Though this is the first US research to officially document this, it seems pretty darn intuitive if you have lost anyone to overdose or known people who have.
Some common feelings that arise around blame are: study, a tally of blame comments made to parents showed that 97% of blame comments were made in cases of suicide and overdose deaths, in contrast to 2-3% in cases of accidental deaths and 0% in cases of natural deaths.
So, guilt is a feeling about an action and shame is a feeling about the self. Though that is a very important distinction to make, it is not the way we are talking about shame here.
My experience with the word shame, and with the grief experience that accompanies it, is shame in the relational sense – shame that others are judging us or our loved one.
Though there is little research around the grief experience of survivors of overdose deaths, the study by found a greater incidence of blame among and between parents of children who died of drug related deaths (as well as those who had children die by suicide).
Yet the unique experience of grieving an overdose death is still pushed under the rug. It is veiled in guilt and shame and stigma and discomfort. This year a close friend from high school died of an overdose.On a post last week, commenter Joey said: “I used to work with a guy that did triathlons and biked 12 miles to work in the Texas heat.He’d wear his Lance Armstrong wear on the way to work, strip down in the staff bathroom, use a wash rag to take a bath in the sink and get dressed for work.There is often a question of the difference between guilt and shame, but it is important to understand the distinction as these can impact someone grieving an overdose death.There are many different ways you will see guilt and shame defined and contrasted against each other.