Teen Suicide

April 19, 2013 Uncategorized Comments Off on Teen Suicide

“If only I would have known about the DMI Program, maybe my son would still be alive.”

Recently a sobbing mom shared  these words with me as we sat in the theatre like chairs in the church auditorium.  Tears streaming down her face she described the last moments leading to his suicide.  He had called her and told her he needed help.  Not knowing what was to come, she lovingly told him she would call him the next day with help, although she did not have a plan.  Her son had become a crystal meth addict and she was desperate to get him off drugs.

Although this son had grown up in a Christian home, surrounded by loving parents who were workers in their church and community, offering life and hope to those around them in Jesus, there are no guarantees in life.  These good parents came to realize even they could have a child who would become lost in a spiral downward to the worlds allure of fun and good times.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2011 statistics, suicide accounts for 13 percent of all deaths among youth and young adults aged 10 to 24 and is the third leading cause of death for that age group.

Not only did suicide attempts increase among teens,  the center reports even thoughts of suicide is on the rise.  A survey by the CDC shows that 15.8 percent of those surveyed reported they had seriously considered attempting suicide, up from 13.8 percent in 2009.   As reported by the CDC nearly 1 in 6 high school students has seriously considered suicide.

The American Psychiatric Association says young people who suffer from depression will eventually attempt suicide at least once. This is a staggering report.  More than 7% of young people who attempt suicide due to depression, will die as a result. And the report goes on to say 53% of teens who commit suicide abused alcohol.

From the National Bureau of Economic Research comes the following paragraph:  “Previous research documents a strong link between drug and alcohol abuse and suicidal behavior. But according to Sara Markowitz, Pinka Chatterji, Robert Kaestner, and Dhaval Dave writing in Substance Use and Suicidal Behaviors Among Young Adults (NBER Working Paper No. 8810), that research does not establish that substance abuse has a causal role in youth’s suicide thoughts or actions. Substance abuse can cause social isolation, low self esteem, loss of work or school, estrangement from family and friends – all events that can build a core of stresses that may lead to suicidal tendencies. Substance abuse also can increase impulsiveness and decrease inhibitions, making one more likely to act on suicidal tendencies. But the earlier studies did not adequately explore the effects of other major influences on suicidal behavior, namely depression and other psychiatric problems, nor the idea that suicidal tendencies actually may spur the drinking and drug abuse.

In this paper, the authors conjecture that if substance use causes suicidal behavior, then policies designed to reduce the consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs may succeed in reducing suicidal behaviors.

Something must be done.  But policies alone are not enough.  Teens need help.  Call us and talk with us about your teen.  Let us help you as a parent.  It is our desire to show you a solution that only God can answer.


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