Substance Use and Suicide: A Nexus Requiring a Public Health Approach (1 credit hour)

Program Summary:  This course examines the association between substance use and suicide and how substance misuse affects suicidal behavior.  The course identifies at-risk populations, shared risk factors, shared protective factors, warning signs, and the need for collaborative efforts across mental health and substance use fields.

This course is recommended for social workers, counselors, and therapists and is appropriate for beginning,  intermediate, and advanced levels of practice.  

Course Readings:  

This course consists of 2 readings.

Reading #1:  Substance Use and Suicide:  A Nexus Requiring a Public Health Approach published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Find the reading at:

Reading #2:  Suicide Facts at a Glance published by the Centers for Disease Control

Find the reading at:

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to substance use and suicide.

Learning Objectives:  Identify at-risk populations for suicide.  Describe alcohol’s behavioral mechanism as a catalyst for suicide.  Describe shared risk and shared protective factors for suicide and substance misuse.  Identify warning signs of substance misuse.  Identify warning signs of suicide.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

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1: According to a recent CDC report, Americans age ___________ were more likely to die by suicide than any other single age group.
2: According to a recent CDC report, the rates of suicide were almost four times higher for
3: According to a recent CDC report, the rates of suicide were highest among
4: Surveillance data reveal that a diagnosis of alcohol misuse or dependence is associated with a suicide risk that is ____________ greater than the suicide risk in the general population.
5: Acute alcohol intoxication is present in about ____________ of suicide attempts.
6: Which evidence-based program is a school-based small group counseling program for at-risk youth that has demonstrated decreased suicide risk factors in adolescents?
7: Over the span of several decades, professionals working in the behavioral health field are moving toward
8: One study concluded that the minimum legal drinking age of 21 may be preventing as many as ___________ suicides annually in the US.
9: Which of the following best describes the collaborating stage using the Collaboration Continuum?
10: A study in Ontario, Canada, revealed that as alcohol consumption in a population rises, the suicide rate
11: What is the first step in a strategic planning process to develop a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy?
12: Engaging the general public, elected officials, schools, parents, first responders, religious communities, health professionals, media, researchers, clinicians, counselors, and consumers describes which step in the strategic planning process to develop a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy?
13: Training and cross-training mental health, injury prevention, and substance misuse prevention professionals on evidence-based psychotherapies for individuals being treated after a suicide attempt describes which step in the strategic planning process?
14: Practitioners must be aware that individuals who make a suicide attempt are at considerable risk for repeat attempts and eventual sucide and that this risk may last
15: Academic failure, bullying, family conflict, mental illness, peer rejection, and social withdrawal are examples of
16: Talking about being a burden to others is a warning sign of
17: Substance misuse prevention and suicide prevention professionals each utilize a public health approach, and, in so doing, have _____________ responsibilities and opportunities.
18: For questions 18-22, please refer to the CDC's Facts at a Glance at  Who is more likely to have suicidal thoughts?
19: What is the most commonly used method of suicide among males.
20: What is the most common method of suicide for females?
21: The suicide rate among ___________ adolescents and young adults age 15 to 34 is 1.5 times higher than the national average for that age group.
22: Among adults aged 18-22, full-time college students were ______ likely to attempt suicide or receive medical attention as a result of a suicide attempt in the previous 12 months.

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Free State Social Work, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 9/6/2018 - 9/6/2021. Social Workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social Workers participating in this course will receive 1 continuing education clock hour.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards - ASWB NJ CE Course Approval Program Provider #6 Course #1467 from 6/23/2017 to 6/23/2019. Social workers will receive the following type and number of credit(s): Clinical Social Work Practice 1

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City.  She currently practices in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.