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Books

from David Toma's new book "Unforgettable - The Life and Legend of David Toma"

Chapter 2: What's The Truth About Addiction and Treatment Programs?

Dear Dave Toma,
I listened to you speak several years ago. I was in recovery. I learned a lot. What you said about Pot made sense to me. There was a lot of things I never connected to drug use. You strengthened my desire to share my story. I already had the idea. I learned from you how to do it. I learned to tell it with power. I did it where I could. I counseled people and helped them with treatment. I had several articles in the paper.

Several years later I relapsed. My doctor put me on prescription drugs. Psych drugs and a tranquillizer. My addiction got worse. I started with alcohol and went to Pot and Cocaine. I used for several years. My addiction had consequences. My boyfriend died of this DISEASE. I had DUI's and was facing other charges. I put myself in detox. The counselor told my mom I needed treatment. I went home, but I didn't stop using. Even facing some days in jail didn't stop me from using. I was already to go to treatment, but I didn't want to give up POT.

When I got into treatment, I was so angry at myself for relapsing. My God I was a counselor. Now I was an addict again. I thought about you David, I wanted to tell you I was in treatment. I was afraid to tell you I relapsed. I didn't know if you would remember I was a counselor. I called you and you helped me deal with my anger about relapsing. You helped me want to stop smoking POT.

My doctor told me I had cirrhosis of the liver. He told me I couldn't drink, but I could smoke POT! This is sick! On the internet they teach controlled substance use. You can get drugs such as Zanax and other drugs without a prescription. Finally I came to see you in April of this year. You let me share my experiences with the kids you were talking to. It was an exciting experience. It was the beginning of what I am to be doing.

I live in West Palm Beach Florida which is a serious drug area. I had a counselor that smoked Pot with me during our sessions. My boyfriend ended up selling her Pot. My parents were paying for me to get high. My counselor had been in some cult. She had me help in the de-programming. I don't know much about that. We did Primal Therapy. This where you relive traumatic events. We used music and smoked POT. I got very violent and went in and out of consciousness. I am ashamed to admit that I almost killed her.

When I was done she would put me in a bath tub and put water over me. It was like I had shock treatments. I would to go to bed and have terrible nightmares. It's hard to say what went on in those sessions. I think she abused me. When I was in outpatient counseling in Florida in 1979, most of the counselors were screwed up. I put myself in treatment. It is hard to find good treatment. The kids out there need to know this. They need help early on and it better be the right help, or they will get worse. It took me years.

When I was in the mental health center, trying to get off the scripts, I met the social worker. She was nice to me and gave me her card when I left. I didn't want to see anyone. We talked a few times, and I found someone who was real and who I could trust. It was hard to open up.

Tell the kids that you look back and see the years you have wasted doing drugs. I am 47 years old and I have never had a real job. That sucks! My father put up with my crap too long. He should have thrown me out when I was 20. I was an addict running around West Palm Beach. He should have put my druggie ass out on the street! He paid for my apartment. It was a drug house. I need to watch the red flags like depression, not eating right, too much coffee and sugar, isolating, entertaining thought of feeling high. I learned the hard way. Now I am paying the price. $23,000 for treatment and you can't call and talk to anyone. They say you can. They say go to meetings. I can't drive, I'm alone. It was scary some nights. I want you to know you do a great job. Keep fighting, I will.

Diane S.

Dear Diane,
This is the truth about alcoholism and drug addiction. It's cunning, baffling and powerful. There are many books out there today that teach controlled substance abuse—how could that be? That is like controlled suicide. You are just slicing at your wrists a little each day instead of just slashing them and being done with it. Controlled drinking and drug use will prolong your death, it will not prolong your life! I am glad that you remembered all the things I told you about POT. What happened to you in treatment centers and under the guidance of counselors breaks my heart, but it's not unusual. That's why it's so important to make sure that you get into a good treatment center and you have a good counselor. This is your life. You must take control of your recovery. You cannot let anyone or anything stand in the way of your recovery. It doesn't matter how long you have been out there doing drugs, the most important thing is that you are here now, struggling to get clean. Anything that you cherish in life is a gift and your recovery is your greatest gift. Don't let anyone regardless of what type of credentials they may have take your recovery away from you.

