How to talk to children about opioid overdoses

Opioid Crisis

How do you talk to children who have lost a parent or other loved one to an opioid overdose?

It’s a lot for them to deal with, and they may have to learn how to express what they’re feeling and how to answer when people ask how the death happened.

Expert Marcie Taylor runs The Drew Michael Taylor Foundation which offers grief support groups in Greencastle and Shippensburg.

“The first thing we always say is we need to tell the truth to children. If you don’t tell the truth to them, at least in an age-appropriate way, they’ll keep asking the questions,” Taylor said.

How could children answer when someone says, “How did your mother die?” Experts suggest these two options. If the child doesn’t want to talk about it, he or she could say that it’s private or give a more direct answer: “She died from taking too many drugs.”

If you or a loved one needs help recovering from addiction, this phone number is a good one to call: 1-800-622-HELP (4357). It’s a hotline that’s staffed by trained professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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