Losing A Loved One To Addiction: What To Do Now

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Losing A Loved One To Addiction: What To Do Now

In 2017 alone, there were 70,237 drug overdoses in the United States.1 These are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, cousins, children, coworkers, aunts, and uncles all lost to an overdose, an unnecessary and preventable death. When someone dies from an overdose it is sad no matter who they are, but when you are the one losing a loved one to addiction, it can be devastating.

What To Do When Someone Dies From An Overdose

As a mental health and drug treatment center in Palm Beach, we see the devastating effects of addiction every day. We have talked with patients and loved ones who have lost someone to this horrible disease, and some of our staff members have also experienced this firsthand. We know that this is an emotional time and you may be feeling lost or overwhelmed, but we want to help. While your grief may feel overwhelming, here are few tips on how to cope with losing a loved one to addiction.

Take Time To Grieve

Losing anyone to addiction is sad but, losing a family member to drugs can be especially taxing. It is okay to grieve. Grief is a part of the healing process. Take some time away for yourself to process what happened, lean on the support of your loved ones, and let it all out. The only way you can move forward with your life is if you allow yourself to take time to be sad.

Remember That Everyone Grieves Differently

When someone dies from an overdose not everyone will react the same way. Grief is complicated and different for everyone. Do not criticize how someone else is grieving. Understand that some people may push you away while others may reach out for support. Take time to grieve in your own way.

Seek Professional Help

While it is okay to be sad, you do not need to deal with your overdose grief alone. If you find that your grief seems too overwhelming or you simply cannot move forward, get professional help. There are plenty of resources out there that can help, especially if you find yourself feeling suicidal. Talk to a therapist, find an overdose support group, look for help online, or read literature on the topic. If you find that your grief is leading you to poor mental health and an addiction of your own, make sure to find co-occurring disorder help to address both issues before they get worse. It is important that you ask for help when you need it.

Learn From Them

Do not let this happen to you. Losing a friend to drugs can be an eyeopener. If you did drugs together, this should be your warning that you need to stop. Take that first step and find a residential addiction treatment program near you and get help immediately.

Take Action

Losing someone to overdose can be so distressing because it could have been avoided. Use your pain and grief to spread awareness on the topic or take action in the fight against addiction. There are plenty of ways to make a difference in addiction recovery.

Losing a loved one to addiction may feel like the end of the world, but it doesn’t have to be. You can move past this and you can do something about it.

If you are afraid your loved one could overdose or you are ready to take that first step to get help for yourself, do not wait. Reach out to us today at 561-220-3981 to learn more.




  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention- Drug Overdose Death



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