Suicide and self-harm among people with opioid use disorder and the impact of OAT
Rates of suicide and self-harm are elevated among people with opioid use disorder. This research compared the rates of suicide and self-harm among people in and out of opioid agonist treatment (OAT).
Led by NDRI Research Fellow Dr Sam Colledge-Frisby, it found that leaving OAT increased the risk of suicide by about 16 times and hospitalisation with self-harm about 3 times, and that risk of self-harm and suicide halved while people were in OAT compared to time out of OAT. These outcomes have not been seen before in Australia.
These findings suggest OAT may reduce suicide and self-harm risk among people with opioid use disorder, and OAT initiation and cessation are critical periods for targeting self-harm and suicide prevention interventions.
Read ‘Incidence of suicide and self-harm among people with opioid use disorder and the impact of opioid agonist treatment: A retrospective data linkage study’ here