On Thursday, September 19, 2002 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He died peacefully from complications of liver disease. He touched and saved countless lives as an addiction treatment professional. This native New Yorker received his BA from The American University.
He taught his children to love a good argument, to laugh, but most of all, to be about something. He taught others courage, dignity, and the importance of a sense of humor. He is loved by many.
Survivors include his wife, Jean, his children, Janet, 18 and Eli, 11, his mother, Bunny, his grandmother, Mae, his brother and family, Richard, Laura, Jenny, and Brigitte. Memorial services will be held in the sanctuary of Temple Emanuel, Kensington, MD on Wednesday, September 25, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Johns Hopkins Transplant Research Fund, 1 Charles Center, 100 N. Charles St., Suite 435, Baltimore, MD 21201. I met Scott at the American University in 1978. We hit it off right away. He had an amazing sense of humour and saved many people's lives. When I met Scott again he helped me by writing a letter of recommendation for me.
DOB: 1/14/55; New York City
Women's Hospital or Doctors' Hospital
"One time a cousin of mine gave me three ounces of morphine saline and I shot it . . . I was just a needle freak. I shot water, I shot bourbon, I shot bathtub gin. I shot PCP and Quaaludes and Tuinals and Seconal and I mixed all of them together. I really didn't give a shit, I was a garbage head. I was a pincushion. I liked it."
The only way I knew how to live was to use drugs. When I was growing up I always really believed that I came from another planet. I was a little kid, a little tiny little child; I really never thought that I was born here. I thought that somehow I was taken from some other place and brought here, because I just didn't feel very at home with the other people around when I was like four or five years old. I didn't get along with the children on my block. I had two kids who lived next door to me and they were the only people I talked to, and I even stopped talking to them when I was like five years old, when they put me into a reading class a year ahead of myself in school.
So I was a pretty isolated kid. I liked to read a lot. I had a real rich fantasyland even up until like my 20th birthday. I used to imagine myself being like a super-hero. The Green Lantern used to be one of my favorites, because he used to recharge himself every once and a while. Every day he had to use his magic power lantern, his green lantern, he would stick his hand into it to recharge himself. And as an addict, that is what I would perceive, that that was what I was doing. I was recharging myself in order to face a new day.
But I think it really started a lot when I was around 11 years old. I saw this . . . we were in school and you see these movies, they show you these driving movies, bloody highway and the dangers of bad drunken driving. And they used to show you this junkie movie, where you see a bunch of dope addicts standing around a street corner with their hands over a fire barrel. Even back then I used to say, "Boy, what it would be like to be an ex-junkie." I wanted to be an ex-junkie. Although it wasn't really a conscious decision, that's how my life progressed, that I would. I did all the things that would become an ex-junkie.
I started to use drugs as soon as I could. I remember the first drug that I had; it was a Sly and the Family Stone concert on Thanksgiving weekend of 1968. And I was there with a couple of guys. I was thirteen years old. And I had never put any substances in my body before that except for a couple of drinks, which didn't do anything. And I always wanted to hang out with the big boys, so I was hanging out with the toughest people that I knew of in my school. They weren't really close to me, but I was there with them, and somebody from another aisle passed up this pipe full of what I found out was pot, and I sucked that thing dry. And I didn't feel anything, but I kept asking for more. I think I saw drugs as a way that I could belong to a group, a group of people who used drugs.
And I wasn't really athletic. And when I was younger my Dad, who was like a Little League manager at the place that I lived, he sort of always pressed me towards athletics. But I sort of resisted that; I liked my fantasy life, because it was totally manageable. It was mine. I didn't have to deal with anybody else. I didn't have to follow any rules. I liked to read books and I sort of imagined myself becoming a writer one day. But when I discovered drugs, I could be whoever I wanted to be. I could say all those things to people that I could never say before, because I wasn't so scared.
