There are many side effects of a substance addiction including health problems, relationship breakdowns, and financial hardship. However, another problem of addiction is that it can increase the risk of suicide. The problems that addiction can bring can lead to depression and, for some people, suicidal thoughts. Some individuals will act on these feelings rather than carry on with the pressures of life.
Link between Substance Abuse and Suicide
Those with alcohol or drug addiction often find themselves in traumatic situations, which can affect their mental health. These cases can include overdose, assault, illness, violence, prostitution, and injury. Short-term effects of drugs and alcohol include impulsive behaviour, but long-term exposure to these substances can lead to conditions such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia, all of which can lead to suicide.
It is also known that drugs and alcohol can be a major factor in the actual act of suicide. Many people that have committed suicide have been under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, which may have caused them to be impulsive or reduced their inhibitions.
A drug addiction on top of spiralling debts has been cited as the cause of suicide of a young man from Huthwaite. Tom Caunt threw himself from High Tor Cliff because of the pressures of living with a cocaine addiction and debts that he could not control. The coroner in the case, Paul McCandless, is now warning others of the dangers of taking cocaine, a supposed recreational drug, saying, “Sadly, he managed to get himself involved with drugs and in particular cocaine. People talk about cocaine as a recreational drug as though it can be used at weekends without addictive effects. But this tragic case shows how wrong this is.”
On the night of his death, Caunt sent his friend Lexicon Rice a text telling him that he was in a ‘desperate situation’. However, he did not reply when Rice asked where he was, prompting Rice to go searching for him at Matlock Bath, a place he knew was a favourite of Caunt’s.
Although Rice found his friend’s car, he could not locate Caunt and so called the police and his family. A police and mountain rescue search led to the discovery of his body the next morning. During a search of Caunt’s bedroom, it was found that he had a loan of £15,000 and had applied for another two loans, totalling over £18,000.
Nowhere to Turn
The story of Tom Caunt is, unfortunately, not an isolated incident. Many people around the UK get themselves into desperate situations and feel as though they have nowhere to turn. A cocaine habit is an expensive one, and many individuals become so hooked on the drug that they try everything they can to get their hands on the money to pay for it. In Tom’s case, he borrowed money that he could not pay back.
Others will turn to criminal activity to find a way to pay for the drug that they crave. This is a similar situation for those addicted to other substances such as heroin or alcohol, or to activities such as gambling or shopping.
Help is Available
Sadly, it is too late for Tom to get help but others suffering from similar problems can get help by contacting Addiction Helper. We are a free referral service working with addicts and their families all over the UK. We provide confidential advice and support as well as information on the various addictions and the treatments available. We work with treatment providers such as the NHS, local support groups, and private clinics.
Please, do not let your situation get to the point that you feel as though you have nowhere to turn – call us today and let us help.