What to do With Our Unclaimed Dead

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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Unclaimed cremated bodies

The opioid crisis just seems to be getting worse, with every passing year. Last year the epidemic cost the lives of over 64,000 people. It is now the number one cause of death for people under the age of 50.

We speak a lot of the drug crisis in America, and it’s always the same. How do we stem the tide of not only illegal drugs but almost prescription opioid abuse? We also speak of the toll it takes on the abusers and their families.

While this important to be sure, there is another toll taken. This toll is the burden of what to do with the thousands of unclaimed dead caused by drug overdose.

The initial burden falls on the Funeral Home. They are the ones responsible for handling, cremation and burial of the unclaimed dead, assuming cremation is even an option. In many States it is not. This is an ever-increasing burden as the drug crisis disproportionately affects the poor and homeless.

Bodies often show up at the Funeral Home with no identification and no next of kin to contact. The Daily Mail writes that, “In 15 states, the government sets aside money each year to cover the cost of cremating and burying the deceased who left no assets behind. Other states push the financial burden down to the local level.” read more