Suicidal Thoughts, Attempts Common Among Patients Starting Buprenorphine: Study

Philadelphia : There is a high prevalence of suicidal thoughts and attempts among patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) initiating buprenorphine, according to a study published online June 1 in Addiction Science & Clinical Practice.

Michelle R. Lent, Ph.D., from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and colleagues examined the prevalence of factors associated with suicidality in adults with OUD initiating office-based buprenorphine treatment. The analysis included 244  completing a semistructured interview.

The researchers found that 37.70 percent of participants reported significant thoughts of suicide over their lifetime and 27.46 percent reported suicidal attempts over their lifetime. An increased risk for lifetime  was associated with a history of physical abuse (odds ratio [OR], 4.31) and having chronic pain-related conditions (OR, 3.28), a history of depression (OR, 3.30) or anxiety (OR, 7.47), and Latino/a/x ethnicity (OR, 2.66). An increased risk for lifetime suicide attempts was associated with a history of sexual abuse (OR, 2.89), Latino/a/x ethnicity (OR, 4.01), a history of depression (OR, 4.03) or anxiety (OR, 15.65), and having a chronic pain-related condition (OR, 2.43).

“Office-based  providing medication for OUD would benefit from integrated behavioral health services that can improve clinical response to the mental health needs of patients,” the authors write.

Journal Reference: Michelle R. Lent et al, Prevalence and predictors of suicidality among adults initiating office-based buprenorphine, Addiction Science & Clinical Practice (2023). DOI: 10.1186/s13722-023-00393-y

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