abuse in the United States.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. The Data Spotlight may be copied without permission. Citation of the source is appreciated. Find this report and those on similar topics online at http://www.samhsa.gov/data/.