According to 2016 NSDUH, 2 million adults (aged 18 or older) met criteria for an opioid use disorder (OUD) and 42,000 of overdose deaths are attributable to opioids. In the same year, an estimated 1.3 million adults attempted suicide. It is estimated that over 11million US adults experience daily pain. Various studies have concluded that depression and pain frequently co-occur and increase the risk for suicidal behaviors/suicide or overdose. However, the intersection among these conditions is often complex and contributions not well established. Furthermore, in the context of chronic pain or OUD, determining the cause of death as either a drug overdose or suicide is a challenge due to the entwined nature of these conditions. However, the evidence base to inform clinicians in the selection and sequencing of effective treatment strategies is limited.
In this symposium, we propose to characterize these populations and disentangle some of these complex associations among chronic pain, opioid misuse/OUD, and risk for suicide and overdose. The talks will highlight the correlates and risks in patients exposed to prescription opioids as well as those who have OUD. Content also includes some suggestions for methods to identify key risk, and provide a review of the evidence for prevention interventions to reduce suicide, factors in these populations. The final speaker will review the literature on effective treatments for OUD and Depression and discuss its potential for lowering OD/suicide risks.