That was really the turning point for me. When I discovered it from the time when I was thirteen years old, from that day until a couple of years ago, five years ago, I did not have one day without drugs. Sixteen solid years of every day. I would wake up and I would use something, some time during that day. And I think what I was trying to do was to control the world through narcotics, from my body. It was to me. The world was really what I felt about it. It wasn't. The reality was completely subjective for me. I perceived it as something that I could mold.
For a long time I shot cocaine every day, and when I used to shoot cocaine, as it was going into my system, I used to think of it as seeing straight through to the center of the universe, because that was the kind of experience it gave me. And that's really what I was trying to get out of drugs. I was trying to be God and control my universe. My history for those fifteen years was basically a drug-a-log. I started out the way they do in the movies. I started smoking pot. A couple of weeks later a few friends and I decided to use acid, and I went out and bought it. And the night before we were all supposed to do it, I did it myself alone. "I went and taught swimming to autistic children. I wasn't too physically coordinated that night, but at least I knew that I was going to be going with a group of people and losing my inhibitions. I knew what to expect, which is what I wanted to. Either that or I just wanted to get high.
I would use hash at high school, and pot and cocaine and amphetamines and downs. I didn't shoot any drugs in high school. Nobody else did, so it wasn't something that I came across. But as soon as I got out, I found it. And when I did I embraced it totally. It was like totally pure. I could sit there by myself. In fact, it's funny what happened.
I had just been arrested and let go for dealing drugs. I was at college and they came into the dormitories and arrested me and dragged me out of school in handcuffs. A few friends came and bailed me out, which was kind of nice of them. They did, I got out of the police station, they put me in a car, drove me to a bus station, someone threw a whole suitcase of pot in my lap, drove me back to school, and I was pretty depressed. I was scared. I needed fifteen hundred dollars for a lawyer real bad, and I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to phone my parents. Eventually I did, of course.
But that night two of these friends came into my room, one of them held me down and held my arm. The other one shot me up full of Dilaudid. The next day I went out and bought myself a few grams of cocaine, and got some syringes and sat around in my room until I got it right by myself. I didn't like the idea of someone else doing it. I wanted to be in control, I wanted to have it. It was a way, shooting the dope was a way for me to have the whole universe at my fingertips. I was in charge. It was amazing.
There was this kid, who all he ever wanted to do was to run his own life. And there I was running my own life, and I was running it into the ground. From my perception at that point I was realizing my goal. And I lived that life for ten years. I started doing that when I was eighteen years old until the time that I was twenty-five or twenty-six. I pretty much went through periods of which I shot dope every day. I discovered heroin and Dilaudid.
One time a cousin of mine gave me three ounces of morphine saline and I shot it. I was just a needle freak. I shot water, I shot bourbon, I shot bathtub gin. I shot PCP and Quaaludes and Tuinals and Seconal and I mixed all of them together. I really didn't a give a shit. I was a garbage head. I was a pincushion. I liked it.
I remember some of the scary parts real vividly. I remember the first time I ever overdosed on cocaine. A friend of mine had, when I say friend it's real tough, because most of the people I considered friends back then were like drug acquaintances, people who used the way I did. But he brought like a good ounce of cocaine to my house from Alaska, it was a help yourself situation. So I helped myself to what I knew was an overdose amount, and I knew it was good, and I knew how much would kill me, and I did just about that much deliberately. Just to prove that I could control, that I was super human and invulnerable.
So I did it, and I dropped like a stone and he brought me back. It was artificial resuscitation. And I remember that real vividly. I have images. You talk about when you die. You see your life flash before your eyes. When I came to after this experience I started shaking, and anxiety was just tremendous. These hallucinations of my Mom and Dad standing in the background of my house watching me become dead.
That was when I was nineteen years old. One would think that I would learn from that experience. But I am an addict. All I ever did after that was try to recapture it. I liked being dead. I liked being close to death. Then I wanted to see how close I could come to dying without actually doing it permanently.
It's hard to remember a lot of the drug experiences. I spent a lot of times in emergency rooms. Outside the emergency rooms if it wasn't the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. But it wasn't like I was living that life. The person that I am today, I find real hard to identify with that stuff. Maybe because it was back in time a while. But maybe because the way the person that I am today just doesn't have anything to do with that kind of life style. I don't know.
