Substance Use, Depression, and Suicide: What Are the Individual and Policy-Modifiable Correlates amongst Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan Adults?

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Project funded:
September 2017
Anticipated completion date:
December 2018

Very little research has investigated the associations between substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation amongst adults residing in rural and urban areas nationally. Using nationally representative data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), this study will a) estimate the prevalence of major depression and suicidal ideation and attempts in metropolitan, micropolitan, and other non-metropolitan areas nationally and b) investigate the individual-level (e.g., demographic, socioeconomic, region of residence, and health status) and policy-modifiable healthcare (e.g., insurance, access to a regular healthcare provider, and access to mental health and substance use treatment) correlates of depression and suicide indicators among metropolitan, micropolitan, and other non-metropolitan residents. With up-to-date estimates of the prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation and attempts amongst metropolitan, micropolitan, and other non-metropolitan residents nationally, health policy makers at national, state, and local levels could better target resources and programs toward particular geographic areas. Our findings about the correlates of depression and suicidal ideation/attempts could be used by policy makers at multiple levels to target services toward the highest risk groups and identify factors that could be potentially modified (e.g., healthcare access) to reduce depression and suicide.