The Suicide Probability Scale: A Means to Assess Substance Abusing Clients' Suicide Risk

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Although substance abusing clients may not be the primary treatment population that most counselors serve, it is nearly inevitable that at one time or another, the vast majority of counselors will encounter clients presenting with substance use issues. Given the significant suicide risk with persons meeting substance abuse and substance dependence criteria, it is imperative that counselors be aware of both the frequency of suicide among these treatment populations and the means to assess such risk. The authors describe the frequency of suicide and findings purporting that substance abusing and substance dependent clients are at increased suicide risk. The Suicide Probability Scale (SPS) is then described along with a description of how the authors utilized the instrument with substance abusing and substance dependent clients presenting with suicidal ideation.

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