Losing a Loved One to Drug Overdose

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, August 21, 2023

Drug overdose is a major cause of death in America, with over 100,000 deaths annually, according to the CDC. When you lose a loved one to an overdose, there can be a lot of mixed feelings surrounding them. This article will discuss the challenges of coping with a loss due to an overdose. 

Addiction and Your Loved One

Many people who suffer from overdose first deal with addiction. Substance abuse and addiction often go hand in hand. It is important to understand that addiction is a disease; and one that can be incredibly challenging to overcome. Over the last few years, a vast array of studies have increased our understanding of addiction. For more information about studies related to addiction, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website.

Guilt and “Not Doing Enough” 

It is common for loved ones to feel guilt after a loved one passes from an overdose. It can be easy to kick yourself for not doing enough, or not seeing the signs of substance abuse. But, you should understand that substance abuse is something that is often hidden away. In many cases, the family of the deceased is not aware of the situation, or its scope. Acceptance of the circumstances may take some time, but beating yourself up over something that was ultimately not in your control won’t help you find solace. Consider looking into support groups for those who have lost loved ones to drug abuse. For more resources, visit the Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing (GRASP) website.

More Than Their Addiction

There is a lot of stigma surrounding drug abuse and addiction. But the way your loved one died should not define how they are remembered. They were loved and valued. Look towards the positive aspects of their life. While it is important to acknowledge the circumstances of their death, they should be remembered for more than just that. 

Substance Abuse and Your Family

After experiencing a substance abuse loss, it is common to worry about your other loved ones. Substance abuse is a major issue across the country. The loss of a loved one can be a learning experience for others who may be struggling with substance abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem, consider visiting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website, or calling their National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource Center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here

For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Funeral Planning for the LGBTQ+ Community

When it comes to end-of-life services, it is important to have a plan in order. This can be especially true for many LGBTQ+ people. In the event of your passing, your wishes should be upheld for yo...

Identifying Signs of A Stroke

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the US, killing 1 person in America every 3.5 minutes. The risk of stroke can increase as you age. For the safety of you and your loved ones, it is important t...

Donating Your Body To Science

Body donation is a process that very few Americans decide to participate in. But, it is a practice that can lead to advances in medical science, improved medical training procedures, and more. This...

Using Coping Mechanisms for Grief

When you hear the term “Coping Mechanism,” it is often in a negative context. However, that is not always the case. Coping mechanisms can help you deal with the short-term effects of grief. When us...

What To Expect at a Graveside Burial Service

A graveside burial service, also sometimes referred to as a committal service, is an essential part of the funeral service for some cultures. Primarily seen in catholic services, the commital is a ...

Oversized Caskets FAQ

Caskets are generally designed to fit a wide assortment of body types. However, some people may require an oversized casket. An oversized casket is used if an individual’s height, weight, or width ...

Flying With Cremated Remains

Traveling with cremated remains, or cremains can have its challenges. Whether you are moving to a new state or country or bringing your loved one home with you, it is important to understand the pr...

Processing Grief Through Reading for Children

Grief can be hard at any age, but for children and young teens, expressing and processing grief can be especially challenging. It is a very complex emotion, and some children may not be able to ful...

Searching for the Right Grief Counselor

The passing of a loved one can be incredibly painful. The grief of loss often seems unbearable. After the death of someone close, some extra guidance can be helpful. Grief counselors assist those w...

Valentine's Day Without Your Significant Other

Holidays can often be a trigger for grief after the loss of a spouse or long-term partner. Memories of holidays together can pop up from store displays, themed commercials, and more. With Valentine...