She was an attractive and vivacious girl who was loved my many people. She had graduated from nursing assistant school at the top of her class and had worked as a cruise line booking agent, earning awards within her company. She had a bright future ahead of her, and then she was introduced to heroin.

Nadia had just passed her 29th birthday when she died.

My daughter never wanted anyone to know she was an addict, so I was not allowed to discuss the topic with anyone but my closest friends. She was ashamed and embarrassed of that fact, and how the world would perceive her. This is the stigma most addicts face. If a person has a disease like cancer, others might immediately feel a good deal of empathy – whereas the disease of addiction usually brings up thoughts like- "oh that person has no will power" , "why can't they just stop" or "try a dose of tough love to get them to hit rock bottom, that will work". The perception of, discrimination against, and misinformation about addicts and their disease is just one part of the challenge toward getting help for this epidemic level scourge that is sweeping our nation.

One of the most dangerous times in the life of an addict is not when they are in active addiction. It is in the time directly after they have had a clean period, either been through detox and/or rehabilitation. During this time, their tolerance level is very low, and if they enter a period of relapse or try to go back to their normal dose of their drug of choice, it can be deadly. This is what happened to Nadia.

We are raising the money to have a decent burial and service for this beautiful girl, a bright light upon the earth that burned out way too soon. Additional funds raised over and above the cost of her burial will go toward the forming of an addict advocacy group and/or will be given to a detox/ rehab facility in Nadia's name to provide addiction treatment for worthy Santa Clarita Valley addicts who cannot afford the services.

thank you very much for caring-
Deanna Esmaeel (mother)
Marty York (brother)