Overdoses Now Occurring During Funerals

funeral overdose

I hate to point out the irony in the title of this article but that’s exactly what’s started to happen. It’s bad enough that funerals are happening on a daily basis for those who’ve overdosed on opioids, the last thing anyone needs are more overdoses happening while at funerals for people who lost their lives to drug addiction.

Funeral home directors have become increasingly concerned with the amount of OD’s happening in funeral homes and at memorial services. Accidental overdoses and physical altercations are the new norm. Instead of paying respects to those who lost their lives, the pervasiveness of addiction is apparent with attendees nodding out and fighting with each other. In my opinion, that’s one of the highest forms of disrespect possible.

Mark Busch, who co-owns Busch Funeral Home, said he sees around six overdose deaths come through each month. The National Funeral Directors Association has recommended funeral home staff get trained on how to use Narcan if they spot the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose.

Busch said, “It’s heartbreaking. It is something we are considering and evaluating at this time,” in response to the growing need to be trained on a Narcan protocol.

Addiction is so strong, that addicts attending a funeral for a friend or a loved one who passed away from a fatal overdose, are high at the service! It’s unbelievable how powerful opioid abuse is, especially on a mental level, when you can be high on heroin at a memorial service for someone who died from heroin. It lacks any kind of sense, but hey, that’s addiction.

Aside from friends and family being high at the service, addiction causes major rifts between families, leaving them split, divided, and at times, hateful toward each other. Sometimes the palpable tension explodes into full-on altercations in the middle of the funeral home. It’s surely a different scene these days when laying a loved one to rest.

Addiction doesn’t make sense, especially when it’s viewed objectively by an outside observer. An addict appears to be insane because what they’re doing is insane, they’re just the only ones who can’t see that. If you think about it, compulsively putting dangerous, potent, and toxic chemicals into your body over and over again as a means to just merely “get through life,” is completely lacking in logic.

Drug use becomes pure survival; if you don’t have it, you can’t function, but you can’t function when you have it. It’s an awful Catch 22 that addicts find themselves in and it’s nearly impossible to get out of it by yourself.

As a result of addiction, we’ve turned funerals into spectacles, grieving families into first-responders, and funeral directors into boxing match referees.

When is it going to stop?

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.