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Home > Services & Specialties > Behavioral & Mental Health Services > Grief Support > Grief & Bereavement Resources > Death from Overdose
If you are reading this, someone close to you has died from overdose. We are very sorry for your loss. We hope that this handout will help you cope with your loss. You may also find resources that have helped other grieving families.
According to government studies, drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. More than 3 out of 5 overdose deaths involve the use of an opioid.
About 88,000 people die from alcohol overdose each year in the U.S.
After a death from alcohol or drug overdose, people may feel:
People may also have:
Acknowledge how your loved one died
There is a stigma about drug and alcohol use, and it is normal to want to deny the role that they played in your loved one's death. But it is important to recognize that your loved one used drugs or alcohol. It helps to admit the role addiction played and accept support from others who understand.
Be honest with yourself and those you trust. Some people have a hard time sharing how they feel. If you have a tough time sharing your feelings, you can try other ways of expressing yourself such as writing, music, photography, or art. Find what work best for you!
You may feel guilt as well as grief. Remember that you had no power over your loved one's illness. This can help you accept your loved one's addiction and allow you to feel less guilt.
12-step programs like Al-Anon can help you understand addiction better. You can find one in your community or online.
Stand up for yourself
It can be hard to tell others that their well-intentioned comments or actions are not helpful. But friends and family members are not mind readers. They do not know what your feelings are unless you tell them.
If you want more support, tell them. Let them know what is not helping or what would be more helpful.
Limit contact with people who don't support you
Sometimes people say the wrong thing or hurtful things. You may need to speak with them about their comments or actions. After speaking with them, some people may still fail to support you. It is okay to stay away from these people while you are grieving. At this time focus on surrounding yourself with people who are helpful and supportive.
Other coping tips
Reading Resources Available for loan - Call 218-786-4402
Call Grief Support Services at 218-786-4402 for more information regarding counseling and grief support groups for children, teens, and adults.