Opioids: The New Difficult Case

Published by Illinois Funeral Directors Association


Preparation of the body is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a funeral in terms of providing relief for a grieving family. The opioid crisis presents new challenges to the embalmer and may be considered a new “difficult case”.

Bodies which have suffered with an addiction to opioids require embalmers who understand the narrative leading up to the preparations. Embalmers have been taught to treat the obvious, observable conditions. We are asked to go back to the basics to better understand the cascading and compounding effects long term abuse has on a body as well as additional complications upon death.

Funeral directors and embalmers can respond to the opioid epidemic by further educating themselves, setting new standards and guidelines for the professional practice which must be sensitive to the needs and preferences of the bereaved. With continued education funeral directors and embalmers are in a unique professional position to practice their alchemy, transforming a family’s grief into relief, as well as creating an overall economic alchemy for the funeral home.

Carolyn Parsons
Carrie Parsons is currently the Chief Embalmer for the Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Homes and Crematory out of Greenwood, Indiana. She is a graduate of Hanover College with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, as well, a graduate of Norfolk State University's first graduating class of mortuary science students; a proud member of the Fountain National Academy for completing Post Mortem Reconstructive Surgery Techniques; worked with the Lions Medical Eye Bank of Eastern Virginia as a donor...More

Originally Published

October 30, 2018

Program Titles and Supporting Materials

This program contains the following components:

  • Opioids: The New Difficult Case - Video
  • Opioids: The New Difficult Case - Paper

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