When a Child Dies from Drugs: Practical Help for Parents in Bereavement

When a Child Dies from Drugs: Practical Help for Parents in Bereavement

"When a Child Dies From Drugs" is written by parents to help other parents who are experiencing the ultimate tragedy of their child's death from drugs or alcohol – parents who find themselves isolated in a fathomless dark void wondering whether they will ever resurface into the real world again. This book offers strength, practical advice and an aid in grief recovery for parents and families, gleaned not only from personal experiences but also from meeting with many parents through their out-reach program,"G.R.A.S.P."(Grief Recovery After Substance Passing) Subjects covered range from the emotional trauma of learning of the child's demise and on through the guilt, denial, anger, "what-if's" and, finally, acceptance and to suggestions of how to cope daily and into a future which will never be the same. It is also illuminating to all those who know someone who has lost a loved one through drugs -What to say and do? What NOT to say and do? There is advice here for those who want to support families in grief. With personal insights this book is very much like friends reaching out to friends in compassion and kindness – friends who understand because, quite simply, the writers continue to be on the same journey as those they will comfort.


  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (August 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413439136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413439137
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
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  1. If you are in need of answers and support after losing your child to a drug overdose, you should read this book. Written by the Wittbergers, parents of Jenny, who died of a drug overdose right before her 21st birthday, it details the devastation one feels at the sudden, unexpected and sad death of one’s own child to drugs. Beautifully written with compassion and understanding for this unique type of grief. Since losing my own son of 23 years just 6 months ago to a drug overdose, finding ways to survive and face living the rest of my life without my son has been a moment by moment struggle. This book was a huge help to me.

  2. The Wittbergers’ book is profound and poignant. If you’ve suffered the loss of a child you will relate to Pat and Russ’s heartbreak. Their book will help you through this grief process.

    You’ll realize that you are not alone in this journey. Read it and reread it and treasure it. I know it will help you.

    My husband and I also suffered their heartbreak, losing our 31 year old son to the disease of addiction. No parent should survive their child and it is to the Wittbergers’ credit that they opened their hearts to share their story with the world in the hope of helping others.

    Sheryl Letzgus McGinnis, Author
    I Am Your Disease (The Many Faces of Addiction)

  3. This book is simple and to the point. It is not an analysis of addiction, or of how people get there. It’s simply to help parents cope with the fear they have probably spent years worrying about – the death of their child from drug/substance abuse. It is heartfelt advice, and feels like you are talking with another parent who knows exactly what you’ve been through and are now feeling-because they have. Strongly recommended for parents, friends, and family members. One of few books addressing this topic specifically and well worth buying.

  4. I bought this book because my best friend son died from an overdose of drugs. He was also my son’s best friend since he was 2 years old. The journey to help a mother come to grips with the loss of a child is pretty tough. This book helped me understand to be more compassionate. The book also helps yo look at the stages of grief periods. The first year is shock and the second is dealing with acceptance. I gave it to my friend to help her understand she was not alone in this journey. Parents often feel ashamed by the fact it was an overdose of drugs. A lot of great young adults can be driven into this area.

    This book was written by parents who have gone through this experience.They give an honest insight into this type of loss.

  5. I feel that because I am involved with the GRASP group that the authors founded that I had been exposed to and thus aware of the majority of the books content. I loved the poetry that was included though and absolutely feel this is a worthwhile read for anyone who has lost a loved one to an overdose/addiction, particularly those not familiar with the GRASP site. Losing a loved one is always difficult, but losing one to drugs, adds, in addition to the heartbreak, trauma and complication of the loss, the stigma attached to “Addicts” which hopefully will be soon clarified in the public/society’s eyes.When a Child Dies from Drugs: Practical Help for Parents in Bereavement

  6. This book is by far the best written book about a tragic situation. It is written by parents who lost their child to drug overdose, this book helped me to understand what my friend was going through when she lost her son due to drug addiction. It also helped me to know what to say and what not to say. It is a great book for parents with the same tragic situation and for the family and close friends to understand and help their surviving loved ones. Great book

  7. My cousin just passed away last month from a heroin overdose, and my family and I have been struggling to find literature and other materials to help us cope with this loss. I found this book recommendation on their website and cannot express how much this has helped. I highly recommend it for any family member who has last someone to drug addiction.

  8. Good book for those who have been affected by a loved ones addiction and ultimately their passing related to drug overdose. I did not find all the chapters geared towards healing and did sense some anger by the author in some of the chapters but the resources especially the grasp.org is an amazing resource. It helps you realize you are not alone and how substance abuse does affect many families.

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