Over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period, according to recent provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Deaths were already increasing in months leading up to the COVID outbreak, but the isolation and disruption of daily life appears to have hit those with substance use disorders hard.
In the wake of these deaths are loved ones who struggle with lack of closure, broken relationships, anger, shame, self-blame, questioning, and even further injury from a misinformed society. Learn more about the complicated grief that follows the death of a loved one from an overdose, how to overcome the stigma, blame, isolation, and shame that may come with their death.
Listen also to Marianne’s Passionate World Talk Radio interview with Polly, whose son died from an overdose of oxycontin laced with fentanyl.
I don’t want to do this no more
Charlie shared a poem with us written by Delaney Marie Farrell. Delaney died on July 1, 2017, in Williamsport at the age of only 23, after a long and hard battle with drug addiction. Delaney would write in her journals or on just random pieces of paper; some were private but some she would share. She forwarded one of her last entries to her sister, which depicts the pain and suffering:
Funny, I don’t remember no good dope days. I remember walking for miles in a dope fiend haze. I remember sleeping in houses that had no electric. I remember being called a junkie, but I couldn’t accept it.
I remember hanging out in abandos that were empty and dark. I remember shooting up in the bathroom and falling out at the park. I remember nodding out in front of my sister’s kid. I remember not remembering half of the things that I did.
I remember the dope man’s time frame, just ten more minutes. I remember those days being so sick that I just wanted to end it. I remember the birthdays and holiday celebrations. All the things I missed during my incarceration.
I remember overdosing on my bedroom floor. I remember my sisters cry and my dad having to break down the door. I remember the look on his face when I opened my eyes, thinking today was the day that his baby had died.
I remember blaming myself when my mom decided to leave. I remember the guilt I felt in my chest making it hard to breathe. I remember caring so much but not knowing how to show it. and I know to this day that she probably don’t even know it.
I remember feeling like I lost all hope. I remember giving up my body for the next bag of dope. I remember only causing pain, destruction and harm. I remember the track marks the needles left on my arm.
I remember watching the slow break up of my home. I remember thinking my family would be better off if I just left them alone. I remember looking in the mirror at my sickly completion. I remember not recognizing myself in my own Damn reflection. I remember constantly obsessing over my next score but what I remember most is getting down on my knees and asking God to save me cuz I don’t want to do this no more !!!
– Delaney Marie Farrell (1993-2017)
- Everyone Dies – Episode 12: Traumatic Grief
- The Grief of an Overdose Death: Part 1 – Whats your Grief
- The Grief of an Overdose Death: Part 2 – Whats your Grief
- NPR: When A Loved One Dies Of Overdose, What Happens To The Family?
- 7 Ways Grief is Compounded by an Overdose Death (myasd.com)
- In Shadow of Pandemic, U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Resurge to Record – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
- CDC: Overdose Deaths Accelerating During COVID-19
- Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States
- Addiction Treatment Needs Assessment: ATNA Survey Intro (shatterproof.org)
- Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP) was created to offer understanding, compassion, and support for those who have lost someone they love through addiction and overdose: Grief Recovery After Substance Passing – GRASP (grasphelp.org)
- OPERATION LIGHTHOUSE: Guiding startups through the challenges presented by substance use disorder: https://theoperationlighthouse.org/
We’re celebrating Elvis Presley’s 86th birthday with a couple of his favorite foods.
Elvis Presley’s favorite peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich:
- 1 banana
- 2 slices bread
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Mash the banana with the peanut butter. Spread the mixture on two slices of bread.
- Butter the bread and grill. Elvis also liked bacon on his. Enjoy!
Elvis Presley’s whipping cream pound cake
Let Us Hear From You!
Did you make it? (We really want to know if you tried bananas with bacon!) Share one of your favorite recipes with us to feature on our show! Drop us a line in the comments below.