I wish I could say that what happened to Diane doesn't happen very often, the truth is it happens a lot. There are wonderful treatment centers out there and there are wonderful counselors out there and then there are the people who are only interested in making a buck. Recently I was at a book store with my wife and I ran across a book about "managing drugs and alcohol." The whole book was written to preach how to not screw up your life with drugs and alcohol but to "manage" your habit. There are many books out there like this and I have to tell you I am disgusted with anyone who would write a book like this. First of all they don't know what the hell they are talking about and second I would bet you that they are an addict themselves! For over 50 years I have seen it all. Day in and day out. I have worked with more alcoholics and drugs addicts single-handedly than most treatment centers ever do and I can tell you first hand that anyone who tells you that you can 'manage' your addiction is out of their minds! I can't control what these idiots write but I can set the record straight and I challenge any of them to talk to me one on one anytime and I will smash their supposed theories.

The Myth: Here is an example of the crap that was written in just one of the books that I picked up: "This book aims to help people who may continue to use mind-altering substances. We want to help people to use more safely and more conscientiously if they choose to continue and help them develop the motivation and skills to quit if that is their choice. We are, of course, aware that most of these substances are illegal. This book is based on the reality that people use drugs and always have, regardless of the efforts to legislate them out of existence. We have found that less harm is done using drugs when people make informed choices."

My Response: This kind of thinking is what happens to a person when they smoke POT and use mind altering drugs!!! They loose their ability to reason. Addiction is addiction----period. A drug addict or alcoholic is never going to make an 'informed choice.' They are not buying a car—they are getting high—the higher the better! So why would they want to make an informed choice? There is a reason why these drugs are illegal. Because they are harmful—they kill people! There is no such thing as 'safe' drug use. That is insane! I invite the authors of that book to come with me to the detox centers where I counsel drug addicts and alcoholics and ask them if they give a damm about making an 'informed' decision about their drugs. These jerks make it sound like you are going to the store to buy some milk and you just need to read the label to find what kind is best for you. This is bull!

The reference that people use drugs and always have and that makes it okay is outrageous. You know what, people have always killed each other. There have always been wars and genocide. Does that make it okay? We have always had rapists and murders. Does that make rape and murder okay? I arrested thousands of rapists and murderers in my 20 years as a detective in Newark, New Jersey, one of the most crime ridden cities in the United States. I can tell you first hand that most of the time these rapists and murders were drug addicts and alcoholics. That is why I am so vehement about drug addiction and alcoholism, because it leads to crime. It doesn't lead to just petty crime, it leads to rape and murder. Innocent people lose their lives because of someone else's addiction. A person under the influence is incapable of making rational decisions.

Do you know that Domestic Violence police calls are the most dangerous ones to respond to? Do you know why? Because someone is usually drunk or on drugs and they are violent!!!!! Take drug addiction and alcoholism out of the picture and our crime rate would drop dramatically.

I didn't read this stuff in some book. I have witnessed first hand the crime scenes of brutal rapes and murders of innocent people. It doesn't effect just one or two people. It affects a whole community. There are kids who lost their parents in a domestic violence murder and witnessed the whole thing. Don't tell me those kids are going to grow up to have normal lives. You never forget the horror of watching your father brutally stab your mother and turn the gun on himself. How many children are raped by their mother's boyfriends or their own fathers or by a family member drunk or high? Incest is a family disease that starts with alcoholism or drug addiction or some other kind of addiction. How many animals are abused by drug addicts and alcoholics. And people who abuse animals will abuse human beings. How many drive by shootings and gang initiations which result in murder are alcohol or drug related? All of them.