There was a time when I first went to school; I was in college for six years. I went the first year as a full time student. After that I worked my way through. It was sort of something that I had to prove to myself that I could get through on my own. So I got a job working for the university. Eventually, after working two years in a psychiatric hospital, as a reality test, and I got a job at the university. I worked my way through school that way. I majored in nothing. I finally had to pick a major. I picked "interdisciplinary major," which means I created it. I don't know how the hell I got through it.
Now, looking back on it, I see people like study, they talk about college students, they study, and they go to classes. I never did any of that. I used drugs. I didn't go to classes. I was a very good writer. So I was able to write papers that would stun the professors to the point that they would give me a good grade. Sometimes they wouldn't.
I had an opportunity to look at my college transcript a couple of months ago and it is at best episodic. In one semester you will see that I have four or five A's. And then the next semester I had a no grade, an incomplete, an F, and the F was like in Beginning Tennis. Or in Business Law. And other courses I took were "Sound, Light, and the Arts" and "The Retrospective Narrative," which is a graduate literature course.
It was a very strange college career. The most part my life was entirely controlled by drugs. I believe that, because I certainly didn't make volatile decisions. I did not do things on volition. I did them because I had to do them. I used to believe in a sense of absurd faith, watching myself do things that I did because I knew I would do them.
I had a propensity for having sex with women who were about to marry other guys. I did that a lot. I don't know why. I had the strangest relationships. I did not like to be alone, so I would find a woman whom I felt was sicker or crazier than I was and I would live with that woman. I did that a couple of times. They weren't really healthy relationships, but they were long. They were long, and I wasn't alone. I wasn't real capable of that. Sexually, I was a very late starter. My first sexual experience with a female occurred when I was a college student, and was in a dormitory with three other guys in the room. And I called this woman up who was known to be rather easy. With her. . . she would fuck anything. And I called her up and had her come over to my room to fuck me, because I had never done that before. I was eighteen years old at the time.
But I was never really that willing. Women always terrified me. I was high on Quaaludes and I passed out. I wasn't able to achieve erection. The next couple of times I wasn't able to either. The first woman I ever achieved erection with and had sex with, I lived with for five years. I wasn't monogamous during those five years, but had sex with a lot of other women.
But we lived together; we were in sort of a drug haze. She had an outside income, her parents sent her money, and she would support our habit. I would steal a lot, and shoplift from stores, and I had this very favorite gas station. I would run and fill my car up and drive away without paying for it. Boy, I look back, itŐs amazing I survived all that shit.
I had running partners too, people who were . . . men who I thought were crazier than I was, who could teach me something, and each of them did. A guy named Jeffrey and a guy named Gary and a fellow named David. I think when I was hanging out with David. David was then living, married, no, he was, yeah, he was married to my first girlfriend. I gave her to him for a bag of Seconals. I guess she was worth it to him. But he was AWOL from the Army, and he was visiting me, and she came over with a bag of Seconals. And they hit it off. I have him living with me. So I say, "Why don't you go with her, and give those to me?" So I kept the downs, and he got married to my exgirlfriend. When my first wife was hired for a television assistant, which is weird, but that's the kind of relationships I had for years. The woman who I eventually married and my ex-live-in lover were best friends, and in fact employee employer relationship type people. Very strange. I don't know. I wasn't there. Not all the time. I think a lot of the people in my life didn't realize that.
And what I did not realize is that I had a finite purpose in life, and that was to use drugs on a daily basis. And I don't care what I had to do to do that. And if I had to be a really nice guy and love someone, I would do it as much as I could. I would act loving, whatever it took to stay high. I didn't realize that at the time, but it was definitely true.
When I was I guess around twenty-six years old, or twenty-five, around there, I got married. I didn't know what else to do. I was being thrown off the methadone program. I weighed a hundred and twenty one pounds, my left leg was gangrenous, and my left arm, I was unable to move it, because I had shot a lot of bad dope in my arm. I had no veins, for a junkie I had no fucking veins.
