Two people talking in a coffee shop

 

Written by Jenny Goldade

 

Drug overdoses are a major problem in many communities. Funeral directors see firsthand how drug overdose deaths impact families and their community. It takes a heavy toll on them, as well.

 

That’s why many funeral directors are embracing themselves as thought leaders and educating their community about preventing drug overdoses. By spreading the word, you can help make a positive difference in your community and client families’ lives.

 

Below are a few ways your funeral home can get involved.

 

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Host Educational Community Events

One simple, yet impactful way to get involved is to host an educational community event. For example, you can organize a seminar or webinar and invite a guest speaker to discuss the dangers of drugs. Or speak to your community yourself and share how you’ve seen drug overdoses affect families and your funeral home’s staff.

 

For example, this funeral director is part of a scared straight program that scares students out of trying drugs. This idea is a little more intense than others, but there are many approaches your funeral home can take for your event.

 

Some other community event ideas to raise awareness and educate others are:

  • Hosting a collection for old prescription drugs.
  • Speaking at community forums.
  • Speaking at your local schools and colleges.

Share Online Resources

Another way to leave a lasting impact is with online resources. Every day, your community members are searching online and using social media, so you can reach them where they’re at. Share educational resources on your funeral home’s social media pages and website.

 

Some ideas include drug overdose statistics, grief resources, and ways to reduce the stigma of drug overdose deaths and use appropriate language, such as “substance use disorder” rather than “drug abuse.”

 

You also can create your own resources! Some ideas include writing blog posts about the impact of drug overdoses or creating a video with families sharing their stories. If you’re hosting an educational event, share a recap or make the seminar available online. In addition to online resources, you can even make some print brochures and other resources available at your funeral home.

 

Start a Support Group

For those who have lost someone to substance use disorder, start a grief support group. It provides those who are grieving a safe place to share their thoughts and relate to others who are going through a similar loss. You also can create a support group for people who are recovering from substance use disorder. You can reach out to your community and client families to organize a committee and invite members.

 

Train and Educate Your Staff About Drug Overdoses

The National Funeral Directors Association encourages funeral homes to educate their staff to be prepared in the event of a drug overdose. You should keep overdose reversal drugs at your funeral home’s facility and train your staff on how to administer them in case someone comes in contact with a substance when preparing the body.

 

What other ways can you help educate your community and prevent drug overdoses? Share them with us in the comments!