The loss of an adult child is a surreal experience that is so painful that many people will not be able to relate to. Frankly,
most people do not even want to imagine the grief that this presents as it is too painful to contemplate. Today the Opiate
epidemic and other drugs are causing the death of young people ,forcing many parents to confront the unnatural event of
having a child pre-decease them. It is important at this time to know that you are not alone, and sadly there are many
other devoted and doting parents who are losing their young adult children to the disease of substance abuse. It is
unfortunate that there is still a great deal of shame associated with substance abuse disorders. The family may internalize
shame, therefore in addition to the grief of the loss of a child there is the additional burden of coping with judgment of others
about their child. Talking to a trained mental health clinician about substance abuse disorders can help as they can explain
how a substance abuse disorder is a brain condition, and how the substance changes the brain and impairs the part of the
brain that is needed to help the abusing individual stop abusing the substance.
If you have lost a child to substance abuse, it is important for you to know that their disease killed your child. You are not
responsible for their death in the same way as if they had incurable cancer. Addiction is a deadly disease and often fatal.
One of the things that can help is getting support either through individual grief counseling or from a support group such as
Compassionate Friends or Learn2Cope. Remember that the grief you are feeling can lessen with support and help. You can
feel better and reaching out to share your experience can alleviate some of your suffering.