GRIEF SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES – LOSING SOMEONE THROUGH ADDICTION
CURRAHEE CENTER CAN HELP! YOU MAY BE GOING THROUGH THE INCREDIBLE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE THROUGH THE VERY REAL ATROCITIES OF ADDICTION. OR, SOMEONE YOU MAY KNOW NEEDS TO KNOW THAT HELP IS AVAILABLE.
SUBSTANCE/ALCOHOL ABUSE STATISTICS:
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading cause of injury death in 2012 was drug overdose.
And in 2014, the CDC reported 47,000 deaths from opioid pain relievers and heroin.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that there are 2.5 million alcohol-related deaths worldwide each year.
Every day, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.
These deaths leave behind many grieving loved ones who may not have the resources to deal with the death. Following is a resource guide with advice and information for those who’ve lost a loved one to drug or alcohol addiction.
BEGINNING THE GRIEVING PROCESS
If you have lost a loved one from overdose death or alcohol abuse, access the web sites shared below. And, contact us at Currahee Center for personal support.
This two-part article on grieving after an overdose addresses how those who’ve lost a loved one to addiction often feel guilt and shame because they think they should have been able to prevent the death. Part Two of the article offers resources; to help grieving loved ones begin to deal with these feelings:
The Currahee Center offers individual counseling and support groups to address the hurt and suffering from losing a loved one through addiction.
If you don’t feel comfortable discussing your grief in person, an online grief support group might be a good option. There are online support groups and forums specifically for people who’ve lost a loved one to addiction.
Whether you’re a parent or other family member of a child who has lost a parent or sibling to addiction or the parent or family member of an older child who lost a friend to the disease, it is important to know that children may require special help in coping with death and grief.
The Women’s and Children’s Health Network provides comprehensive information on how to help a child who’s grieving. It explains how children in different age groups—Preschool, Early Years of School, Later Primary School Years, and Teenagers—experience and express their grief. It also provides advice for parents on how to help them through this difficult time.
This article discusses the helpful benefits of journaling when grieving and touches on the fact that many people don’t take advantage of the benefits of journaling because they find it “difficult, frightening, overwhelming, or counterproductive.” It also provides tips for overcoming this aversion to journaling. For example, there are no rules when it comes to journaling–don’t worry about grammar and punctuation. And help yourself get in the habit by sticking to short amounts of time, 5 or 10 minutes to start.
Grieving is a stressful and taxing process. This article provides self-care suggestions for those who are grieving. For example, the article recommends participating in an activity you’re good at, taking a walk outside, listening to a relaxation exercise, and much more.
And be sure to get plenty of sleep. As this article notes, sleep patterns are often disrupted by grief. It provides tips on how you can ensure you’re getting enough rest as you grieve.
Music can play a big role in guiding you through the grieving process. Making a list of your favorite songs, or eventually, well-likes songs of your loved one, can bring comfort, and calm to the periodic stress or anxiety experienced.
Those who’ve lost a loved one to an addiction may seek out ways to avoid their grief. Personal use of drugs and alcohol, throwing one’s self into work, and avoiding feelings can greatly hinder the grieving process.
GRASP offers advice on how to develop coping tools that will help you deal with the “realities of living.” GRASP recommends sticking to a regular schedule. The group stresses the importance of understanding that the grieving process is slow, and you shouldn’t try to rush yourself through it.
Talk about it with family/friends. Talking through your grief is part of the healing process, and yet, it can be a very difficult thing to do.
Help reduce the stigma. This article points out the stigma that still surrounds drug and alcohol addiction. It encourages those who know and understand what addiction is, to inform others in order to help reduce the stigma associated with addiction. In doing so, you can play a role in making sure people get the help they need.
A great way to heal after your loss is to help raise awareness about the dangers of addiction and the pain it causes those who suffer from it. The groups below, many of them formed by family members who’ve lost a loved one to addiction, work to raise awareness about addiction. And there are many more.