Rico began using drugs shortly before turning 14.
Six months after the first joint, he began smoking them daily until he was doing it continuously. Like you do with cigarettes.
At 17, he approaches other drugs: he tried bamba (cocaine), various pills, amphetamines, and had a devastating experience with LSD. He abused both mild and strong alcoholics on a regular basis. Various pills are also mixed with alcohol.
The epilogue of this experience brought him closer to heroin users. Though he was certain that he never wanted to venture that far, he started sniffing it, and he became hooked. Soon after came the first syringe shot.
At age 21, he was devastated. A tragic event made him "hit rock bottom."
After several unsuccessful attempts to quit, he took the community route, and his life changed dramatically.
He is a father of three today. He has been involved in prevention since 1995. He collaborates with any organization, association, community, oratory, or activity with purposes similar to his own: to stimulate young people to reflect on the real issues related to the abuse of any psychoactive substance.
In 1998, he held the first prevention lectures, and soon he realized that something more was needed. Some tools that could reach more young people. In 2004, he wrote a book entitled: STUPEFATTO (Stoned): "I was 14 years old; drugs were much older than me."
He tries various avenues in order to reach more and more young people, and one day he meets, almost by chance, two people who will soon become great friends: Fabrizio De Giovanni and Maria Chiara Di Marco of the Itineraria theater company. Together, they work on the creation of a play. In 2012, the premiere of the play Stupefatto was a huge success! To date, we are at the 500-run mark.
Research and testing of prevention pathways are always part of his work. Since the 1980s, only two activities have had a huge effect on a global scale in terms of prevention, a book and a Film. The plot is the same, a true story. The drama of a young girl: Christiane F. We Children from Zoo Station.
Rico, decides to retrace the steps of Christiane who, according to many 50-year-olds, especially ladies, that story and that film allowed them to refuse any kind of drugs.
The book STUPEFATTO (Stoned) has been a huge success, to the point of being a best-selling seller. Suitable for young people and anyone who wants to understand in a simple and concise way what drugs are.
In June 2020, Rico published his novel: SPACCIATO (To be a gooner): A single moment to erase a life. A lifetime might not be enough to erase that moment. (For now, only the Italian version is available.) Raw, detailed, engaging, and devoid of any emotional filters. Rico says it is not for everyone. The reader must want to be transported into the hell of drugs.
As of today, we are working on the most ambitious project that will lead us to speak to a huge number of young people: The Stupefatto (Stoned) Film.
Rico has received several national and international awards and commendations for his work.
- In 2013, the President of the Republic awarded the Itineraria company with a note of merit for the show Stupefatto (Stoned).
- In 2016, he received the Franco Enriquez National Prize for Best Dramaturgy.
- Named an honorary citizen of the state of Nepal in 2016.
- He was named "Ambassador of Peace" and given plaques and awards, including international ones.