Bereavement following substance misuse:a disenfranchised grief


Valentine, C., Bauld, L. and Walter, T., 2016. Bereavement following substance misuse:a disenfranchised grief. Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying, 72 (4), pp. 283-301.

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    Bereavement following a drug and/or alcohol-related death has been largely neglected in research and service provision, despite its global prevalence and potentially devastating consequences for those concerned. Whilst researchers have drawn attention to the suffering experienced by families worldwide in coping with a member’s substance misuse, this article highlights the predicament of families bereaved following a substance misuse death. To this end, it reviews literature drawn from addiction and bereavement research that sheds light on this type of loss. The article also considers how general bereavement theory may illuminate bereavement following a substance misuse death. We argue that available frames of reference reflect not only a lack of focus on this type of loss, but also a tendency to reproduce rather than interrogate normative assumptions of bereavement following ‘bad deaths’. The article concludes by considering how findings from existing literature can guide future research.


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsValentine, C., Bauld, L. and Walter, T.
    DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Social & Policy Sciences
    Research CentresCentre for Death and Society
    ID Code39643
    Additional InformationDr Christine Valentine is a teaching fellow, research associate and member of the Centre for Death and Society (CDAS) in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath.She has researched and published on the social and cultural shaping of bereavement in both British and Japanese contexts, and examined funeral welfare systems for people on low income both nationally and internationally. She is currently involved in research with families and individuals bereaved following a drug or alcohol-related death, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


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