For people whose lives and relationships have devastatingly run aground due to drugs and alcohol, there appears to be no other recourse–no hope–and the only respite is suicide. In fact, statistics would show that many drug addicts and dependents would attempt to commit suicide…and unfortunately, many ended up successful at it.
The truth is, even if things have ended up so tragically, suicide is not the only solution for people struggling with the downward spiral of their addictions. Many come back from the edge and get their lives back to enjoy a happy, productive, joyous, and sober life.
If you live with someone who you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, you have to watch out for red flags that may push them to the brink and commit suicide. In this article, we will tackle these signs that someone with addiction may also be suicidal:
Many people who commit suicide are trying to escape something traumatic that happened in their past. They may have strong feelings of guilt, shame, anger, or despair. They may have turned to drugs in the first place as an escape, as well as a way to medicate themselves from what they are feeling as their past haunts them. It’s like they are being chased by these demons from the past, and the drugs or alcohol are a way for them to somehow “kill” those demons.
However, when the drugs lose their effect due to tolerance, they may turn to other things.
When your addicted loved ones have started to isolate themselves from you, from friends, and from family, you should be on alert. They may become very reclusive because of the shame they feel for the things they have done because of their addictions.
Their isolation may be exhibited by not answering calls, refusing communication with anyone, locking themselves up in their rooms or homes for days, and just avoiding people. When they start to be excessively avoidant and isolated, they may be thinking about dark things, including suicide. In fact, withdrawing from any form of human contact may be a form of suicide in one aspect.
Other Red Flags
Other things to watch out for are:
- poor hygiene
- not eating right
- generally not taking care of one’s self
- morbid thoughts
- voicing out morbid ideas
- giving away possessions
- saying farewell, however subtly
Life, however hopeless it may seem, is still worth living. Anyone, however neck-deep in drugs, is still worth saving.
If you suspect that your loved one may be thinking about committing suicide, please intervene. You can calmly, lovingly, yet frankly talk to them about what is bothering them and about their drug use. You can also offer to have them talk to a counselor for help and support.
After all, showing that you care and shining a light of hope on their darkness may just be what they need to hang on to dear life and make a change.
The Philippines’ FIRST depression and suicide prevention hotline is now open. Call 804-4673 (HOPE). Open 24/7.
You can also talk to our counselors at Bridges of Hope in order to help your loved ones turn away from addiction and turn towards a healthy, meaningful life.