SJ Magazine, July 2018 – Continuing their influential roundtable series on topics important to South Jersey, SJ Magazine’s Marianne Aleardi hosted 13 SJ leaders to discuss the widespread opioid epidemic. Participants shared passionate stories of their first-hand experiences working to combat the growing problem.  

On what people say about addiction… 

I hear this one a lot: “Didn’t they know better?” My message is: Look at me. I knew better. I treated probably 1,000 overdoses in my career as a paramedic. However, when it came down to an opportunity to numb hurtful things in my life, it just became an easy road to go down. If it was as simple as knowing better, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
-Stephen Kavalkovich

The most horrible thing I hear is, “Just let them die.” I tell people this could be their son or daughter, mother or father. I try to explain that every life matters, and we shouldn’t give up on people.

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