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I’ve been bereaved through my loved one’s drug or alcohol use

Grief is what we feel when someone close to us dies. Bereavement through a loved one's drug or alcohol use can be devastating, challenging and often isolating. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and everyone’s experience is different, but there are some particular challenges which face those bereaved through alcohol or drugs.

What is grief?

Grief is a normal response to the loss of someone close to you. You may have heard people mention stages or phases of grief. In fact there are no set stages which everyone passes through, and every experience of grief is unique.

  • You may initially feel shocked or numb.
  • You may feel guilty, angry, or afraid. 
  • You may find yourself searching for the person you have lost, hearing their  voice, or going over and over things that happened before they died.
  • You may have physical symptoms such as losing your appetite, feeling sick or panicky and not being able to sleep. 
  • You may feel waves of intense pain, longing, sadness and loneliness, and feel hopeless about the future.

None of these feelings are unnatural or wrong. You will need to give yourself time and space to grieve, and seek out as much support as you can.