Individuals bereaved by the drug- or alcohol-related death of a family member represent a sizeable group worldwide. Families Bereaved by Alcohol or Drugs is the long-awaited result of an important and ambitious research project into the experiences commonly encountered by members of this stigmatized and vulnerable group.

Based on focus groups with the practitioners and service personnel who support grieving relatives following the loss of a loved one to alcohol or drugs, as well as interviews with the largest qualitative sample of adults bereaved by substance use that has been reported to date, this much-needed contribution to research on addiction and bereavement identifies four major reasons why grief following this tragic kind of death is particularly difficult. By examining the experiences of a wide range of stakeholders, including practitioners and policymakers in health, social care and the criminal justice system, the research contained within this book underscores the large number of organizations that play a role in the implementation of official procedure following a drug- or alcohol-related death and identifies significant gaps in the system that bereaved individuals must negotiate.

Grounded in extensive and rigorous academic research, Families Bereaved by Alcohol or Drugs is essential reading for academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of mental health and addiction, social work and social studies, psychology, family studies and bereavement. The book should also be of interest to anyone with a professional interest in bereavement or substance use.

chapter |11 pages


Researching families bereaved by alcohol or drugs
ByChristine Valentine, Linda Bauld

part I|128 pages


chapter 1|26 pages

Families living with and bereaved by substance use

ByLorna Templeton, Richard Velleman

chapter 2|24 pages

The impact of a substance-related death 1

ByAllison Ford, Jennifer McKell, Lorna Templeton, Christine Valentine

chapter 3|23 pages

Managing stigma 1

ByTony Walter, Allison Ford

chapter 4|22 pages

Remembering a life that involved substance use

ByChristine Valentine, Lorna Templeton

chapter 5|29 pages

The diversity of bereavement through substance use

ByLorna Templeton, Jennifer McKell, Richard Velleman, Gordon Hay

part II|47 pages


chapter 6|21 pages

Dealing with substance-related deaths

ByJennifer McKell, Christine Valentine, Tony Walter

chapter 7|19 pages

Improving the response of services

ByPeter Cartwright, Lorna Templeton, Gordon Hay

chapter 8|5 pages


ByChristine Valentine, Linda Bauld