4 Critical Ways to Cope after a Loved One’s Drug Overdose Death
Losing a loved one can be awful, especially when your loved one passes away as a result of a drug overdose death. While the Opioid Epidemic has driven a significant amount of premature deaths, nobody ever expects or wants it to actually happen to their loved one. Nobody wants to have to pick up and answer the phone only to hear that it was their loved one that has just died from a drug overdose.
But drug addiction makes these unfortunate, fatal consequences a reality for many. Dealing with a loved one’s drug overdose death can feel unreal and be extremely painful, but it’s important to let yourself grieve and understand that grief itself is a process.
Tips to Cope After a Drug Overdose Death
Just by simply giving yourself the time that you will personally need to heal, allowing yourself to feel any emotion as you feel it, refraining from placing blame on yourself, and becoming an advocate for recovery, you can begin to cope with the loss of your loved one.
These coping mechanisms and tips could benefit you, but they may also not suit your own personal needs. Either way, it helps to become aware of these ways of coping so that you can find what does work for you.
1. Give Yourself Time to Heal
Some people may cry every night after they have just lost a loved one to a drug overdose, but others may be in shock or feel numb for a while. Whatever it is that you are experiencing after losing your loved one, just understand that you will need time to heal. You may think you’re ready to get back to work after a certain period of time, but just remember to be gentle with yourself. It’s okay to take a break or lay low for a bit. Give yourself all the time and space you need to grieve the loss of your loved one.
2. Let Yourself Feel
In giving yourself time and space, make sure that you also let yourself feel any emotion you may be experiencing. By blocking your feelings, you prevent yourself from experiencing emotions and as a result, feelings may begin to bottle up. Letting yourself feel will ultimately help you sort through your emotions and deal with the aftermath of losing your loved one.
3. Don’t Blame Yourself
It’s important that you don’t place blame on yourself. It’s easy to feel guilty after losing a loved one. You may think back to the last time you saw them, how often you were emotionally and physically there for them, and even what you last said. Don’t dwell on these facts because the reality is that their addiction was never your fault, no matter how great of a loved one you were to them or not.
4. Advocate Recovery
When you’re going through the grieving process for a loved one who has suffered from a drug overdose death, you may feel empowered to help prevent a similar situation from happening to somebody else and their loved ones. This can be a great way to channel some of your emotions and get into taking action in honor of your loved one. You may feel like you have no control over what has happened to your loved one, but being an advocate for recovery may allow you to feel like you can do something in memory of your loved one.
The reality behind addiction is that it is a disease, and it is a deadly one. Drug overdoses happen too frequently now and some people lose their lives prematurely. It doesn’t seem fair, and it may not make much sense. It is important to understand that it is not your fault that your loved one suffered from the disease of addiction. No matter how great of a parent, child, sibling, or friend you were or weren’t, it was not your fault because nothing you did or didn’t do made your loved one an addict. The disease of addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful. You cannot change the fact that your loved one is gone, but you can choose to remember and honor them by going on.
Death is never easy, least of all a drug overdose death of a loved one. It can be extremely difficult, depressing, angering, and frustrating. You may never be okay with losing your loved one, but you may come to accept that it has happened and that you cannot change it. This may bring peace or closure. Either way, grieving is a process in itself. Give yourself the time you need to heal.
Drug addiction does not need to end in death. There is treatment for alcohol and drug addiction available at reputable treatment centers, like The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, now is the time to make the change and begin recovery. Contact The Watershed for help today by calling 1-800-861-1768.Tags: Drug Overdose, drug overdose death