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The Stigma and Ignorance of Addiction

Updated: Apr 5



Fred G. Di Marco was drafted into the opioid war on 3/9/15, when his son Nicholas Jordan Di Marco was found unresponsive in their home on the bathroom floor by his twin brother Adam. His untimely death was due to a mixture of heroin laced with fentanyl. Since that time Fred has spoken at numerous heroin rallies, high schools, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Drug Court & The Cleveland Clinic. He’s been on panels with the DEA, DOJ & has critiqued works for the local FBI as well. Working with friends of his son who also suffered from the disease of addiction and/or parents who have lost a child as well, who are in the most unwanted club with Fred. Most recently his path has taken to putting his feelings on paper & writing poems dealing with this current epidemic. Published in the local newspaper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer multiple times, Recovery Today magazine, Magnum European internet magazine as well and shared multiple times over social media (i.e. Facebook, twitter etc etc.,) Fred continues to educate himself as well as the public in hopes of removing the stigma of drug addiction & enlightening the government & public about the chronic brain disease of drug addiction.

I was the poster child dad of stigma & ignorance. After my son was taken from me, I reexamined myself & began to learn about the chronic brain disease of addiction. At the time of my son's death, there was not many places to turn. My education came at too high a cost. Until we educate the gov't, private sector & public: stigma & ignorance will rule & we won't get the resources needed to properly address this devastating issue that is taking so many innocent lives.


The Dance of Addiction


Come close let me hold you tight,

Soon you’ll forget what’s wrong or right.


First we will take it slow,

Then you won’t know which way to go.


All those things you said you would never do,

Now I make the choices for you.


Family & friends will try to cut in,

Want to know why did you begin?


Just let me take the lead,

While you worry about how your habit you will feed.


This is a ballet that will make you lose your breath,

If you continue it may surely mean your death.


When asked to have this dance,

Best to refuse, you may not get a second chance.


Father of Nicholas Jordan Di Marco