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Bereavement following a fatal overdose: The experiences of adults in England and Scotland

Templeton, L, Valentine, C, McKell, J, Ford, A, Velleman, R, Walter, T, Hay, G, Bauld, L and Hollywood, J (2016) Bereavement following a fatal overdose: The experiences of adults in England and Scotland. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. pp. 1-9. ISSN 0968-7637

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Aims: Overdoses contribute disproportionately to drug-related deaths (DRDs) in the UK, yet little is known about the experiences and needs of those who are bereaved by such deaths, and how their experiences and needs might differ from other bereavements associated with substance use. Methods: An interview study with 32 adults in England and Scotland (part of a larger study). Findings: Five themes describe the core experiences of this group of bereaved people: drug use, the death, official processes, stigma, and overdose awareness and prevention. Together, these findings offer new insights in to the key features of this type of bereavement; for example, living with substance use including previous overdoses, difficult circumstances surrounding the death, having to negotiate the complex procedures involved in processing the death, the stigma such deaths attract, and feelings of guilt, self-blame and an unworthiness to grieve. Conclusions: There are ways in which bereavement following an overdose differs from bereavement following other deaths associated with alcohol or drugs. Understanding the experiences and needs of this marginalised group can help improve support for them. Furthermore, this group’s experience of witnessing and/or responding to previous overdoses indicates the value in prevention programmes targeting relatives/friends. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health And Health Services
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 11 May 2016 10:12
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 12:59
DOI or ID number: 10.3109/09687637.2015.1127328
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3504
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