Last updated: July 27, 2017
Survivors of opioid overdose have experienced a life-changing and traumatic event. They have had to deal with the emotional consequences of overdosing (e.g., embarrassment, guilt, anger and gratitude) accompanied by the discomfort of opioid withdrawal. Most need the support of family and friends to take the next steps toward recovery.
While many factors can contribute to opioid overdose, it is almost always an accident. Moreover, the underlying problem that led to opioid use—often a pain or substance use disorder—still exists and continues to require attention.
Family members often feel judged or inadequate because they could not prevent the overdose. It is important for families to work together to help the overdose survivor obtain the help that he or she needs. SAMHSA (U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has created a toolkit for survivors and family members to help achieve the process of long-term recovery.