Researchers to Use Machine Learning to Look for Link Between Opioid Addiction & Suicide

spilled bottle of prescription opioids

Is there a direct link between opioid use and an increased risk of suicide? Researchers at Kaiser Permanente (KP) believe so, and they will soon begin a multiyear study to find out. The researchers are going above and beyond usual research techniques by utilizing both machine learning and predictive analytics, which could give an advanced an unprecedented look into their gathered data.

According to information observed by the KP researchers and the National Center for Health Statistics, suicide rates have increased by just over 25% since 1999. In the same timeline, though, suicides carried out by opioid users increased by 100%. They suspect more than coincidence is playing a factor in this data overlap.

The researchers believe data will show that around 30% of opioid overdoses were intentional suicides or suicide attempts in cases in which the overdose was not fatal. If the prediction is proven true based on the predictive analytics and machine learning observations, then the information could be passed along to clinicians who work directly with opioid users. Being able to identify telltale indicators of suicidal tendencies is notoriously difficult, but the data could give clinicians an edge in some cases.

The Mental Health Research Network already uses a “suicide prediction model” that weighs a catalogue of conditions and characteristics to try to predict if a patient might be suicidal. Using machine learning, the KP researchers are hoping to add a number of new variables to prediction models, further developing their accuracy. As the new research is focused on opioid use, so will the additional variables. At this time, the data to be woven into predictive analytics will include around 24 million medical records, which underlines the need for machine learning.

Would you like to know more about the planned Kaiser Permanente research? You can click here to view a full article from HealthIT Analytics. If you are struggling with opioid use disorder and do not know where to get help, know that Decision Point Center in Prescott, Arizona is here to lend a hand and genuine support. Ever since we were founded in 2004, we have been helping people overcome addictions with innovative and personalized treatments and therapies.

Get more information today by calling (844) 292-5010 to get in contact with us.

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