News of Interest: Support Group Members Share Their Pain, Comfort One Another

[August 23, 2018 — Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY] In The Nightmare of Losing a Loved One to an OD Brings Them Together, reporter Patti Singer re-creates the scene at a grief support group, where one survivor after another tells their story. In a series of intimate vignettes, we hear from the members of the Forever In Our Hearts group about the pain that brings them together to comfort each other and remember their loved ones.

Vanessa Desmore, a nursing student, shares how the death only last month of her brother William has inspired her to specialize in substance use treatment. “’My brother is still fighting,’ she said. ‘There’s still so much more that can happen in his name, in remembering him and honoring him.’”

Tina Salome tells of the guilt she shares with her siblings over their father’s death because of the difficulty of helping a person who “‘couldn’t stop using drugs … He would be doing great for a few months and then he would start misbehaving again and I’d say [to one of my siblings], OK, I’m done. Your turn.’”

“Angela Lana said the death of her husband was a nightmare for their children. ‘At first I’d sort of fallen in a dark place and then I’m like, wait a minute, I’m the only parent they have left, so I have to try to pick up the pieces. In the beginning, I was looking for them to save me. I’m their mother, so I have to save them.’”

News of Interest” links readers to stories and information related to grief after a death from substance use.

News of Interest: Families Lobby for Safe, Legal, Regulated Drug Supply

[June 23, 2018 — Globe & Mail, Vancouver, BC] In “How Could This Happen?” After Losing Loved Ones to Opioids, Grieving Relatives Take Action, reporter Andrea Woo covers the advocacy of Moms Stop the Harm, which is working in Canada for the decriminalization of drug possession and consumption, as well as access to safer, regulated sources of substances. The article tells of three families who lost a loved one to overdoses — and of how their views of drug laws have been shaped by their experiences.

The point of view of Jennifer Hedican, who lost her 26-year-old son to an overdose last year, is representative: “’I didn’t know you could love a drug user,’ Ms. Hedican said … ‘I thought that was something you never wanted someone to be, and if they chose that, that was just horrible. They didn’t choose it … [and] I’m ashamed of the views that I had before, and that I never took the opportunity to examine them and to say, Where did I get these views from?’”

News of Interest” links readers to stories and information related to grief after a death from substance use.

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