Gangs don't survive without drugs and alcohol. There is no such thing as a sober gang. Do you think drug dealers are nice people? Do you think they give you free drugs because they like you? No, because they know that once you start using recreational drugs they have a customer for life or as long as you survive! Think again. What happens when someone starts moving in on a drug dealer's turf? Do they sit down and talk about it and ask politely to go to another street corner? No! Someone dies—every time. Whole neighborhoods are held hostage by drug dealers and gangs. I have taught thousands of communities to take back their streets and the first thing they do is get rid of the drug dealers. They let them know that they don't want them selling drugs on their street corners anymore. They have no interest in talking to drug dealers about allowing them to poison one more of their children with 'recreational' drugs. What happens when a junkie can't pay? Someone dies! A drug addict and alcoholic will do whatever it takes to get high. They will steal their mother's last dollar they will lie and cheat and rob to get money for their drug of choice. Drug addiction and alcoholism lead to crime. And it all starts with ONE DRINK, and ONE DRUG.

At what point is using drugs or alcohol ever 'recreational?' How many teenagers die every year on our highways from drinking and driving. How many kids spend a night partying and die as a direct result of alcohol poisoning? Is this recreational use? What part of it is recreational? Maybe I'm crazy but I don't see anything recreational about horrible car accidents, poisoning your body along with killing and maiming other people!

Every school in the United States should teach a health class on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. As part of that class it should be mandatory that every student, every teacher, every administrator go to a morgue and see the carnage of 'recreational' drug use. Every student, every teacher, every administrator should watch an autopsy of a person who has smoked all their lives, drank all their lives and done drugs all their lives. They should have to see the lungs, the liver, the heart, the kidneys, the brain and then they would know what 'recreational' drug use really is.

The Myth: The authors of the book go on to give the reader a spreadsheet of every mood- altering drug and substance known to man and have it broken down so that you can make an "informed decision." It's kind of like a "Consumer's Digest to Safe Drug Use." Under inhalants, it lists all the kinds of inhalants out there and the psychological benefits, like "get out of one's mind." Then the medical benefits are listed, stating for example, that Nitrous Oxide is used in dental work.

My Response: The problem is that kids do not go to the dentist to get high on Nitrous Oxide. They steal large canisters of it, get in car with all their friends, drive out in the country to park and party. The next day, there are three dead kids found in a remote area off a country road! Was this an 'informed choice'? Who gives a damm, now that they are all dead! Inhalants are used by kids to get high. They don't read the labels to figure out if it's going to be a 'safe' choice of inhalants. Household products are used for 'huffing.' Kids use gasoline, right out of the lawnmower, bug spray from under the kitchen sink, to get high. When they 'huff' gasoline and other household products, their lungs explode and their brains hemorrhage and they bleed to death. Sounds like fun doesn't it? If they are lucky, they die. Otherwise they are vegetables for the rest of their lives. Sounds like a blast doesn't it? For what? Was this an informed choice? It doesn't matter because they will be in a hospital bed for the rest of their lives. Their parents will be strapped with astronomical hospital bills and will loose everything...for what????? They will never graduate from high school, they will never have a job, they will never have a family. They may have thought that they were doing a little 'recreational drug use' but it turned tragic, as it always does, sooner or later, because drug addicts don't make informed choices.

When you want to get high, for whatever reason, you will not think about the consequences. The only thing you think about is getting high. The book I am quoting from is condoning drug use and it is criminal that these people would think that somehow they are helping people. I invite them to come with me anytime when I visit kids in the hospital who did a little 'recreational drugs use' and I invite them to talk with their parents about what it's like to have a kid institutionalized for the rest of their lives. Prove to me that recreational drug use doesn't hurt anybody. I challenge the authors of that book to tell those grieving parents that all they are trying to do is to educate their kids to make an 'informed choice!'

The Myth: "POT's psychological benefits are: Decreases depression, decreases anxiety, can impair memory which is useful for trauma survivors."

