Losing a Loved One to Addiction
Losing a loved one to addiction has become a norm none of us likes. We can never get back the pain, guilt, and grief of someone we love. Also, we are dying to take a piece of them with us. No matter how it happened, it feels the same. Whether it is the loss of a parent, sibling, friend, or child, death is like no other. Without a doubt, losing a family member to drugs is always painful.
Many believe these deaths are from overdoses, whether intentional or not. However, some deaths are from something other than the drugs, but still a result of being an addict. These results leave many with a good question in mind.
Do you want to help someone you love that has an addiction to drugs? Call Recovery Hope Treatment at 614-502-6247 today. Do not hesitate, before it is too late. Call today and save the life of your loved one. Here at Recovery Hope Treatment, we offer a no-judgment policy. Meaning you will never feel judged or need to feel embarrassed in any way. We are here to help you. We want to help you, or your loved one, get the help and treatment needed today.
Saving Someone Who is Addicted to Drugs
Most of the time, saving someone who is has a drug addiction is challenging. Overdose death is the most common of sudden deaths for addicts. Unfortunately, many deaths are unintentional and just a repercussion of not knowing someone laced the drug with fentanyl. Also, accidentally taking too much is a typical accidental result.
Violence happens all too often during drug deals, which can result in murder. A high individual sees his or her life as over and chooses to commit suicide by overdose or weapon. Or, someone gets a drug made with something unknown and dies from complications from that drug.
Here is an example: Brandon smoked a lot of weed. However, due to stressors in his life, he began shooting up meth between his toes. Brandon bought meth from someone he didn’t know. Someone put jet fuel into the meth, and he was unaware of this. When he shot it up, that jet fuel went directly into his vein and attacked his organs, shutting them down, ending his life. Complications from a drug overdose were the verdict-adding to the overdose numbers.
It was not an overdose, use of a drug made with something it should not have been. Overdosing is a risk any time anyone buys an illicit drug. However, there is no difference, Brandon passes, and his family and friends still suffer from grief, guilt, and pain.
Accidental or Intentional?
More than 67,300 Americans died from a drug-involved overdose in 2018, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids. When breaking down the overdose deaths, drugs are on the rise. Even heroin deaths are increasing due to being often laced with fentanyl. Other factors are arising, including other medications used to mix and strengthen. Drugs made with new chemicals users are not aware of and increased violence around the purchase and use of drugs.
Are you worried about someone you love overdosing on drugs? Then call us today. Our professionals are here and ready to help you get the help and treatment that you need. Start your road to recovery. Take the first step.
Losing a Family Member to Overdoses
Secrecy regarding drug use, followed by death by overdose, arouses feelings of anger, guilt, helplessness, and deprives the family members of information that could allow them to act. Families aware of the drug use have a “veiled preparation” for possible death by overdose, allowing them to grieve ahead of time and be ready to relieve the insanity.
Studies stress how disturbing it is to lose a family member by overdose and point to the need for support for the deceased’s families. Any death involving substance use disorders (SUDs) brings with it a level of secrecy, which deprives family members and friends of information that can allow them to act.
How to Help a Loved One Who is Addicted to Drugs
After losing a loved one to any disease, family and friends suffer. Parents and friends who suffer a sudden, unexpected loss of a child feel guilty for not adequately protecting their child and not realizing that they were in trouble.
When there is substance abuse, parents may feel anger at the deceased child for choosing drugs over their relationship. The parents may feel angry at their child and then feel guilty about that anger. Parents feel guilty for living when their child has died.
Family members left behind when there is sudden death feel the need to blame someone for what has happened, particularly when substance use is involved. The emptiness is vast, a feeling of “if only I did something.” Thoughts of saving someone addicted to drugs create this hole inside a heart.
Unfortunately, when a child dies suddenly, many of these questions go unanswered. Many parents blame the other spouse and stop communicating with each other after death; thus, there is a high divorce rate for grieving parents.
The only way to help a loved one addicted to drugs is to seek help from an addiction specialist as soon as possible. Likewise, the only way to help an addicted friend or relative is to encourage them to attend a rehab program. If you need to talk to an addiction specialist, then call us today. Our specialists will help you find the right treatment options for you and your situation. Do not wait until it is too late. Call today.
Grief is a Process of Letting Go
Losing a loved one to addiction can cause extensive grief. Bereavement is the period of grief and mourning after a death. When you grieve, it’s part of the normal process of reacting to a loss. You may experience grief as a mental, physical, social, or emotional reaction. Mental reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness and despair. Physical reactions can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems, or illness.
Grief is a process of letting go and learning to accept and live with loss. The amount of time it takes to do this varies with each person. Some people experience a much more complicated grief, making it harder to accept and adapt to the loss of a loved one. They may think the death did not have to happen or happen in the way that it did. They also might judge their grief—questioning if they are grieving correctly.
Grief therapy is used with people who have serious problems with grief, such as what might follow the drug overdose of a child. The goal of grief therapy is to identify and solve problems the mourner may have in separating from the person who died. Grief therapy may be available as individual or group therapy.
