Home > 'Special death': living with bereavement by drug-related death in Ireland.

Lambert, Sharon and O'Callaghan, Daniel and Frost, Nollaig (2021) 'Special death': living with bereavement by drug-related death in Ireland. Death Studies, Early online, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2021.1939461.

This paper explores the impact of complicated grief on the family system following the drug-related death of a family member. Drug-related deaths are rife with moral stigmas, and those left behind often carry an emotional burden laden with shame and guilt. 17 bereaved family members were interviewed using semi-structured interviews and transcripts were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. Three core themes were generated: Renegotiation of Relationships; Experiencing Complex Emotions; and Adjusting to a New Reality. The findings demonstrate that this population experience great difficulty in processing their grief as they struggle with family breakdown, navigating supports and stigma.


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