(HealthDay News) — There is a high prevalence of suicidal thoughts and attempts among patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) initiating buprenorphine, according to a study published online June 1 in Addiction Science & Clinical Practice.

Michelle R. Lent, PhD, from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and colleagues examined the prevalence of factors associated with suicidality in adults with OUD initiating office-based buprenorphine treatment. The analysis included 244 patients completing a semistructured interview.

The researchers found that 37.70% of participants reported significant thoughts of suicide over their lifetime and 27.46% reported suicidal attempts over their lifetime. An increased risk for lifetime suicidal thoughts was associated with a history of physical abuse (odds ratio [OR], 4.31) and having chronic pain-related conditions (OR, 3.28), a history of depression (OR, 3.30) or anxiety (OR, 7.47) and Latino/a/x ethnicity (OR, 2.66). An increased risk for lifetime suicide attempts was associated with a history of sexual abuse (OR, 2.89), Latino/a/x ethnicity (OR, 4.01), a history of depression (OR, 4.03) or anxiety (OR, 15.65), and having a chronic pain-related condition (OR, 2.43).

“Office-based clinical settings providing medication for OUD would benefit from integrated behavioral health services that can improve clinical response to the mental health needs of patients,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text