Mom Shares Son's Battle with Addiction in Obit Because 'Silence' Would Mean His 'Death Was in Vain'

"If one person's life is saved by his story, we would tell it a million more times," says the mom of Hunter Lee Clemons, who died of a fatal overdose earlier this month

Hunter Lee Clemons
Hunter Lee Clemons. Photo: Williams Funeral Home

A Louisiana mother spoke candidly about her son's fatal overdose and struggles with drug addiction in his obituary in an effort to make a difference.

Hunter Lee Clemons died on Feb. 10 "after a long battle with addiction," his mother, Christy Couvillier, wrote in his obituary, according to CBS affiliate KLFY.

Sharing "the truth about his death" was so important for his family because "silence would mean Hunter's death was in vain," Couvillier wrote.

"But if one person's life is saved by his story, we would tell it a million more times," she added. "We know the pain of his suffering. We know the pain of our own suffering as his family, and we know there are hundreds of other people here in our community suffering as addicts or as loved ones to them."

Clemmons' mom said that her son "had a heart of gold" and "always tried to find the positive in any situation."

However, she wrote that "doing his best to clock out the negatives" was "where his addiction came into play."

"Drugs offered Hunter an escape from his demons he faced throughout his life," she wrote.

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In July 2019, her son overdosed for the first time on heroin laced with fentanyl and "was on life support for four days before he woke up," Couvillier wrote.

Afterwards, he sought treatment and then decided to "start a new life" in Jacksonville, Florida.

There, Clemmons "thrived," according to his mother.

"He started a job as a valve tech at Flotech, Inc and went fishing every chance he got," she wrote. "He loved spending his days outside on the water or with his roommates."

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Couvillier told CBS affiliate KLFY that she was not aware her son had started using drugs again prior to his death.

She said that her son took a pill on the morning of Feb. 10 and was found face down on his bed by his roommate several hours later.

"Even if you're just someone who is a social drug user, it just takes one time," she told the outlet. "If you're not gonna stop using, you have got to start testing your drugs and save your life until you are ready to get clean."

In her son's obituary, Couvillier emphasized that even though the circumstances "surrounding the epidemic of drug use" may be difficult to talk about, being open "may be the difference between life and death for someone."

"In honor of Hunter's life, we ask that truth be spread in regards to this epidemic and awareness be raised," she added.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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