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Sunday, November 18, 2007

He squandered his trust fund: Recovery oasis for heroin users

Whitney Tower, 56, a scion of the Whitney, Vanderbilt and Drexel fortunes, squandered his trust fund and sold family treasures to support a $1,000 a day heroin habit before landing in a tough-love facility near Delray Beach, Florida seven years ago and never leaving. "If I went back to New York I'd be dead in two weeks," he said.

Whitney favors linen suits and drops the names of the fast crowd he once ran with.

But now, after three decades in and out of treatment, his social life these days is dinner at home with sober friends who have settled in Delray Beach in what experts consider the recovery capital of America. He is studying addiction counseling, and he works as an unpaid intern at a local drug treatment center.

Advice: Consider working as a volunteer, like Whitney, to help others with your condition.

Read one of our thyroid story, or read more from the source article by Jane Gross in the Nov. 16 issue of the New York Times.

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