Losing a Family Member to Drug Overdose: A Stark Reality for Nearly 1 in 10 Americans

More families than ever before are facing the unbearable pain and suffering of losing their family members to America’s drug epidemic – a pervasive, persistent, and unforgiving crisis that our country has been steadily losing its grasp on for years. Today, this epidemic has become deadlier than ever before, with provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting the loss of a jaw-dropping 110,000 Americans to drug overdose deaths in 2022 alone.1 As deaths continue to mount, the number of people left behind in the wake of a loved one’s drug overdose is sadly increasing.

A new poll conducted by KFF shows that nearly 1 in 10 adults has lost a family member to drug overdose. In particular, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 and 100 times more potent than heroin and morphine respectively, has fundamentally aided in the rapidly intensifying increase in drug overdose deaths across America – and there is no disguising its effect on the family unit.2

Overdose is a Family Matter

On their own, families can be extremely complex. However, when active addiction is present, the challenges that families once faced can seem to pale in comparison to what they now bear witness to on a regular basis. From being unable to escape from the ever-present sinking feeling in their gut to being left to pick up the proverbial pieces of the aftermath of a loved one’s behaviors, family members of someone struggling with addiction can suffer emotionally, mentally, and physically. For many families, the madness and mayhem that accompanies active addiction comes to a grinding (yet highly welcomed) halt when their loved one seeks professional addiction treatment. Unfortunately, for other families, their loved ones are not afforded the second chance.

The rising numbers of drug overdoses in the United States has clearly weighed heavy on those who have addiction within their families. KFF reports that approximately one-third of adults are concerned that a family member will overdose on opioids, while nearly 2 in 5 are concerned that a family member will accidentally consume fentanyl.3 Additionally, two-thirds of adults surveyed in the same poll reported that they themselves or a family member have struggled with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, as well as suffered significant consequences as a result, including homelessness, hospitalization due to overdose, familial conflicts, and financial strife.3

Finding a Way Out

There are more treatment options for those struggling with addiction than there have ever been before. Yet, despite this, families report that their loved ones experiencing addiction typically do not seek treatment. In fact, only about one-third of adults with opioid use disorder obtained any type of professional addiction treatment in 2021, while only 1 out of 5 received medication to treat opioid use disorder.4

There exist several reasons why people who are in desperate need of treatment do not seek it. From fearing the opinions of others to not being able to afford rehab, millions of people who require the level of care offered through various treatment programs never get it. Despite these challenges, however, there is still hope.

If you or someone you love is affected by a substance use disorder, reach out to one of our skilled, compassionate rehab admissions navigators by calling right now. They can provide you with information regarding the levels of addiction treatment we offer, insurance options, and other ways to pay for rehab. Additionally, they can help start the admissions process for you or your loved one. You can even participate in starting the journey towards recovery right now by having you or your loved one’s insurance verified. Simply fill out this secure and get answers within minutes.

Do not wait until it is too late. Call us right now.

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