How do you handle a substance abuse related death?
When dealing with a member of the family who is either addicted to alcohol or some other hard street or prescription drug(s), there is the risk that the particular individual may eventually cause themselves great harm, or even death. Families, especially ones who were very close for the longest time, before the addiction took over, will often go through incredible suffering. First, there is the situation where the family will try their best to support their family member and work with them to find a solution to the problem. Then, when that doesnt seem to work, the family may try to just live with the problem, hoping that it will go away. Lastly, there is the situation where the family members separate and try to leave behind, or ignore, the problem that they have been unable to fix or deal with. Not every family reacts to the problem in the same way, though the three different situations expressed will be felt by most families in such a situation in one way or another. Regardless of how they deal with it, however, many families will eventually suffer from the most undesirable situation of all where that individual who suffered from the addiction passes away.
When trying to keep a family together and coexist with the family member with the substance abuse problem, the other family members will often feel many negative feelings, such as anger, frustration, sadness and depression. It is rarely just the one with the addiction that is affected. In most cases where family involved, the entire unit is affected mentally and physically, depending on how the one with the addiction handles themselves in certain states. As the problem continues, a rift between the troubled person and the rest of their family can develop. There are many families who will remain with the individual hoping that the person will seek help one way or the other, while other families or individuals will not because they cant stand to see the person go through the destructive cycle over and over again. There are, of course, other instances that differ from the two expressed above as every situation is unique because there are so many variables involved. Each individual who develops an addiction will often differ in their behavior from others suffering with similar problems.
Regardless of the situation, when a person does fail in their ability to deal with their addiction, the rest of the family can be greatly affected. Some will be more affect than they thought they would have. When a family member learns that one they had loved has passed away, it can feel like an empty void has entered their life. They can feel lost and stunned at first, but as the truth settles in and they accept that the unthinkable has happened, even if they partly expected it, they can go through intense, and sometimes uncontrollable, grief. In a situation like this, speaking with someone can be of great help. Finding an online counselor to speak with can be a great start. One doesnt necessarily think of online counseling, but speaking with an online therapist can help one to organize their thoughts and deal with their grief. Online therapy can be a good way to deal with emotions that have been pent up for a long time, as well as deal with the sadness and depression brought on by the loss of one they loved.