"What happened is that idle curiosity led Bret to cocaine when he was a senior in high school. Then his problem snowballed in college, and curiosity escalated to addiction. It was so hard to see because I loved him dearly, although we were never romantically close.
"Bret's tragedy, as you know, is just one of many. And there will be thousands more of these tragedies, millions probably, because cocaine is both the most popular and the most powerful of the drugs."
For Bret, as for so many others, the final chapters of the scenario were as familiar as the beginning: Treatment, tears, fears, denial, pain, the ceaseless need for money, promises, lies, clean breaks, relapses, the daily crisis, withdrawal, renewal, heartache, misery, new starts, uncontrollable addiction.
There is only one good place for a user to stop, the experts say: the first day, just before the first time.