JAMESTOWN – The mother of a young man, who died of a drug overdose, shared her story with hundreds of local basketball fans during a short halftime speech at Jamestown Community College on Friday.
Kimberly Carlson’s 26 year-old son, Alex Faulk, died on February 26th, 2016.
A year after Faulk’s death, Carlson, with the help and guidance of many others, opened a recovery house modeled after the Oxford House for men needing a helping hand with the transition from drug/alcohol rehabilitation back into life.
The first house in Jamestown is known as The Alex House.
Carlson spoke candidly to WNY News Now about her own struggles as a recovering addict.
“I have to do something with my grief,” Carlson said. “I’m an alcoholic in recovery, (and) if I’m not giving back, if I’m not doing something good with my grief, I’ll be the next mess.”
Carlson’s pain motivated her to turn her grief in action. In the same year her son passed away, she organized an awareness walk, hosted two golf tournaments and put on an alumni hockey tournament complete with players who played hockey with her son.
Carlson said there’s no way that any of the things that she’s accomplished would be possible without the community that she loves.
“All of the volunteers from a Fresh Start, everybody at the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County, everybody at UPMC Chautauqua WCA, everybody at Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council and all of the guys that we have in the Oxford Houses here in town,” said Carlson. “I am amazed, and I shouldn’t because that’s what we do here in Chatuauqua County, we come together.”
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