I grew up with no veins, blank arms; even today I look at them and see nothing. Just some old holes and some scars. But I ran them all out. Even now I can see people with fucking thick ropes. It's amazing. I never had that. I wound up shooting in my neck, and my hands, and my legs, and my feet, between my toes, in my groin, under my armpits. I used to have to pay people to get me off. There was once a time when people used to pay me to get them off. I used to go into this, my cousin lived in town and he and his friend worked at this different university, and they were a pretty preppie group, yes, they used to like to do hard drugs. So I would go over to their house like once a week, and there would be like ten to fifteen of them sitting in the basement wearing tennis shorts on their way out to a date, and I would be sitting there with a bag of forty and insulin syringes and a huge baggie of cocaine or morphine or heroin or whatever. And they would just line up and I would just pop them all. And for that service they would, I would get free drugs. Or I wouldn't. I did it a lot of times. They said they'd be my friends.
My addiction took me to some pretty serious places. I've seen the business end of revolvers. I've seen a shotgun up my face. I've been in excruciating and emotional and physical pain. I lived with the knowledge that I used a lot of people. It wasn't all one sided. People I had used, the bad things that I have done, they were a part of my life. They were not . . . it was not something that I did in a sense of malice. It was the only way I knew how to live. I mean, what else did I have? I had no other guidelines. I didn't go in for what the sense of what right and wrong was. Right was what I needed and wrong was what I couldn't get. What else?
I grew up with the sense that anything that I did was by nature right, due to the fact that I did it. This is not sane thinking. This is not even true thinking. Because there was always a part of me that knew what was essentially wrong, that there was something terribly wrong with me that could never be cured, something that kept me apart from the rest of the world that I could never be a part of the rest of society.
So at twenty-six years old I weighed a hundred and twenty one pounds. My body was very sick, I was unable to function, and I was unable to hold a job. My parents came in, moved me back to New York, which was where I'm from. And I got married, which I guess is the only thing to do in a situation like that, because I put a huge influx of cash into my life, and fixed me up real quick.
I went to work for my Dad, which was a very unusual relationship. My Dad and I now have a lot of antagonisms toward each other. But again, it was startling. I'd run on pure hate. I didn't even need drugs for a period of time. I used them, but I didn't need them to the same extent that I always needed them before, because I'd run on hate. But eventually hate wore off. And I wasn't shooting dope back then, but I would take anything that I could get my hands on, and I would take Quaaludes and I would take Tuinals until I was in a stupor, daily, and drink ten to fifteen ounces of pure alcohol every single day at four o'clock, between 4:00 and 4:15, before I went to work. My life was an insult to my body, my emotional stature, my physical well being, and I had no emotional wellbeing.
One day I was in excruciating pain. My wife had thrown me out of the house because I was scamming checks from the back of the book, draining our account to buy my drugs. I was standing on a street corner. I hadn't shot dope in three years, but I was shooting up again, I was shooting cocaine. It was 5:30 in the morning and I had nowhere to go, so I broke into my DadŐs restaurant to steal money out of his safe. And I couldn't go home because I had no keys to go anywhere.
And I picked up the phone and I called an emergency number for addicts seeking recovery. And actually that's not true. What I actually did is called the marriage counselor that I was seeing at the time. He wanted me to check into a treatment center. And I said, "Forget that nonsense." And I wound up calling the number for addicts seeking recovery, and they sent me to a meeting.
I thought it was bullshit. It wasn't for me. These people are full of shit. And I stayed high for a couple more months. I don't remember what happened. There were a whole couple of months, where I was like living on the street, in cardboard boxes, and staying at my parent's apartment in the city. And generally I wasn't doing too well, I mean I was working a little bit, I was almost functioning, but I had sort of snapped, I had nothing left, I had what it took to stay an active addict.
