Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez

Incidence and Lethality of Suicidal Overdoses by Drug Class

Jose Luis Vazquez Martinez - 13 May 2021


Miller TR, Swedler DI, Lawrence BA, et al. Incidence and Lethality of Suicidal Overdoses by Drug Class. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(3):e200607. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.0607


Key Points


Question  What is the association between classes of drugs consumed and the lethality of suicidal drug overdoses?


Findings  In this cross-sectional study of state censuses and national samples that included 421 466 medically identified suicidal drug overdoses, the risk that an overdose would be fatal was highest if an opioid or barbiturate was involved. Lethality increased with age, whereas youth overdoses often involved toxins with low lethality.


Meaning  These findings suggest that drugs that are lethal in overdose when combined should be stored securely in homes, and lethal drugs should be blister packed.