Carter Stone was ‘better than the addiction’ — but it killed him anyway
Carter Stone was a Jersey boy.
And when he died of a heroin overdose at the age of 32, his grieving family was predictably distraught — like any other family in their position would be. But what's different about this family is the message it left behind.
Carter's obituary — which got the New Jersey 101.5 news team's attention earlier this month — held nothing back.
A beautiful life cut short way too soon, Carter Armour Stone, passed away on Sept. 26 from a drug overdose," the obituary begins.
It tells a tale a man who "showed acts of kindness, was compassionate, happy, gentle and loving." It speaks of his love for cooking, for country music, for the Ohio State Buckeyes. It tells us he was a son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, godfather, cousin and grandson.
But Stone was also a heroin addict — having started on his path to addiction, as so many do, with prescription pain pills.
"Following a car accident and a back-injury, things took a sad turn for the worse. When prescription opioids run out, many turn to heroin. In a matter of a couple months, heroin took a hold of Carter and never let go."
The obituary recounts how he sought professional treatment, how he turned his life around. How he knew he was "better than the addiction."
"He was excited to be back in the car business, employed at a local car dealership in Atlantic City as the Manager of the Internet Sales Department. He was living one day at a time and was incredibly proud of his hard work. He dreamed of having a family, working hard and living life to the fullest. He felt happier than he had been in a long time."
And still, ultimately, that wasn't enough to save him.
You may have read about Carter or heard about him when New Jersey 101.5's Dino Flammia interviewed his mother Wendy Galbraith earlier this month. Today, we present an extended version of that interview, conducted just a week after Stone's death.
There's so much more to who he was. So much more to the choices he made — good and bad. So much more to the hole he'd left in the lives not just of family members, but of friends trying to rebuild their own lives.
Be warned: It's not an easy listen. But it does leave room, as we always try to through Heroin Uncut, for hope.
If you're using the app or New Jersey 101.5 site right now, you can listen with the widget above. You can always get the latest episodes from the app's menu or at HeroinUncut.com.
— Interview by Dino Flammia. Introduced by host Jay Lassiter and editor Louis C. Hochman
Revisit past episodes of Heroin Uncut below:
• The heroes and villains of New Jersey’s opioid crisis — New Jersey’s heroin crisis did not create itself. Big Pharma, greedy lobbyists, and dimwitted policy makers created the perfect conditions for addiction to take hold and to thrive.
• How Narcan, a great cop and a convicted killer saved my life — No conversation so far has stood out more than then one Jay had with Anthony — a recovering addict who recounted his experience being revived with Narcan.
• The Opioid Industrial Complex — This is who gets rich off your addiction
— Acknowledging that addiction is big business helps clear up what’s really driving New Jersey’s opioid crisis:
• Narcan is saving lives — and that’s bad news — Narcan is an important tool in our war against opiates. But our reliance on it means things have already gone too far:
• Needle exchanges — Why NJ must give drug users syringes right now — An uncomfortable solution? You bet. It’s also why host HIV-positive and drug-recovering host Jay Lassiter doesn’t have hepatitis today:
• Heroin Uncut: Defining New Jersey’s drug problem — Our language about drugs is a jumbled mess. If we don’t understand the problem, we can’t fix it:
New episodes will be released every Saturday.
Heroin Uncut is sponsored by Carrier Clinic, providing behavioral healthcare services in New Jersey since 1910.