This study investigates recent (one-month) and lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts, and factors associated with one-month suicide attempts among heroin users (n=488) seeking treatment at a methadone maintenance programme in Taiwan. Data were collected by structured interview on demographics, use of heroin and other substances, criminal convictions, depression, social networks, and history of suicide attempt (lifetime suicide attempt, and suicide attempt and suicide ideation in the previous month). Prevalence of recent (one-month) suicide attempt was 10.9% and lifetime prevalence was 17.8%. The finding that so many heroin users had made a suicide attempt in the very recent past is both disturbing and little researched. Recent suicidal attempts were associated with severity of heroin dependence, needle sharing, higher educational level, increased levels of depression, and number of stressful life events. It is suggested that methadone maintenance programmes should routinely screen at intake for previous suicidal behaviour and especially for recent suicidal attempts.
- Methadone maintenance treatment
- Suicide attempts
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)