UMMS Affiliation

National Networks of Libraries of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type


Project Name

Understanding Grief After an Overdose Death

Contract Cycle


Streaming Media


Library and Information Science | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Public Health | Substance Abuse and Addiction


This webinar focuses on the dynamics of grief after a death caused by substance use. It begins with a look at three key questions people bereaved by an overdose death commonly ask themselves: "Why did the person die from an overdose?" "Did the person intend to die?" "Was the death preventable?" It also covers the stigma, stress, and trauma that can come with grief after a death from substance use -- and it considers issues that begin to influence survivors' experience of grief and loss long before a death occurs, such as struggling with a loved one's addiction and the demands of caring for a chronically ill person. The concepts in the webinar are based on the presenter’s 20 years of experience as a peer grief support advocate and his current work on two statewide projects in Massachusetts focused on helping people affected by the opioid epidemic. Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to do the following: • Discuss how three key questions affect bereaved people • Explain the effects of stigma and stress on the experience of grief • Give examples of how trauma can play a role in grief • Consider how the dynamics of addiction and caregiving can shape a person’s grief


Grief, grief after overdose, overdose death, suicide, substance use disorder, addiction, opioids, opioid addiction, overdose, recovery, SUD, bereavement

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DOI of Published Version


Journal/Book/Conference Title

National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region (NNLM NER) Repository



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