Trends in Suicidal Behaviors among US Adults 2015-2018

R. Andrew Yockey, Keith King, Rebecca Vidourek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Suicide remains a major public health problem in the United States. The purpose of this study was to examine trends in suicide ideation, planning, and attempts among a national sample of US adults. Method: We used aggregated 2015-2018 data from the National Survey Drug Use and Health Survey. We utilized demographic and substance use questions with each suicide behavior. We assessed weighted absolute and relative changes in a national sample of 7,654 adults. Results: Results revealed that from 2015 to 2018, there was a 16.0% increase in suicide ideation, 18.6% increase in suicide planning, and 11.6% increase in suicide attempts. Significant increases in each behavior were found in African Americans, younger adults, sexual minorities, and individuals who reported past-year drug use. Limitations: Limitations include self-report of suicidal behaviors and desirability of answers. Conclusion: We believe our findings can inform harm reduction efforts and health messages surrounding suicide prevention.

Original languageEnglish
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • drug use
  • suicide
  • trends


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