Substance Abuse & Suicide

Suicide Overdose Pills Alcohol

In the United States each year, more than 40,000 people die by their own hand. In fact, the 10th most common cause of death in our country is suicide. It is also the third leading cause of death of Americans aged 10-14 and the second leading cause for Americans aged 15-34.Although complicated and tragic, the good news is that suicide is often preventable as long as people pay attention and take action when they notice someone at risk. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to focus this week’s blog post on suicide, because it is so often intertwined with depression and addiction, both of which we see quite often at MFI.  

Teenager Suicide Edge of Building

Substance Abuse & Suicide

Suicide, addiction, and depression form a symbiotic relationship. Experts agree that more than 90% of people who commit suicide do so because they suffer from depression, struggle with a substance abuse disorder, or both. Depressed people often turn to drugs and/or alcohol in a vain attempt to find relief. Unfortunately, their addictions fuel the depression, sending them back to their Drug of Choice (DOC). Feeling hopelessly caught in an endless cycle, addicts often attempt suicide.

Break Substance Abuse Cycle

Who is most at risk?

People Who:

  • Struggle with depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorders are generally more at risk of committing suicide than the general population.
  • Has a serious medical condition 
  • Suffers from chronic pain
  • Previously attempted suicide 
  • Family shares a history of a mental disorder or substance abuse, suicide, physical violence and/or sexual abuse
  • Keeping guns (and ammunition) in the home
  • Were recently released from jail or prison  
  • Exposed to others’ suicidal ideation, such as those of family members, peers, or celebrities

How to Spot the Signs

Does someone you love?

  • Say they want to die or want to kill themselves?
  • Talk about feeling empty, hopeless, or without reason to live?
  • Make plans for a way to kill themselves? This can include searching online, stockpiling pills, or buying a weapon.
  • Mention they have a great guilt or shame?
  • Talk about feeling trapped or in despair?
  • Feel unbearable emotional or physical pain?
  • Say they are a burden to others?
  • Use alcohol or drugs more often than previously?
  • Act anxious or agitated?
  • Withdraw from family and friends?
  • Change eating and/or sleeping habits.
  • Show rage or mention their desire to seek revenge?
  • Engage in risky behaviors such as fast driving or drinking while driving?
  • Seem obsessed with death?
  • Display extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy?
  • Give away meaningful possessions?
  • Say goodbye to family and friends?
  • Develop an urgency to draft their last will and testament?
Erase Last Will Suicide

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring someone who expresses suicidal thoughts or actions. These often signal extreme distress, not a meaningless ploy for attention. 


Substance Abuse Recovery MFI

About MFI Recovery Center

Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model, creating a personalized treatment program for each client. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detoxmedication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596. 

Men & Addiction

a man is desperately sitting at a table with a bottle of alcoholLast week, we discussed the ways addiction impacts the female system. This week, in the interest of equal representation, we want to discuss how substance abuse and alcohol affects men.The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that men are more likely than women to abuse illicit drugs and alcohol. In fact, 11.5% of males over 12 years of age have active substance use disorders, compared to just 6.4% of those deemed the “fairer sex.” It hardly seems fair, does it? Continue reading

Women & Addiction

Women and Addiction Treatment RiversideIf you think you hear more about men using drugs and drinking alcohol to excess than women, you are right. Research shows that women use substances at lower levels than men. However, equally true and yet not widely known, women typically progress from substance use to addiction more quickly than their male counterparts. What’s more, they almost immediately experience associated severe health consequences. These include cancer, heart disease, memory problems and even death. Continue reading

5 Ways Addiction Impacts Relationships

Love and AddictionEven in the absence of addiction, relationships can be difficult. Once you add substance abuse to the mix, all bets are off. Addiction alters brain chemistry. It also changes people in profound ways: how they look at the world; the way they interact with people around them; the value they assign to coworkers, supervisors and careers, and the attention they devote to personal hygiene and financial management.

Most formal discussions about addiction focus on the physical and psychological effects of substance use. But the cumulative effects of drug addiction and alcoholism reach far beyond these issues alone. In fact, addicts find it nearly impossible to juggle social and professional relationships. Social health and a healthy support system strongly relate to personal success, self-esteem, and happiness. So, even if an addict simulates healthy romantic and platonic relationships, the facade will eventually fade.

