After Her Son’s Overdose, A Mother Becomes an Advocate

“I’ve been able to take the pain I have and turn it into something good. I cannot let my son die in vain. Something good has to come of this.”
Karen Malcolm-Smith on why she began the David Dylan Foundation.

A year after her son died from an opiate overdose, Karen Malcolm-Smith created the David Dylan Foundation, an advocacy program which honors those we’ve lost to addiction and fights to destigmatize asking for help. In this conversation with Lonnie Ridgeway, VOA Alaska Coalition Director, Karen shares her own story of addiction and recovery, the beautiful memories of Dylan as a child, and watching him grow into a caring and thoughtful teenager. After an ATV accident put Dylan in the ICU for 2 weeks and on pain medication for three months, he was abruptly cut off, marking the beginning of his struggle with addiction.

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