Michael Ragone

Michael Ragone


My son Michael struggled with heroin addiction for over 10 years. He died on January 17th 2016 of an accidental overdose, here in his childhood home in Charlotte, NC while visiting from Phoenix Arizona. He was 30 years old. HE WAS SO MUCH MORE THAN HIS SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER!!!

Photo submitted by
Betsy Ragone
Tell us about your loved one.

Funny, funny kid and man. He loved fishing, football, poker, jokes, his girlfriend, family, and friends. He was hysterical, quick witted, sarcastic, and edgy. He sang songs in Italian that he memorized. He lit up a room with his smile and personality and he didn't hold a grudge.

Tell us about Michael's struggle with addiction

Weed at 12 and throughout his life, then pills in high school--a knee injury while wrestling in his senior year led to prescribed opioids, then street pills and heroin.
He was ashamed of his addiction and always thought he could beat it...on his own. One of his last texts to me was...
"love u 2 Moms. Don't let fear control you. I know how bad this sounds but I promise I will not make you bury me. I'm going to out live u" ...
He didn't mean to leave us.
It was an accident. Lured by a cunning drug that destroys impulse control, and crushed under the shame and stigma of being addicted. He died in his childhood bedroom behind a lock door that my husband had to kick down.

What made Michael smile?

Before heroin took him? Family, friends, fishing, jokes, sports, his grandmother, his girlfriend, going to the gym, dreaming about how great his life was going to be once 'he got himself together'

What do you miss most about Michael?

I miss his calls...and my brain still tricks me into thinking he will call. I miss his laugh, his humor, his smile, his forgiving nature.

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