Opioid and Alcohol Misuse: The Risk of Suicide (Webinar Recording)

Opioid and Alcohol Misuse: The Risk of Suicide
Josh Esrick, MPP, and Emily Patton, MSc, PgDip

May 14, 2020, 1-2 PM EST


Substance use prevention efforts are part of a continuum of behavioral health services. It is important for prevention stakeholders to understand priority issues and activities across other areas of that continuum. Increasing awareness and understanding of how different areas of that continuum intersect and overlap enables stakeholders to identify shared issues and potential opportunities for collaboration. One such area is the issue of suicide prevention. The increasing rates of suicide across most demographics is a major public health concern. Research has shown that substance use, and in particular both opioid and alcohol misuse, can increase suicide risk. This webinar will discuss how, and to what extent, opioids and alcohol are connected to suicide risk. It will also cover identified evidence-based substance use prevention programs that also address risk of suicide, and what potential opportunities for further collaborations may exist.


  • Examine the scope of suicide risk and the populations most at-risk for suicide
  • Summarize the scope of substance use-involved fatalities and the impact of suicide
  • Discuss the research on the connections between substance use and risk of suicide
  • Overview evidence-based programs for preventing substance use and suicide, as well as other opportunities for collaboration


Josh Esrick, MPPJosh Esrick, MPP is a Senior Policy Analyst with Carnevale Associates. Josh has extensive experience in substance use prevention; researching, writing, and presenting on best practice and knowledge development publications, briefs, and reference guides; and developing and providing T/TA to numerous organizations. He developed numerous SAMHSA Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies’ (CAPT) products on strategies to prevent opioid misuse and overdose, risk and protective factors for substance use, youth substance use prevention strategies, youth substance use trends, emerging substance use trends, the potential regulations surrounding marijuana legalization, as well as numerous other topics.

Emily Patton, MS

Emily Patton, MSc, PgDip holds a Masters of Science in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology from Swansea University and a Postgraduate Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Edinburgh. She offers significant professional experience in the fields of public policy development and analysis, criminal justice research, data collection and analysis, program development, and performance management.



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