Over 47,000 people overdosed on illicit drugs in 2017 according to the Center for Disease Control. This is an increase from over 38,000 overdoses in 2010. While the effects of drug overdose on the user is discussed, the effects of meth overdose on loved ones is often overlooked. The statistics for 2018 haven’t even been released yet.
When the Meth User Survives an Overdose
Family members go through many emotions when they find out their loved one has overdosed. When the meth user has survived, it’s important to focus on getting him or her help. Offer a list of treatment options. Include treatment in another state as a choice. Sometimes it helps the meth user to be away from familiar territory while recovering. Help by arranging care for family members and pets.
Discuss the recovery goals with your loved one and offer support where you can. Once he or she is in treatment, look at treatment options for yourself too. The effects of meth overdose are traumatic. You may need help to deal with the shock.
When the Meth User Dies from Overdose
The sudden death of a loved one is never easy. When that death is caused by the effects of a meth overdose the shock can overwhelm family members. Grief will come in many forms and will need to be treated.
- Survivors may experience shock or feeling numb
- Fear of being alone or losing others to drug overdose
- Feeling helpless and unable to reach out for help
- Isolating oneself from others
- Extreme sadness
- Intense desire to talk about the person
- Intense wish to talk to the person
- Guilt for not having done more or not seeing the signs of drug abuse
- Deep despair and no desire to live anymore
- Angry at the death and at others for living a normal life
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Temptation to abuse alcohol and drugs in response to the death
The Effects of Meth Overdose On Those Who Didn’t Know There Was a Drug Abuse Problem
Sometimes family members do not know their loved one is abusing meth. The meth overdose comes as a shock and may also elicit feelings of anger, guilt, helplessness, and stress. When facing these strong emotions, it’s important to seek help from a professional.
The Effects of Meth Overdose On those Who Knew of the Drug Abuse Problem
Some families struggle with a family member’s addiction for years. When an overdose finally takes the loved one’s life, it’s common to feel a sense of relief. The struggle is over for everyone. That sense of relief may be followed by intense feelings of guilt and shame. Whatever stage of grief you may experience, it’s important to have someone to talk to about the death.
What to Do When Facing the Effects of Meth Overdose and Grief
Grief can be hard to handle especially when losing a loved one to an overdose. Outsiders cannot understand what you are experiencing and there is still a stigma associated with drug use. It is important to seek help for your grief.
- Join a survivor’s support group
- Talk about the death with friends and family members
- Support others facing a drug overdose
- Seek professional help as needed