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Back FROM THE Abyss : John Lucas Couldn't Stop Using Drugs When He Was in the NBA, but Now He Counsels Others on How to Stay Clean

April 28, 1991|THOMAS BONK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Another time during a game in Philadelphia, Lucas walked to the free throw line to shoot.

"It was real quiet and somebody yelled 'Hey, Luke, don't snort the line,' " Lucas said.

The cost of Lucas' program is $10,000 for the length of the program, most of it paid by insurance carriers, but there are those such as Washburn who are admitted at no cost. The price of not letting someone in who cannot pay is much greater, Lucas said. They must travel a great distance.

"You know, we don't try to get them to do anything other than accept that they have a problem the first 30 days," he said. "Our treatment concept is based on, if you can get the ego deflation the first 30 days, then that is a foundation. Then the after-care is the key component. We can only hope they have enough ego deflation to want to go to an outside meeting and not worry about how big they are.

"And another thing, after 30 days, you don't have a drug problem anymore. Know what you have? You've got a living problem."

Lucas glanced at his watch and excused himself. He was already late for an appointment at the airport.

He ran out the door and punched the elevator button nervously. When the elevator didn't come quickly, Lucas took off down the stairs for a six-floor run. He was in a hurry to get to his car. He wanted to get there before the beeping started again.

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