Youth: Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide

WVADS, Inc. has developed and produced a new booklet entitled, “Youth; Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide”, which continues to be widely distributed throughout Luzerne and Wyoming Counties. Both the clinical and prevention/education staff have undergone extensive training on this subject. Local school districts, in responding to 4 completed suicides in a one-week period of 2012, solicited the assistance of the agency in responding to these emergencies. Consultation, recommendations, and information for schools and community were developed. The agency reviewed cluster suicide reports from Dover, Delaware incidents, spoke with parents whose children had completed suicides, and reviewed literature and research in the development of these materials. The National Household Survey of Drug Abuse found that young people ages 12-17 who used alcohol or illegal drugs were more likely to be at risk for suicide than young people who did not use alcohol or drugs. The top 3 killers of young people in the United States, ages 16-25, are car accidents, murders, and suicides—and drugs and alcohol are responsible for 75% of these deaths. Approximately 1 out of every 15 high school students attempt suicide each year The National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) believes that as many as 25 teen suicides are attempted for each one that is completed According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website, although bullying doesn’t cause suicide, a stressful environment and persistent emotional victimization can increase a person’s risk of suicide.