How to Spot Healthy RelationshipsAddiction and Relationships

Successful relationships use honest, assertive communication built on mutual respect. They are usually fun and rewarding. And they incorporate compromise, trust and understanding. Healthy relationships are free from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, violence, and aggression. And because they are built on a solid foundation, can thrive even when the going gets tough.

Unhealthy Relationship AddictionHow to Spot Unhealthy Relationships
Ultimately, substance abuse undermines healthy relationships. Alcoholics and drug addicts may manage to maintain what appears to be a normal relationship. However, over time, the substance use takes a toll. As a result, most relationships impacted by drugs or alcohol dissolve into the polar opposite of joy and reward. Impacted by the chemical and psychological effects of their substance of choice, addicts often display stubbornness; distrust; physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; violence; and aggression.

Is Your Loved One an Addict?Love & Addiction

If someone is constantly falling-down-drunk, you would probably believe they have an alcohol problem. Similarly, if you see someone who is high, you might think they are addicted to drugs. But what if their addiction subtly changes them over time? Would you be able to recognize the signs so you could point them to help? Does your loved one fit this pattern?

  • Make excuses for bad behavior?
    In many cases, alcoholics or drug addicts point to the demands of their profession or education to justify less than ideal choices. If these choices and their consequences mount, it may be time to point them to help.
    Signs of addiction
  • Hang around friends who struggle with addiction?
    Addicts prefer the company of other addicts. Does your loved one prefer hanging out with other friends and/or family who they say, “are less judgmental” or “understand them?”
  • Drink or do drugs more than they intend?
    While many people can stop after one or two drinks, alcoholics cannot control the amount of alcohol they consume. In fact, most are unaware of the sheer volume they are taking in.
    Addiction & Love
  • Lose interest in hobbies?
    Has your family member or friend stopped participating in activities they once enjoyed? Do they spend all of their free time seeking drugs or drink?
  • Appear sick every morning?
    Substance abusers often slog through early hours each day, bemoaning the fact they aren’t a “morning person.” The problem could be that they are suffering a hangover.

What to do if you love an addict or alcoholic

Drug and alcohol addiction are complex diseases. Changing addictive behavior patterns takes much more than good intentions. Through modern scientific advances, MFI staff understand how drugs and alcohol work in the brain. And we know how to successfully treat addiction. Our outpatient programs focus specifically on teens, women and men. We offer detox and inpatient treatment for men and women, as well as women with children.

About Mt Rubidoux MFI

Our treatment center provides services to people who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. Located in the shadow of Mt. Rubidoux in the City of Riverside, we provide structured and supportive addiction treatment in semi-private, comfortable apartment-style setting. Monitored by professional addiction specialists 24 hours a day, our modern apartments offer a haven for healing during the rehab process. Living and recovering in our Mt. Rubidoux residential treatment facility means becoming healthy again. Our clients receive intensive treatment and learn new, healthy strategies to sustain recovery. To find out more, call today 866-218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at 951-683-6596.

Addiction & Love We Can Help

About MFI Recovery

In addition to the Matrix Model, we rely on proven modalities to provide whole family care.  Our programs are gender and age specific to ensure we meet individual needs. We furnish a comfortable and warm, home-like environment with structured, evidence-based methods of behavior modification and cognitive behavioral therapies. Our family systems approach treats the whole family to re-establish trust and mutual respect where it may have been damaged by substance use. For someone who is struggling with substance abuse, recovering alone is almost impossible. Our program helps individuals rebuild the close connections that are essential to successful recovery. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Part of Whole Person Care

Hand of doctors holding many different pillsThousands of rehab and recovery centers across the country offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which often consists of little more than writing and fulfilling prescriptions. In stark contrast, the MAT Therapy that MFI offers is part of whole-person care. Like a warm blanket enveloping alcohol and drug addicts at their time of need, our personalized plans include many scientific-based tools in combination, to help clients persevere during and after treatment. Continue reading