Local Mother, Advocate Finds Strength In Helping Others Recover From Addiction

JAMESTOWN – Officials say the nationwide heroin epidemic is getting worse but one local woman is using her resources to ensure that recovery is available to all of those ensnared in active addiction.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention heroin-related overdose deaths in the United States are up almost 300 percent from 2002 to 2013.

“We don’t work with statistics, we work with people,” said Kimberly Carlson who launched a non-profit agency dubbed “A Fresh Start” after her son Alex Faulk suffered a fatal heroin overdose in 2014.

Carlson, a recovering addict herself, credits her sobriety and the support of several community agencies for her resilience in the fight to bring recovery to this community.

Carlson says despite the tumultuous circumstances surrounding Alex’s death, she will not give up the fight.

“I couldn’t quit, Alex was a great kid, said Carlson. He (Alex) was loved by many.”

“The foundation continues to grow,” Carlson added. “We have a great relationship with WCA Hospital, the Mental Health Association of Chautaqua County and with the Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council (CASAC),” Carlson said.

On Saturday, a hockey benefit was held at Northwest Arena to support Faulk’s foundation.

Carlson plans to enjoy the holidays with her family but after January 1st she’ll shift her attention to a woman’s recovery home she’s opening.

She also said she plans to aid addicted men get new attire so they can make the difficult transition from recovery to the working world.

We invite you to learn more about Carlson’s journey by watching the video above this article.