Veterans who have drug or alcohol problems are more than twice as likely to die by suicide as their comrades, a new study finds. And women veterans with substance use disorders have an even higher rate of suicide—more than five times that of their peers, the research shows.
The risk of suicide differs depending on the type of substance the veteran has problems with, according to the study.
The highest suicide risks are among those who misuse prescription sedative medicines, such as tranquilizers. Women veterans who misuse opioid drugs also have an especially high risk of suicide, the study finds.
The research, published in the journal Addiction by a team from the University of Michigan and Department of Veterans Affairs, finds that much of the difference in suicide risks might be explained by veterans who have both mental health conditions and substance use issues.
But they say the new findings point to a need to focus more…