My Response: Pot is a gateway drug. It leads to other drugs. It may decrease depression for a while, but you must keep taking drugs to relieve depression. Why don't you find out what is causing your depression and then you won't need to take drugs? If you suffer from anxiety there is a reason and there is no drug that will cure your anxiety–all it will do is mask your anxiety. Eventually your body builds a resistance to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications and that is why people who are on these medications have to have their dosage switched or increased. Once again the problem is not solved. All you have done is created addiction. A person becomes dependent on the drugs—legal or illegal to relieve their symptoms and they can't function without them. Millions of people become addicted to legal drugs and turn to illegal drugs because they are abusing the legal drugs. Now are you going to tell them to make a 'better choice'?

The Myth: "Many of the short-term harmful effects of alcohol and drugs are related to interactions when you take more than one drug at a time. Some drugs are relatively safe even in large quantities - say Valium - but it can turn deadly when mixed with another drug such as alcohol."

My Response: The mixture of Valium and alcohol is a suicide cocktail. It is the favorite combination for many people who commit suicide. You only have to succeed once! There is no such thing as short-term harmful effects of alcohol and drugs. They are all HARMFUL. Look up the word alcohol in the dictionary. Here is what is says: 1.) a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid produced by yeast fermentation of carbohydrates or synthetically: used chiefly as a solvent and in beverages and medicines. 2.) An intoxicating liquor containing alcohol. Now look up the word intoxicate - to excite or stupefy with liquor. I think 'stupefy' is a perfect word to describe intoxicate because it makes you stupid!

Here is what happens when you drink alcohol in any quantity. You poison your brain and that poisoning is what creates the sensation of getting drunk. You are killing your brain!!!! How could that be a'short-term' harmful effect? It sounds to me like a long-term harmful side effect. You aren't going to get drunk just once, and never do it again. More than likely you are going to start out getting drunk on occasion and at some point it will become a way of life. You will not even know when you crossed over the line. But I know. You crossed over the line the moment you took the first drink. The moment that you let someone tell you that it was okay to poison your brain, you crossed over the line. It is only a matter of time until you have to have that drink. Why are you killing your brain? The effects are always harmful.

You cannot sort out why you want to get high, while you are getting high. And anyone who takes drugs and drinks is endangering everyone around them and innocent people they never met. There is no such thing as, "I'm not hurting anyone but myself." That's a bunch of crap. Don't tell me or anyone in my family or anyone who has lost a loved one to a drunk driver, that you aren't hurting anyone but yourself. My sister was killed in a horrible car accident by a drunk driver. Tell my brother-in-law who pulled her from the burning car on the Garden State Parkway, across four lanes of traffic that what happened was okay because someone was just trying to 'control their drinking.' My sister died a terrible death. The drunk driver walked away unharmed. My family will never be the same. I lost my sister, my brother in law lost his wife, their children lost their mother. Is that fair? What did she ever do to deserve being slaughtered and burned to death by a drunk driver on the Garden State Parkway? Come to my house and let me show you our family album. Let me tell you what a wonderful person she was, and how much she was loved. I will introduce you to my brother in law who never recovered from her death. I will introduce you to their kids who will miss their mother for the rest of their lives. I will introduce you to their grand kids who will never know their grandmother.

If the authors of that book gave a damn about you and your family they never would have written this piece of crap. But they don't care about anything but justifying their own habit and making a buck to support it! I don't care if they have a PH.D. I don't care if they are the President of the United States. You will never convince me or my family or my brothers and sisters who had five children that they buried who were hard core drug addicts, that this crap is true!!! Over 80% of the adult population of this country is addicted to alcohol. This is astounding. This is a multi-billion dollar problem. Our healthcare system can't keep up with the medical effects of alcoholism, the liver failure, kidney failure, heart disease, lung disease, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, blindness, the list is endless. That is money that is coming out of your pocket to pay for someone else's addiction. Think about it. Alcoholism and drug addiction affects every single one of us. Our drug problem is a drop in the bucket compared to the rate of alcoholism and AIDS and Hepatitis C, are directly related to drug use and their effects on our healthcare system is astronomical and rising! So don't tell me that the book was written so that people can preserve their 'right to get drunk and get high!'