For a person who is having trouble coping with grief from any loss, including the death of a loved one from a drug overdose, a physician may want to schedule relatively frequent office visits with progressive lengthening between visits as the person feels more stable. In addition, if you need more information do not hesitate. Call us today. Our team is ready to help you or someone you love to fight their battle with addiction.
Stages of Grief
When losing a family member to drugs, The well-known stages of grief are:
The six R’s of mourning, according to Rando, are:
- Recognize the loss
- React to the separation
- Recollect the deceased and the relationship
- Relinquish the old attachments
- Readjust to moving on without forgetting
- Reinvest in life
Grief and mourning are complicated when the grieving process has had some compromise, distortion, or failure in one or more of the R’s, which is common when dealing with a substance abuse-related death.
There are two sides typically observed in emotional and behavioral responses: Internalization and externalization. An internalized response by the survivor may be exhibited in depression, avoidance, or withdrawal. On the other hand, an externalized response may consist of anger, outbursts, and self-destructive behaviors.
Grief vs. Depression
The predominant emotions in grief are sadness and a desire for the loss to be returned combined with a huge sense of emptiness. Depression is something that comes with losing a loved one to addiction. Emotions common to both grief and depression are:
- Social withdrawal
- Weight change
The difference is with depression, self-esteem is compromised. Although this could be possible in grief too, it usually is not.
For healthcare professionals, the differences are subtle and can be missed if not looked for. Always maintaining open communication and consistency with your healthcare professionals allow them to better help you in a crisis such as the sudden death of a child from SUDs and overdose for whatever reasons.
Are you suffering from grief or depression? Are you concerned about a loved one that is battling addiction? Call us today. We will assist you in getting the help that you need. Because we care about our patients. And we want to help all impacted by an addict’s choice.
Death of a Child
People, in general, have experienced a loss. This loss may be of a grandparent, friend, distant relative, or parent. Likewise, losing a family member to drugs is something many people know. However, few people know the loss of a child. If you have never experienced it, you do not understand it. For those who have, it hurts-bad. You cannot describe it. You cannot make someone understand it. Especially for a mother, the breath has been taken from her body and her existence is different forever.
A common phrase is “I should have gone first” or “it’s just out of order”. After losing a loved one to addiction, people will often think this way. Death could be from a long illness, battle with addiction, traumatic car accident, or instant overdose. However the death comes, it is a massive loss and the loss of the child’s physical presence.
The most deafening is emotions. Although during the grief process, many of those emotions are looked at, engaged, and dealt with, the surprise is later. When birthdays happen, anniversaries of the death, new children are born-although many of these happy times-the confusion, sorrow, and anger that comes out is overwhelming.
Grieving is Normal
These are all normal. What we need to know and remember, those who have lost a child do not need us to fix them. They just want to be listened to and heard. The parent grieving is not broken, his or her heart is. To fix that, heart work must be done. It does not matter whether the child was still in the womb or an older adult at the time of their death, a child should not go before the parent.
When a child dies because of SUDs over time or suddenly, there is a whole new run of emotions on top of those for the death of any child. Hopefully, through awareness, we can work towards minimizing the number of child deaths to SUDs. In the meantime, we must be there for each other and know we can listen and love those who lose a child to overdose, but we can never fix it for that parent. If we work together, we may be able to fix some for the next parent.
If you need help with grieving, then call us today. We will be able to provide you with assistance in properly grieving the loss of someone you love. Above all, our professionals will make sure you get the support that you need.
Remembering the Person Who Has Passed
The goal of grief is neither to forget about nor to get over the loss, a commonly stated goal of survivors. Rather, the goal of grief is to remember the person who has passed, understand the changes created by the loss, and determine how to move on in life without him or her. This is often the thought process when losing a loved one to addiction.
This will look different for everyone and that is OK. It is not anyone’s place to judge how someone copes with grief, the number of times they return to any one stage of grief, nor how they choose to remember the loved one. Our job is to support, love, and help in any way we can, without judgment, until that person is able to stand on his or her own again.
Eventually, the person suffering the loss will move on again in a healthy way. This will take time and patience from everyone around. In the end, you will be trusted and loved beyond belief for never giving up on, abandoning, or judging that family member or friend.
Moving Forward With Hope
Overall, the only way you can help a loved one who is addicted to drugs is by seeking professional help. Along with this, how you can help a friend or relative addicted to drugs by showing support when they need this help.
Finally, the goal of good grieving is not to forget the loss but to put the loss in your history how and where it belongs. However, when this happens, you will be able to reinvest in your own future and start seeking out what is enjoyable in life again. Losing a family member to drugs is hard, but you can withstand the blow.
In short, remember it could be one of us in this position in the future. Grief is a process, not an endpoint. If it were you, what would you want? Call Recovery Hope Treatment today to get help. Our team of experts is standing by, and they are ready to take your case. Call today, help save a life today.