On Tuesday 23 June, at an event in London, researchers from the University of Bath with colleagues from the University and Stirling launched a set of practice guidelines aimed at providing meaningful support to people who have lost a relative or friend to alcohol or drugs.
The guidelines, based on findings from a three-year Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded project, suggest that those left bereaved after a drug or alcohol related death often receive poor, unkind or stigmatising responses which can exacerbate their grief.
The study interviewed 106 bereaved adults, the largest known qualitative research sample of its kind, and held focus groups with 40 members, mainly practitioners (some also bereaved), whose work brings them into contact with this group.
While some bereaved people reported positive experiences, the study has identified much poor practice resulting from practitioners not understanding this kind of death and the issues involved.
See the full report here.