We know there are few people who have escaped the impact of the opioid crisis in this city. Still, we were surprised to find that when we set out to talk to a random sampling of citizens, none of them could say they hadn't seen an impact in their own lives or their community.  Even more surprising, half of the people we found were actually in recovery themselves. Granted, our sampling was small, but it's drawn from many parts of the city.  We also wanted to find out what they thought we should be doing to deal with this crisis. Here are their answers:

“People think it’s only in Kensington, but it’s everywhere.”

Ed Malone, 46, Berks County
DILLON BERGIN / Staff
Ed Malone, 46, Berks County

Question: How has the opioid crisis affected your community?

"My neighbor had a son who had open-heart surgery. After coming out of that, he started with the pain pills and then took off into the heroin and everything else. It just destroyed his family. And his one brother ended up getting caught on it now too. I did Corrections in New York City, so I've seen it all. I drive for Uber now and I pick these kids up in these rich neighborhoods. People think it's only in Kensington, but it's everywhere. It's in Wayne, it's in Millbourne. I just have to look at [my daughter] now and she knows. … We have an open communication and I'm just on top of her as much as possible."

Question: What can be done?

"I think a lot of it starts with doctors prescribing pain pills. A few months back I got a tooth pulled and the guy gave me 30 Percocets like it was nothing. If you're an addictive person that's all it takes."

“Money doesn’t have anything to do with it, because two of them were very successful.”

Donna Luczyszyn, 53, Northeast Philly
DILLON BERGIN / Staff
Donna Luczyszyn, 53, Northeast Philly

Question: How has the opioid crisis affected your community?

"Well I can say it: I'm in recovery. It all started out with prescription drugs. It affected my older sister, my older brother, another brother. Money doesn't have anything to do with it, because two of them were very successful. It just takes everyone and everything. It has taken so much of my whole entire life. It took me to wind up in restraints for four days from the psych med and drugs. It just takes so much to stop. You have to fight harder than you've ever fought in your life. And it's a daily thing. It doesn't happen overnight.

Question: What can be done?

"I think holding doctors accountable. I think holding the drug traffic accountable. I see a lot of parents enable their kids that are addicts and give them money and give them rides to cop. That's the worst thing to do. When I was enabled it didn't help me, it only hurt me. Until I had absolutely nothing and no one but myself, I really had no need to get better."

“You need to give people information to understand what it is that they’re doing and what they’re getting into.”

Dale Tippett, 30, South Philly
DILLON BERGIN / Staff
Dale Tippett, 30, South Philly

Question: How has the opioid crisis affected your community?

"Believe it or not, that's the line of work that I work in. I work in a shelter called Prevention Point in Kensington — the heart of the opioid crisis. We have 40 residents in our facility. If I had to say anything in short: It's bad. It's bad. The people I encounter not only abuse opioids but also other pills or K2 or cocaine, or any drug they can get their hands on. I've been at Prevention Point over a year now, and I am starting to see people die. In America, we're very desensitized. We don't really think about things that don't 100 percent affect us. In South Philly I'm starting to see some dealers selling heroin in the neighborhood. I'm starting to see `works' on the ground. I'm starting to see people use. If you know anything about drugs, you know they're everywhere."

What can be done?

"My answer: education. Very early on. And I'm not talking about in school, D.A.R.E. No, I'm talking about pictures. This is the life waiting for you. Don't think because you're 16 that you will not be on Kensington Avenue turning tricks for 8 balls, because that's really what can happen. You need to give people information to understand what it is that they're doing and what they're getting into."

“We’re not bad people, we’ve just made some mistakes and gone down the wrong path.”

Amanda Ferreri, 33, Montgomery County
DILLON BERGIN / Staff
Amanda Ferreri, 33, Montgomery County

Question: How has the opioid crisis affected your community?

"I've totally ruined my life. It actually just took the life of my boyfriend two months ago. He overdosed and died. So it's totally devastated my life, took tons of my friends from me. It's separated me from my family. It has me living out here in a halfway house right now. It's robbed me of jobs. It's stolen friends from me. It's basically ruined my entire life and devastated my family. It robbed me of their trust in me. It robbed me of a lot of things, like my self-esteem, my self-worth, my self-confidence, everything that I knew, and made my life something that I thought it would never become. And now I'm at a halfway house at 33 years old trying to start over again and build everything from the ground up, to learn how to live all over again."

Question: What can be done?

"I guess just try to be more understanding of people, like we're not bad people, we've just made some mistakes and gone down the wrong path. Give us a chance to redeem ourselves. Don't shun us away. Instead of pushing us down, help us back up. Don't turn us away."

“The doctors need to cut out Percocets. They’re actually like heroin’s little sister.”

Ryan Bullock, 22, Roxborough
DILLON BERGIN / Staff
Ryan Bullock, 22, Roxborough

Question: How has the opioid crisis affected your community?

"I'm in recovery. I know two people that died of it — 22 and 21 years old. Shooting up heroin, overdosed. One girl was actually clean for two months and she went back to it and tried shooting up the same amount — she overdosed. The thing is, I think the doctors need to cut out Percocets. They're actually like heroin's little sister. When you watch people get prescribed Percocets, they end up going to heroin because it's cheaper, it's easier to get, and it has the same amount of effects. And I also think they should stop giving people Suboxone to get clean because my opinion is that if you keep doing Suboxone, it's just going to bring you back to stuff like heroin. I definitely think it starts with the doctors. Percocets definitely touched my area a lot. "

Question: What can be done?

"Crack down on doctors that are writing Percocet prescriptions. I know a couple people that go to a doctor and get prescribed Percocet and they sell them. I think they should actually do drug tests or blood work on people who get Percocets prescribed to them, because then you can see if the person is actually taking them as prescribed. They need to crack down on doctors. … Stop it with Percocets. If you end the painkillers, then you could really crack down on a lot."

“You didn’t give the blacks rehab or give them the chance to try to get off of it, compared to whites.”

Sheena Spriggs, 33, Roxborough
DILLON BERGIN / Staff
Sheena Spriggs, 33, Roxborough

Question: How has the opioid crisis affected your community?

"In Kensington the opioid epidemic is as high as it is in Roxborough, it's just not talked about because they're building houses that cost several hundred thousand dollars. So why put something on the news that's going to take away from the money that's coming in."

Question: What can be done?

"During the crack epidemic, it's not that no one cared, but now that it's happening to a different race, there's more awareness of it. But there should be awareness all around. It doesn't matter if you're black, white, blue, green, if you get it, you're going to try it. I feel like in certain parts of Philadelphia, they sugarcoat to the point of  `oh it's a disease.' They don't talk about the '80s, when crack came out. You locked them up. You put them in jail. You didn't give the blacks rehab or give them the chance to try to get off of it.   I see all my friends that passed away from opiates or meth were white. I never tried it, but my friends they did. ... We had crack in the '80s and look what it did to the urban communities. Compared to the opioids in the white community and now it's `oh, now we have to figure out how to get rid of it, but it's a disease.' It's not a disease, it's a choice. If you chose it, then it's your choice and your decision if you want to get off."