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Exciting new research: Understanding and responding to those bereaved through their family members’ substance misuse.

April 6th 2015

Understanding and responding to those bereaved through their family members’ substance misuse. 

Below is an overview of an ongoing research project, funded by the ESRC and undertaken collaboratively between the University of Bath and University of Stirling.


Principal Investigator, Professor Tony Walter and his research team have been talking to adults who have been bereaved following a family member’s drug or alcohol misuse. The project has two distinct stages. Initial qualitative interviews will be used to identify ways of coping with bereavement through alcohol or drug misuse. Discussion outcomes will then be used to inform practice guidelines for practitioners who provide support services.


The research aims to provide a better understanding of the needs of bereaved family members to cope with loss which is often misunderstood and stigmatised by society.


The project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council for 3 years (2012-2015) and has been undertaken by death studies’ academics from the University of Bath and in collaboration with addiction studies’ academics at the University of Stirling. A family member with experience of this type of bereavement has also been involved.

MORE INFORMATION can be obtained from


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