I was scared, I was hungry, I was lonely, I had nowhere to go, and nothing to do, and there was nobody out there for me. And it all just came down all at once, and I went, I sort of broke down, and I wound up into a treatment center. For the first time since I was thirteen years old I had 28 drug free days. I have been clean five years since that day: July 25th, 1983.
I know when I tell my drug-a-logue. ItŐs sort of disjointed. But I don't remember it on a chronological basis. But I remember less and less as days go by. But as it looks now like just one long sick weekend during which I was tortured by inner stuff, inner demons.
Since I have been clean a lot has gone on in my life. I have gotten a lot bigger. I weigh a lot now. I weigh almost twice a hundred and twenty one pounds. I don't really worry about the little things. I am almost free sometimes. I have a lot of trouble with like my employment that I think I should, that I should be doing something more important or more valuable than what I do. What the hell, I 'm an addict. I don't have a real sense of what I am supposed to do in this world.
I stay clean every day and I make a commitment to that way of life. I try to talk to people the best way that I can. Be honest, as honest as possible. And I try to maintain a conscious contact with the knowledge and the power that is greater than myself. That is not always very easy, but it is the most reassuring part of my recovery. Without that I could not stay clean. I know that as truly as I know anything else.
There's an art of freedom that is associated with recovery, and sometimes that freedom is pretty scary. And there is really nothing that I cannot do if I choose to do it, as long as I don't pick up drugs.
There was a period of time that I was very promiscuous, and I would sleep around and have sex with a lot of different women over a period of time, and I could do that, and I didn't pick up over it, but it became uncomfortable, so I stopped.
A couple of years ago I got married again. A different type of a relationship. I have a child, I am a Dad. I don't know of anything, which is more rewarding than being a Dad. Right before I left the house I was playing with my daughter. It was so beautiful. And she cries a lot, she is scared, but part of me gets so angry about her being scared of nothing, and part of me wants to get down on the floor with her and cry because I am scared too. I want to tell her what I know. And that fear is just an irritation. It's not real for the most part. And she's four and it's real hard to talk to her like that. So I tell her, "Shut up and stop crying and go to your room." Probably not the greatest of all the responses, but I do my best.
I have a very weird life; I have got to admit that. There are very few ex-junkies doing what I do. I spend most of my day going into people's houses trying to convince them to spend money that they don't have, or to buy the product that they don't need. And I do it extremely well, well enough to keep myself so that I am living well, eating well, and cars. I have a stereo, I have a place to live, and I have got a wife that's more attractive than I have any right to ask for in life. And more loving than I even deserve.
The funniest parts of my life are just being me and watching how fucking nuts I really am. I drive around all day with anger and anxiety and it's so stupid. Which is hilarious. One time just recently some cab driver cut me off. I chased this man for fifteen miles to kill him. And when I finally caught up to him, I didn't know what to do. I still obsess over the strangest shit. I argue with my boss constantly, with absolutely no concept that he could fire me, because it really isn't important to me any more. I watch my child grow and I don't know whether I am being a good parent or not. And then something tells me that I am the best Dad in the whole fucking world. Because l love that child more than anyone else could, so I am the best Dad that ever lived.
I am happy. It's weird, because I bitch a lot. The more you complain the longer God lets you live. I bitch a lot, but Goddamn, this is a better life than I had any right to expect. It's treating me so well. I still have a lot of scars on my body which will never go away, which is pretty good because it reminds me of the bad times in which I had no control. I sort of accepted that I really don't have much control off . . . about the stuff that goes on in my life. I have a lot of control about what I do, what I physically do, but in terms of how people perceive me, or how I am going to feel I haven't got that much control. I really haven't got the control over my own feelings, but I have control over how I walk through my day. I try to do it in a really integrated manner; I try to maintain some integrity into my life, although it's real difficult, because by nature I am a sleazy, slimy, low life son of a bitch. One of the hardest things for me to do is to remain monogamous. The interesting part is that for so long I lived contrary, my entire life was done contrary to my basic belief structure. I was like the ultimate sinner. And if I believed that a person should be honest, I lived a dishonest life. And I believe that relationships should be monogamous, and yet I was a very unmonogamous, polygamous husband the first time that I was married. I believe that man exists basically to serve a power greater than himself, be that humanity as a whole, but I lived self-centered life beyond any imagination, any of my own imagination. So for so long I lived contrary to my own belief structure. And now it's sort of like I am trying so hard to live in tune with my own beliefs, and that means sometimes adjusting my beliefs and recognizing that I can't always be honest, but I can try pretty fucking hard, and I can at least admit to myself when I am being dishonest.
