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Physician Robert Kayal of Glen Rock sees a direct link between prescribed opiates and the heroin abuse rates in New Jersey. The surgeon takes a multimodal approach to minimizing pain before, during and after surgery to eliminate the need for opiates.

Still grieving over his son’s death in 2007, John Ramaglia is pressing Lacey officials to deal more aggressively with the heroin problem in the township.

Macklemore and President Obama talked about drug addiction during the president’s weekly address.

In a state where heroin addiction claims two lives a day, it would have been easy to overlook the death of accomplished local musician Justin P. Thouret.

Tara Lawley-Bergey’s brother, Derik, died of an overdose nine months ago. Derik, 25, a father of a young girl, battled addiction for years. In this heartfelt essay, Tara describes what it’s like to watch someone you love struggle and die from addiction.

“I laid down on the grass in a park, in Asbury Park … I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get back up again.”

Bucket Brigade founder Cassandra Vitale was able to help hundreds of storm victims, but, in the end, she was unable to help herself.

In the bleak realm of obituaries, there is one category of death that remains taboo even in a social media-obsessed, overly candid world. It is typically cloaked in euphemism: He died suddenly. She died unexpectedly. He died at home.

Alicia Cook, 29, of Toms River is a writer and the associate director of admissions for St. Peter’s University in Jersey City who has submitted columns for APP’s “Relationship Series.” Today, she shares a very personal letter to her cousin who died from a drug overdose more than eight years ago.

Brandi Spaulding, a Marion Harding graduate who is working on her doctoral degree in addiction psychology at Ohio State, saw the potential to connect recovering addicts to resources using technology they were already carrying around in their pockets.