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Part Two: Getting the Inside Scoop from Robert Rotenberg, Author of "Old City Hall"

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You sound remarkably sane and well-balanced. What else keeps you busy?

I'm very involved with the Canterbury/Mark Perri Clinic, a non-profit drug and alcohol treatment clinic. I was the chairman of the board for about five years, and recently stepped down to give someone else a chance.

As a criminal lawyer for almost two decades, I've seen up close the ravages of addiction. Especially alcohol. How it destroys, families, careers and, worst of all, the lives of children.

Canterbury is very different than most clinics. It is totally privately funded, so we are able to do things with very little bureaucracy, but a great level of professionalism. We have a simple office in a run-down office building, nothing fancy and we have to beg, borrow, and don't steal for every penny. People show up at our door and they are seen immediately. No one ever gets a number, just a name. Within twenty-four hours, volunteer medical people will do complete physicals. We try to dig right into who people are. And it's free.

The irony is that I'm probably the least addictive person you will ever meet. (Okay, you might say I'm hooked on writing. Working hard. Exercise.) In high school, my friends used to give me their dope to stash, knowing that I'd never touch it. Even forget about it.

Our law firm, Rotenberg, Shildlowski & Jesin, sends many clients to Canterbury. Not just for addiction, but for anger management, crisis counseling.

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