Announce Memorial

Website Links Bereaved to Loved Ones SADOD is launching Honoring the Many, which according to a statement on the new memorial website, was created “because people who die from substance use deserve to be honored and remembered — and those who are left behind to mourn their loss deserve to know that they are not alone.” It is easy to dehumanize people who die from substance when you look at only the numbers, says Glen Lord, SADOD director. “When you see a wall of faces, the reality of what we are talking about is literally staring you in the face. …

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Grandparents Step In, Change the World

Grandparents Step In, Change the World — By Kerry J. Bickford, SADOD Newsletter Editor — Sixteen years ago, the trajectory of our lives changed when my husband and I became custodial guardians of our grandson, who was four months old and straight out of the neonatal intensive care unit. A few years later, his older sister (age 3) joined us, and we have been a family unit ever since, one of approximately 2.6 million grandparents raising their grandchildren across the country, and one of 30,000 in the state of Massachusetts.  While the story behind this is really our grandchildren’s story …

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Welcome to the Age of Virtual Groups

Virtual meetings are serving a vital purpose during this highly unusual and frightening time when the COVID-19 pandemic has eliminated or altered face-to-face services. Many people are living in isolation and unable to connect with the outside world due to the social restrictions placed on all of us. Connecting via video to others who are experiencing similar circumstances offers a way to share the ups and downs, offer support and learn how others are coping. Video technology is a great tool for frontline care providers to share their own feelings about what they are experiencing and witnessing. For the recovery …

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Handwriting text Share Your Voice placed above a wooden classic table backdrop

Invitation: Share Your Voice in New Traumatic Loss Study

By Kerry J. Bickford, SADOD Newsletter Editor — Are you or is someone you know or love a survivor of a traumatic loss? Our colleagues at the Surviving Traumatic Loss project are currently engaged in a longitudinal study on how to better support those of us who are grieving a devastating loss, and are extending an invitation to us to participate. The anticipated outcome of this study is “understanding the experience of traumatic bereavement and how we, as helping professionals, can best assist mourners along their journey.” At SADOD, we are particularly hopeful about this study because it will affect …

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Get Help Where Grief and COVID-19 Intersect

As we were finishing the inaugural edition of the SADOD newsletter, we suddenly found ourselves facing the unraveling uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continued to move toward our publication date, with a watchful eye on the changes that were happening daily – and like everyone else we realized we were immersed in something so big that it was redefining everything about our lives as we knew them. We followed the news and complied with the mandates until we found ourselves at home with our families indefinitely, facing a new norm involving “social distancing” and Zoom meetings, and confronting disruptions of our daily routines and support systems. This weighed heavily on our minds as we

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Here’s a SADOD Resource: Do You Have One to Share?

SADOD has created a number of resources for people who have suffered the loss of a loved one to an overdose or other tragedy related to substance use. Our blog will occasionally feature a SADOD resource or an item we know of that is intended to help people cope with grief, for example, the handout “The Pain of Grief.” One of the most difficult things about grief is that it is painful in a way that can be devastating or even paralyzing. “The Pain of Grief” offers ways to think about this pain (it is a normal part of grieving) …

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