The Myth: "You can reduce the harm of mixing drugs if you do one at a time. Snort some speed ( a little less than your normal dose and wait for that dose to settle and to see if you really need to take the edge off.) If you pay attention to your first drug and control it, you might not feel the need to counteract one with another. Shoot heroin and wait a while. You may not need to add a stimulant, but if you want to, you'll know how much if you wait for the full effect of the heroin to hit."

My Response: These idiots must have done extensive research on drugs and their counter indication. They must have done a lot of experimentation to find out which combinations and strengths to recommend. Denial is the foundation of addiction, and this is the proof. This whole book is written to deny the deadly effects of using drugs and alcohol. And a drug addict and an alcoholic will go to great lengths to prove that they don't have a problem. But sooner or later, if you survive your controlled drinking and drug use, you will hit bottom and you will hit it hard! You will realize that you have not only been destroying the body that is your gift from God, but that you have destroyed the lives of everyone who loves you and you have destroyed every dream you ever had. How long are you going to try to control something that has had control of you since the first time you got high? Of course you tried to control your habit—you didn't want to give it up. Mark my words and take it to the bank because I guarantee that life will kick you in the ass, sooner or later.

You can read books like these and try all sorts of experiments with every drug out there. There is no such thing as controlled substance abuse. You will pay consequences that you never dreamed of. You will not stop and wait for the heroin to give you the full affect of one hit....you will want more and more and more and more and it will become your life. You will do anything, say anything, and believe anything to get your next fix. And if you can't get your drug of choice you will get something else, anything else, or any combination, to get high. You will become an animal. You will stop at nothing to get high. You will inject into any part of your body and you won't care what it is, as long as it gets you where you want to go. But, you are chasing the impossible high because you will never be able to recreate the first high. You will spend the rest of your life chasing the impossible high and that is what will kill you and your family and every dream that you ever had. Mark my words! Words cannot describe what I have seen drug addicts, and alcoholics do to themselves and to their families, all because they wanted to get high.

The Myth: "If you've tried to cut down on the amount you use and haven't had consistently good results, changing how often you use might be more satisfying. Daily use causes a number of problems, but perhaps the most insidious is that you get used to the behavior of using."

My Response: THIS IS CALLED ADDICTION!!!

The Myth: "The first thing to put into practice is using a clean needle for each shot. Not only the needle, but the cooker and cotton and tie must be absolutely clean to prevent the spread of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, and also to prevent nasty skin and heart infections. It's always risky to share any of your equipment with others."

My Response: What kind of crap is this? I have dealt with tens of thousands of junkies, and you know what, most of them live on the streets ---- not in the Hilton. They live in rat infested alleys and don't care if a needle is clean or not. If they cared so much about getting HIV, why in the hell are they shooting that crap into their bodies? In this particular chapter on shooting drugs, not once does it ask you to consider the crap that you are shooting into your body. It never asks you to ask your local drug dealer to prove he is selling you good clean heroin, so that you don't die from a drug overdose or from bad drugs. I had five nephews who were drug addicts, living in the gutter. All of them came from wonderful families. All of them had a future until they started taking drugs. Their families tried everything in the world to save them from themselves. There was nothing that anyone could possibly do more, to save them. The died from heroin, and they died horrible deaths. They sold their bodies. They robbed people. They stole from their own families. Never once did anyone of them say to me, "Hey Dave, I think I will be a 'healthy junky' from this day on. I will have a 'clean habit.' I will only use my needle once. I will clean all my equipment with bleach and I promise I will not share my needles." They died of HIV and Hepatitis and their bodies were ravaged from 20 years of heroin addiction. They couldn't help themselves. I stayed up day and night with them as they went through withdrawal cold turkey because no treatment center would take them. They were covered with track marks, they didn't eat, they didn't sleep, they didn't work, all they did was heroin. A clean needle was not going to save them from the hell they were going through!

