The tragedy of losing a loved one to drug overdose is without doubt one of the most devastating tragedies to endure. This is the nature of tragedy; it has no explanation and provides no solace. But our mind still tries to explain it. This effort to explain the unexplainable is what drives us into despair. There is no sense in the tragedy or the loss. It is not a pill anyone can swallow on their own. And, that is the point: isolation may be what we crave during moments of extreme grief, but we must remember that death is not about the deceased, it is about the living.


The key to overcoming grief is to look at the abundant life still in our lives; to revel in life. There are a number of tips out there on how to overcome the guilt and grief surrounding the death of a loved as a result of drug overdose, and we will briefly look into those, but of all the tips circulating out there the one that has the most power for lifting us out of grief is that of helping others through their own grieving process. In other words, focus on the quality of life of another living being and in the process you will very likely find yourself feeling better. While more can be said about this one particular strategy for coping with the pain and guilt of tragic loss, we will now move on to some other useful tips that many professionals agree are also very effective.


Overcoming Grief

A great place to start is by consulting your primary care physician regarding recommendations for therapists or grief professionals. Your doctor is someone who encounters these types of situations on a more regular basis and likely has some trusted colleagues who he or she is ready to endorse. Another helpful resource is a support group. These can be found locally or online. GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) is an excellent source of support and comfort comprised of loved ones who have gone through the same experiences and the organization has many groups nationwide. You can find locations and more information here.  


Special attention must be given to children who experience the sudden loss of loved ones. Children perceive and process these things very differently than adults and delicate care must be given to them. Not only do children deal with loss differently than adults, but different age groups of children deal with it in their own developmental ways. So it’s crucial to connect children with the right kind of help for their age as quickly and seamlessly as possible. The Women’s and Children’s Health Network can be very helpful in this endeavor.


Though there are more than just these basic tips to help someone through guilt and grief of this nature, we’d like to offer one last tip; journaling. Writing out your thoughts and feelings forces you to organize and prioritize your thought processes. It affords the writer a medium in which to come to terms with his or her emotions. It may not happen at the first attempt, or the second. However, in time and with regularity, journaling one’s own thoughts on one’s own emotions can be beneficial to putting  those emotions to rest.


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