They Bury Their Heads and We Bury Our KidsBig Pharma

I have always wondered why an Ostrich buries its head in the sand and was surprised to find out that it only appears that way. They dig holes in the dirt to use as nests for their eggs.

The saying about someone who hides from the truth that is known as one who buries their head in the sand may also just appear that way at times. However, sometimes it is blatant and intentional. This thought leads me to a topic that recently has ignited a fire within me that cannot be quenched.

Stephen Kavalkovich

SFYB Certified Coach

Turn on the news in any town or hamlet in our country today and we see stories of the drug epidemic that is not going away and only getting worse. Namely, the deaths from Heroin laced with Fentanyl, Elephant tranquilizer, and other “designer” drugs. What infuriates me more than the fact that these synthetic substances are being made with the sole purpose to kill and have no healing or redeeming quality is the Ostrich mentality of many school districts. I live 15 minutes from one of the largest open air drug markets in the world and the schools where our children are learning how to pass standardized tests are shirking their enormous responsibility.

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While passing a test that is seemingly meaningless in the grand scheme of life brings in federal dollars and fancy technology, the cost of silence is becoming higher than any debt a society could ever accrue. Just in a few local upper middles class municipalities local to me we have lost over fifteen teenagers in the last month to overdose. The highly paid administrators that are given the charge to educate and keep our future leaders safe choose to keep the loudspeakers silent and the assembly room stages empty. Image, budget, and test scores are the focus, not the welfare of those that they are entrusted to protect.


I was a student who had a D.A.R.E. program in grade school and while it was informative, it didn’t stop me from experimenting to becoming an expert in self destruction. However, at least it was something. Two days ago I learned that a local district with much notoriety, money, and a great sports program ended the D.A.R.E. program because they had too many drug busts. Excuse me? Where do I begin with the criticism of this insanity? So, the police come in and sniff out the poison and they kick them out for doing so? The school district leaders think that if we keep the programs, town halls, and speakers out of the building then the problem isn’t there.


I remain unapologetic in exposing the painfully obvious truth that the problem is larger with every morning school bell and dismissal. The only way to address a problem is to admit there is one and I am sick to my core with the silence and ignorance. We lost a few kids in my school years from car accidents and maybe one overdose that I recall, but todays numbers make my knees tremble. One student lost to this is tragic, now many and they bow their heads and dig a hole to hide. Sure, they have a memorial service and bring in extra counselors when these things happen, but what about trying to be proactive. These displays are tired and barely even reactive but more of window dressing on a crack house. People exercise and eat right to avoid illness and be healthy, so why no preventive measures?

I learned of a recent overdose death at high school nearby and was contacted by a friend who asked me to call the principal and see if I can come in and talk to the student body about my experience of being a paramedic who wound up dead on my mothers living room floor from the same thing that killed this young person. I left three messages and am still waiting on a call back. I bet if Kanye offered to come in and put on a concert, the budget would be stretched to accommodate in the name of entertaining the kids and getting on the local news


We live in a world where entertainment is abounding and truth is blurred and covered by memes and tweets. Our kids are in critical condition and it seems to me that the only ones who want to address it are those who have been to the dark places yet don’t have a hit record or a “reality” show on TMZ. The others are the ones who have lost their children that are given a flower arrangement and perhaps a phone call. What is it going to take for someone to listen and open the door? The cold, hard truth needs to be spoken in it’s rawest form. The danger and ugliness of this is reality, not the Real Housewives of whatever city, USA. It’s time to stop burying the heads or we’ll keep burying our kids.


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Stephen Kavalkovich
Stephen Kavalkovich - Nationally Certified Recovery Coach, Author, Speaker, Former Paramedic

I am a man who lost, rather, gave up all that I had as a result of addiction. My substance abuse began shortly after returning from New York City on 9/11 following the terrorist attacks. However, my entire life until and beyond that point was a vicious cycle of switching seats on a sinking ship up until I all but drown. It is my goal to share and care for others just like someone did for me. I hope to inspire and encourage you and show that their is a way to freedom and peace. As my writing will show, I have experIenced much pain and loss in my life. My purpose is to share through written word and speech as a way of helping others face their demons.

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