Suicide occurs when a person ends their life. It is the 10th leading cause of death among Americans. 

  • There were 38,364 suicides in 2010 in the United States--an average of 105 each day.
  • Based on data about suicides in 16 National Violent Death Reporting System states in 2009, 33.3% of suicide decedents tested positive for alcohol, 23% for antidepressants, and 20.8% for opiates, including heroin and prescription pain killers.
  • Suicide results in an estimated $34.6 billion in combined medical and work loss costs.

But suicide deaths are only part of the problem. More people survive suicide attempts than actually die. They are often seriously injured and need medical care.

  • Among adults aged ≥18 years in the United States during 2008-2009:
    • An estimated 8.3 million adults (3.7% of the adult U.S. population) reported having suicidal thoughts in the past year.
    • An estimated 2.2 million adults (1.0% of the adult U.S. population) reported having made suicide plans in the past year.
    • An estimated 1 million adults (0.5% of the U.S. adult population) reported making a suicide attempt in the past year.
  • There is one suicide for every 25 attempted suicides.
  • Among young adults ages 15 to 24 years old, there are approximately 100-200 attempts for every completed suicide.
  • In a 2011 nationally-representative sample of youth in grades 9-12:
    • 15.8% of students reported that they had seriously considered attempting suicide during the 12 months preceding the survey; 
    • 12.8% of students reported that they made a plan about how they would attempt suicide during the 12 months preceding the survey;
    • 7.8% of students reported that they had attempted suicide one or more times during the 12 months preceding the survey; and
    • 2.4% of students reported that they had made a suicide attempt that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or an overdose that required medical attention.

Suicide affects everyone, but some groups are at higher risk than others. Men are about 4 times more likely than women to die from suicide. However, 3 times more women than men report attempting suicide. In addition, suicide rates are high among middle aged and older adults. 

(This was data accessed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.)