The only reason a junkie changes his injection site is because their veins have collapsed and they can't get off! If junkies cared about their health they wouldn't be junkies. If they cared about spreading diseases like HIV and Hepatitis, they wouldn't be junkies.

Here's the Truth: There are hundreds web sites and books and articles out there that will tell you what you want to hear. They are written by people who only care about getting their name in print or selling books or drugs, and they don't know what the hell they are talking about and they sure as hell don't care about you.

For over 50 years, I have devoted my entire life, to saving addicts and alcoholics and saving kids before they get hooked. I have saved millions of people's lives, because I care. I don't tell people what they want to hear like it's okay to smoke a little pot, snort a little cocaine, shoot a little heroin, drink a little booze, smoke a couple cigarettes....because it's not okay! Addiction is addiction. And all these are drugs and they are addicting regardless of how they are packaged or marketed----they are addicting. I repeat - addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful. It doesn't happen over night, it takes time. First you get hooked psychologically and then you get addicted physically. Then you have no choice. You are hooked. It will never, ever, be okay. You won't be a recreational user. You are hooked from the moment you pick it up and taste it, snort it, lick it, sip it, chug it, shoot it or smoke it ----- you are hooked and you don't even know it. You think you can walk away and choose when and how much drugs or booze or cigarettes you will take. That is what is so cunning, baffling and powerful about alcohol and drugs and cigarettes. It all seems so innocent at first. Then slowly over a period of time, the amount that you rely on them increases and finally one day and I guarantee, the day will come, when you no longer have a choice in the matter—you must have that drug, you must have that fix, you must have that drink, you must have that snort, you must have that cigarette. The human body was never created by God to be abused. It was created by God to be nourished and revered as the amazing gift that it is.

Ask any doctor who has a patient with lung cancer to show you what their lungs look like when they operate on them. Ask them to describe the absolute destruction that smoking does to the lungs, the heart, the liver, the kidneys --- your whole body. Then ask them if you should smoke?

Go to an AIDS clinic and look at the people who are addicts, being treated for AIDS and Hepatitis C. Do they look like a picture of health? How did they contract AIDS and Hepatitis C, in the first place? Was it by eating right, taking a shower every day, wearing clean clothes, working out everyday, and living a healthy life style—NO! It was from using drugs and living in a shooting gallery, eating garbage, sharing needles, and selling their bodies for their next fix. What part of this story sounds like fun to you?

Think about all the ways you have abused your body from supposed, 'recreational drug use.' Did you engage in unprotected sex. Did you stay up for days at a time. Did you forget to eat? Did you smoke lots of weed, which has a temperature of 1500 degrees when you smoke it. Do you think you damaged your lungs, your brain, your kidneys, your liver, your stomach, your heart? How times did you have sex with people you didn't even know. Was it brutal sex? Did you black out and wake up and black out and wake up? Did you miss work? Did you work at all? Did you lie about where you were and who you were with? Did you get in a car and drive to a party and remember how you got to there? How did you get home? Did you crash at someone else's house and never leave? How many years have your been a 'recreational' drug user? What's the difference between you and an addict? I think you're already there.

All the abuse you have done to your body comes at a price. Sooner or later you will suffer the physical and psychological effects of your drug and alcohol use. Even when you get sober or clean, your body needs time to mend. You may end up with health problems years after you quit. It will all be as a direct result of your recreational drug use! Does this sound like fun so far? Your body is a gift from God. You were created when an egg and a sperm joined together to start producing a human being. There will never be another person like you on this earth. You are unique and you were put on this earth for a reason and I can guarantee you that you were not put on this earth to destroy your life and to break the heart of all the people who love you. Billions of cells make up your body, all your organs, all your hair, all your skin, your eyeballs, your teeth, your tongue, your heart, your kidneys are all cells, billions and billions of cells. Your blood nourishes your body. It races to every organ, and every nerve, to nourish it. When you are sick, your blood cells carry nutrition to your body to fight infection and disease. When your blood is bad, it starts destroying your body. AIDS causes your body's natural defense mechanism the immune system, to break down, so that you can't even fight a common cold.