I've wrecked a lot of cars. I wrecked them on an average of one every two months. I was driving back to a friend's house, I had been to a party the night before, gotten pretty high, and I went home that night, and I was going back there to pick something up, I think it was like an ounce of hash oil or something that I had left there. And I was driving back, and I saw this baby sitting in the middle of the road, so I made a left hand turn and drove off a cliff seventy five feet straight down. I got out of the car, walked away, the car never made it back up the cliff. The tow truck took it out in two pieces. I escaped without a scratch.
That was sort of the history of my addiction, is why I have a firm belief in God today, because I was so shielded and so protected there are no permanent scars, deep physical scars on me. I have got some scratches and I have got some holes in my body, but for the most part I walked away with all my organs, my arms and legs intact, my head firmly attached to my shoulders, not missing anything vital except for a few teeth.
So I have got to believe that there is something going on out there that I am not really in charge of, and I am grateful that I am not. My imagination would have probably, my sense of right and wrong would have had me dead. I was so fucking wrong as far as I was concerned that I would have knocked me off, executed me a lot of times. I am pretty anxious most of the time. I have got a lot of peace in my life, but I go through a lot of anxiety, the littlest of things can set me off. If I call up my office and hear that someone had a rough day going on, and I hear some bad attitude on the phone, I immediately think that I am the cause of it. And I have got all the stuff going on, "It's my fault." Even though I don't own the company, I do not run that company, but I think that they rise and fall in my gastrointestinal gas.
I am a very lucky person because somehow there was some divine intervention into my life that made it possible, for me to live a lot longer than I had any right to expect. And all I am doing today is trying to figure out what the rules are. I am trying to live by becoming a productive, acceptable, responsible member of society. And it's real hard. I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. It's just fear that keeps me from making that decision, because I always want to make sure that whatever I want to do, I do it perfectly. There isn't any way of doing that. Scott died clean. On Thursday, September 19, 2002 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He died peacefully from complications of liver disease. He touched and saved countless lives as an addiction treatment professional.
Photographic Memories - Arts - Washington City Paper
Hey Wonderful Person, be Happy Joyous and Free.
If you are an addict ?
You Don't need (have) to S M O K E anything , EAT healthy ,
Don't DRINK any Methadone , Moonshine
or SWALLOW any PROZAC, Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, (ANTI-depressant) tablets , SSRI (Selective Serrotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), Luvox (OCD),
HUFF Anything, Take X
or use any of the new drugs that are being invented everyday,( Anti-Anxiety Drugs, Anti-Psychotic Drugs, Anti-depressant Drugs, Mood Stabilizing Drugs).
The PDR keeps getting fatter each year,
the answer is
Spiritual not Chemical
TRY GOD (SPIRIT) instead
stay clean and find a new way to live ,
there is hope for any addict.
You are no different,
we can survive our emotions clean together and grow. TRY clean first.
The chances are you are the problem and and total abstinence is the cure. Changes will happen overnight.
Once you are clean and you still can't face life without drugs, then any psychiatrist can load you up
with the latest chemical and the viscious cycle will progress to misery,
degradation, dereliction, jails , institutions and death.
If you keep doing what you are doing, you'll keep getting what you are getting.
Help is a call away.(202) 299-4919 .
The Last time miracle growth occured on any of these pages was around 12.28.2009É
Have a great Day!
And remember God (SPIRIT) Loves You
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