How to fix rehab: Expert who lost son to addiction has a plan

www.nbcnews.com Published: April 7, 2014

The call came on a Saturday, a day after Thomas McLellan told an auditorium of graduate students to rethink the science of addiction, says NBC News.


As a research psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, no one knew more about the subject. But despite his expertise, both McLellan’s sons had become addicts. His oldest was in rehab for alcohol abuse.

But the call—from a sobbing relative—was about Bo, the younger son, who had begun to mix drinking with pills. He finished college the day of his dad’s lecture, and died of an overdose the very same night.

“It seemed like a sign from God,” McLellan later confided to a friend. He was an expert in addiction, surrounded by experts in addiction, and he had no idea what to do when the disease wormed its way into his own family.

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