Poisoning and Self-Injury Mortality: Can Reclassification of Drug Deaths Lead to Improved Prevention?
Dr. Ian Rockett began the webinar by providing information about suicide misclassification, especially as it relates to poisoning and the current opioid epidemic. He also discussed this misclassification as a problem for understanding and preventing suicide and then explained the concept of death from drug self-intoxication (DDSI) and the need for an enhanced category of self-injury mortality that transcends registered suicides. Dr. Eric Caine built on the prior presentation by placing this work into a public health-prevention context. Of note, many programmatic efforts – e.g., preventing suicide or DDSI – are based on the manner of death and the factors that were apparent during the last moments of life. Prevention efforts for self-injury mortality, however, must be developed long before these final, fatal moments.