It's not the drugs that kill you.....it's the effects of the drugs that kill you. It's not the alcohol that kills you......it's the long term effects of the body being killed a little bit each day. It's each cell and each organ that finally die because you have killed your body a little each day. The human brain weighs just three pounds and yet it is the most powerful computer on earth. The blood that nourishes your brain and the rest of your body, has to be clean in order for you to be healthy. So every time you get 'high' you are killing your brain cells. The only way that your body can respond to the mass murder of your brain cells is to start shutting off parts of your brain. This is what causes the sensation of 'getting high.' Each time you get high, your body is racing to save those cells from dying. And you are killing them. You aren't killing a couple cells, you are killing you are killing tens of thousands of cells each time you get high. God gave you your body. It is your temple. And you spit in God's face every time you get high. You are saying to God, "Screw you God, I don't need this gift you gave me, I want to destroy it."

Nicotine is a powerful drug and that puff of smoke is filled with toxins that begin destroying your brain cells the moment you light that cigarette. That alcohol is a poison that has been distilled so that it is palatable, but you might as well be drinking rubbing alcohol because it's the same thing. Any drug that alters your mood, is killing you, every time you consume it. Some people call it recreational drug use. Some people call it 'drinking responsibly.' Some people call it partying, I call it SUICIDE!

If you are lucky you will hit bottom and surrender and ask for help. You will beg and plead and do whatever it takes to get CLEAN AND SOBER. There is no easy way to get clean and sober. You must suffer the effects of the poison you have been putting in your body and your body must detox from the crap you have been snorting, shooting, sniffing, and drinking all these years while you were trying to control your habit. In a good medical facility with real, trained professionals you can detox but it will hurt like hell. Your sobriety will not be free. You will have paid the highest price anyone can pay. For you will have sold your soul to the devil to get high and now you will begin the journey back to being a whole person. I have worked with thousands of drug addicts and alcoholics. I have watched them go through withdrawal and stayed with them day and night while they suffered through cold turkey. The human body is amazing in its ability to recover physically from the punishment you have put it through. But you have done your body and your mind damage that will take a long time to heal. The pay off is that you get to live CLEAN AND SOBER---- HAPPY JOYOUS AND FREE.

I wrote this book for people like you who are looking for answers. Forget about all the crap that you read on the internet about safe substance abuse. Forget about what your friends tell you that it's okay to get high. Forget about all the articles out there that tell you that you can use drugs and it's okay. Listen to me, David Toma, who is the leading authority in the world on drug addiction and alcoholism. I have the answers and I have written this book so that you will know without a doubt that there is no such thing as recreational drug use and there is no such thing as recreational drinking, because someone always suffers!

Dear Mr. Toma:
I just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you. I remembered being taken to see you by my parents when I was young ( 2nd or 3rd grade at the oldest). While I can't remember your speech exactly, I do remember watching you speak with such power and passion that I was captivated. I remember a story about a person who'd snorted so much cocaine that they'd burned holes inside their nose. I remember watching you pleading and begging the crowd ( though at the time it felt like you were talking directly to me) to not make the mistakes that you'd seen others make and to not throw away your life with drugs. I have no doubt that hearing you speak that night in Nebraska laid the foundation for my complete abhorrence of drugs and alcohol and likely kept me from making the mistakes too many of my friends made as I got older. Though I was exposed to a lot of the standard "Just Say No" drug awareness stuff and the lectures in school, by far the message that hit me the most was yours. Thanks for educating and scaring me when I was young so I didn't make mistakes when I got older. Thank you for your message which - though raw and real - works like nothing else.
Steve B.