Counselling Services

Drug Related Death & Non-Fatal Overdose

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Death by overdose is loaded with social and moral stigmas, in addition to strong feelings of anger, helplessness, guilt and shame within families. Families do not always know that a loved one is using drugs, so when a death by overdose occurs, it deprives family members of preventative action. When families are aware of drug use, there can be a “veiled preparation” for a possible death by overdose, bringing about ambivalent feelings of grief and relief. It is incredibly disturbing to lose a family member by overdose, or suicides under the influence of substances. When you are bereaved by a drug related death, you are often part of a stigmatised and invisible social group.

We offer a specialist, telephone or virtual, counselling service for those bereaved by a drug related death (DRD) and those who may have experienced – or been affected by -a non-fatal overdose.  This service is available to you if you live in Surrey and if:

  • you have been bereaved through a drug related death, which may have been intentional or accidental.
  • you, or someone close to you, has experienced a non-fatal overdose.

Our telephone or virtual counselling service offers structured and intensive interventions delivered by experienced and competent BACP Registered therapists. A Counsellor will contact you within a maximum of 7 working days and up to 12 weekly sessions will be offered.  This service is FREE of charge.

Clients in crisis can be offered additional sessions during a week or 15-minute check calls to support them.

DRD Groups

People within the DRD group have been able to reflect and process their loss within a safe space and gain new insights and understanding as well as reflect on what they need and that the process of grieving is not linear.

The SDAC DRD group has been set up to support clients who have been bereaved through drugs and alcohol. The group meets bi-weekly (Monday evening 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm) via Zoom, with 30 mins access to counsellors after the meeting if they wish to discuss anything that has been left over in the group or have felt emotionally challenged or need to discuss their own wellbeing needs after the DRD meeting ends.

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“I have met a really nice bunch of people who share my pain and helped me understand my loss from other perspectives. It was good to hear the suggestions from the facilitators at the meeting, too.”

“I love this group. I feel I can share and get listened to. It’s good to talk and also good to listen to others. Alison and Kay are very good at getting conversations going. I have missed a few of the groups, but it’s nice to know the group is still there. Talking about coping with life after losing a loved one is so important. Having the support group helps me. I’m so glad and thankful for it.

“Big thanks for providing a group to support us all.”