Three Suicides In The Past Week

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
Dealing with depression, drug addiction, alcoholism are all problems that many residents of Benton County face on a daily basis.  During the past week, the Benton County Sheriff’s office has been dispatched to deal with multiple suicides.
“Three young adults have been found dead in what appears to be suicide cases in just the past week,” said Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox.  “One case was in Lincoln and the other two in the Warsaw area.”
All three victims were found hung.  Two were in their homes and one in a wooded area. 
“Our drug problem in Benton County is no worse than the rest of the country, but the drug problem across the United States is growing,” said Knox.  “Two of the Benton County victims knew each other.”
According to the Missouri Division of Behavior Health and Substance Abuse, suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10 – 34 in Missouri.  In 2016, 8 Benton County residents died by suicide.  In 2019, there have already been 3.  Approximately 14.1% of youth had considered suicide in the last year, 12.3% made a plan and 2.7% actually attempted, resulting in an injury.
Individuals struggling with serious mental illness are at higher risk for homicide, suicide and accidents, as well as chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and substance use disorders.  In state fiscal year 2017 261 Benton County residents received treatment for serious mental illness at publicly-funded facilities.
“The drugs appear to be coming into the county from out of state,” said Knox.  “We aren’t finding as many meth labs as we did in the past instead we are finding more cases of abuse from opioids and prescription medications.”
In 2017, Benton County had 50 DWI arrests, 4 liquor law violations and 169 drug related arrests.  There were 0 methamphetamine laboratory seizures in Benton County in 2017.
A suicide attempt is a clear indication that something is gravely wrong in a person’s life. No matter the race or age of the person; how rich or poor they are, it is true that most people who die by suicide have a mental or emotional disorder. The most common underlying disorder is depression, 30% to 70% of suicide victims suffer from major depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.  
According to Mental Health America Association, any one of these signs does not necessarily mean the person is considering suicide, but several of these symptoms may signal a need for help:
·Verbal suicide threats such as, “You’d be better off without me.” or “Maybe I won’t be around”
·Expressions of hopelessness and helplessness
·Previous suicide attempts
·Daring or risk-taking behavior
·Personality changes
·Giving away prized possessions
·Lack of interest in future plans
Eight out of ten people considering suicide give some sign of their intentions.  People, who talk about suicide, threaten suicide, or call suicide crisis centers are 30 times more likely than average to kill themselves.
Those with substance abuse disorders are six times more likely to complete suicide than those without. The rate of completed suicide among men with alcohol/drug abuse problems is 2-3 times higher than among those without a problem. Women who abuse substances are at 6-9 times higher risk of suicide compared to women who do not have a problem. 
The Crisis Hotline for Benton County is 1-800-833-3915.