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Drug-related deaths rise for the ninth year in a row

On 3rd August 2022 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published it's 2021 record of deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales which revealed that there were 4,859 drug-related deaths in 2021, a 6.5% rise from 2020 and the ninth year in a row the numbers have increased.

For every life lost to drugs, there will be friends and family members that are coming to terms with the loss of their loved one. Losing someone you love through drug use can be emotionally devastating, challenging and isolating.

If you have lost someone in this way it is important to know that you are not alone. Please find below a range of information and support that is available:

  • Adfam and Peter Cartwright have produced a series of video support sessions available on our website. This includes a video specifically on substance-related bereavement that you can watch below
  • is a website co-developed by Adfam and Cruse Bereavement Care with information and guidance for anyone who has lost a loved one through drugs or alcohol. 
  • Adfam's Journeys Resource provides advice to anyone suffering from a drug or alcohol related bereavement.
  • DrugFAM provide support to families that have been bereaved as a result of a loved one’s drug/alcohol misuse, phone 0300 888 3853 or visit for more information. 
  • The Compassionate Friends has a resource for parents bereaved through drug and alcohol use. This resource discusses the days immediately after a loss, the effect on the wider family and talking to non-adult children about loss.
  • The Good Grief Trust have supportive information on their website including a map of bereavement support organisations. They have also set up a Virtual Café for people bereaved through substance use that meets every 2nd Thursday of the month. More information is available on our website, or you can contact
  • The following telephone helplines are also available

    Samaritans:                               116 123

    For anyone at anytime for any reason

    Sudden Bereavement Helpline:  0800 2600 400

    10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday - immediate support

    National Bereavement Partnership Helpline: 0800 448 0800

    7am -10pm for emotional support.

    Cruse Bereavement Care: 0808 808 1677

    Nationwide bereavement support

    Grief Talk: 0808 802 0111

    Monday to Friday 9am - 9pm

    Bereavement Advice Centre: 0800 634 9494

    Practical advice (9 - 5pm)

    Bereavement Trust: 0800 435 455

    Emotional and practical advice (6 - 10pm)

    The Compassionate Friends: 0345 123 2304

    Open every day 10 am – 4 pm, 7-10 pm

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