Substance Use and Risk of Suicide (Webinar Recording)

Substance Use and Risk of Suicide
Josh Esrick, MPP, and Emily Patton, MSc, PgDip

February 10, 2021, 1-2:30 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 are 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, substance use is connected to suicide risk. It will also cover identified evidence-based substance use prevention programs that also address the risk of suicide, and what potential opportunities for further collaborations may exist.


  • Explain the importance of collaboration between substance use prevention and suicide prevention
  • Examine the research on how substance use can increase risk of suicide
  • Discuss the data on rates of suicide among people who use substances
  • 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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