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CNN Larry King Live
Aired July 03, 2001 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: faces of hope.
The honorable Ann Richards joins us from Austin with her frank, firsthand story of beating booze.
In Vernon, Florida, Evangelist Jim Bakker. His son Jay drank and drugged, his ex-wife Tammy Faye hooked on pills and he had a problem with tranquilizers.
Also here to talk addiction and recovery: Actor/comedian Tom Arnold.
Actress and best-selling children's author Jamie Lee Curtis in Los Angeles, too. And she believes she was truly born the day she got sober.
In Jackson Hole, the legendary sportscaster Pat Summerall, and he says that stopping drinking helped lead him to a wonderful life.
And in Washington, Joseph Califano, chairman and president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse -- a man, by the way, who kicked one mean tobacco habit.
All next on LARRY KING LIVE."
A subject for the complete hour tonight is drug addiction, drug abuse, substance abuse and getting over it. We are going start with Joe Califano and then get into our panel stories. He's chairman and president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
What does that center do?
JOSEPH CALIFANO, NATL. CENTER FOR ADDICTION: Well, Larry, what we do is we try to get people to understand that substance abuse is America's No. 1 problem. I mean, it costs this country about $415 billion -- heart disease and cancer cost the country to combine less than $300 billion.
No. 2, some that your hope can come through tonight, that, one, we can prevent it and by educating people and talking to them.
And two, if people get hooked, there is hope, there is recovery and a wonderful life after it, as many of the people on this show, evidence. In every field. And that it -- it is all substances, Larry, you said at the beginning, I mean, it is drugs, it is alcohol, it is nicotine, it pills, it is everything, is the issue is addiction, not the substance.
KING: Does the center have a definition of addiction?
CALIFANO: I mean, addiction is when you reach a point where, you know, a switch goes off, something happens, and you -- from wanting to have the substance you go to having to have the substance, you must have it. And while something happens in the brain, a switch goes on in the brain, there is also an important element of free will here, people have to make a decision to get off this stuff. And motivation, Larry, is the most difficult thing.
KING: Governor Richards, do you know why you drank?
ANN RICHARDS, FMR. GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: Sure, I drank because I liked the way it made me feel. In fact, it was a really good antidote to the way I felt about myself. When you sober up, you spend a lot of time trying to figure out what was going on at the time that you were drinking, or if it was drugs, or whatever else you are addicted to.
And in my case, I think I had such high expectations of myself, I was going to be best mother, the best housewife, the best entertainer, the best nurse -- you know, whatever it was, I was going to be the best. And I never could live up to my own expectations.
So if I drank, it repressed all of those feelings of inadequacy, and I thought I was cuter or funnier and smarter, but here is the difference, Larry: is that there are some people that can drink, and really have a good time and enjoy themselves, and after a couple drinks they stop.
But with those of us who were addicted, there was no stopping. And then as the years grew on, we had to have more alcohol to do what a little alcohol at the beginning could do for you.
KING: Did you know you were addicted?
RICHARDS: Well, I knew something was wrong, I'll put it that way. And I went to the doctor one time and I said to him, listen, I really think I drink too much. And he said, well, how much do you drink? Any addict is a liar to begin with. And, so I said, well, you know, I have two or three or maybe four martinis before I have dinner. He said, don't worry about that, I drink that much myself.
KING: Unbelievable. Tom Arnold, you did both drugs and alcohol and cocaine.
TOM ARNOLD, ACTOR: Did it all, Larry. Did it all.
KING: Do you know why?
ARNOLD: I liked it. I liked it a lot. I started drinking when I was 14. And I got drunk the first time I did it. And I felt like a different person, and I liked it. Then I moved on, of course, later years, to cocaine, and really liked that, too. And it just made me feel really good about myself. I thought it made me feel like a different person.
KING: Did you know you were addicted?
ARNOLD: I didn't know until later. My mother was an alcoholic. She died of the disease, but we didn't really -- back in Iowa, we didn't really talk about -- I never heard term "alcoholic." Maybe from Betty Ford on TV, but we -- I knew I got arrested a lot. I knew I blacked out a lot and I did humiliating things.
KING: You didn't say to yourself, I have a problem.
ARNOLD: I would say it when I was sitting in jail, oh, this is bad. But then I'd be back at it the next night. You know, Dad would bail me out and I'd be putting my clothes on and I'd be back out.
KING: Because you liked it that much, it did so much for you, that the jail -- it overcame the fact you might be in jail again.
ARNOLD: Yeah, seven times, and, then with cocaine, the same thing. Cocaine obviously is a bigger risk too, because it is illegal.
KING: Jamie Lee, what were you addicted to?
JAMIE LEE CURTIS, ACTRESS: -- -- I paused because, talking about the process of addiction is very difficult for a drug addict and an alcoholic, Talking about recovery and hopefulness is much easier for me.
KING: You are on the board of Joe's...
CURTIS: I've just very proudly been announced to be on board of Joe's CASA, and I hope to bring my recovery and my youth and experience, if you will. I obviously drank alcohol and I also fell under the spell of Vicodin, which is a...
CURTIS: Painkiller that is prescribed often by doctors, and...
KING: Very popular drug in America.
CURTIS: Incredibly popular.
KING: And very effective painkiller.
CURTIS: For many kinds of pain, Larry. I think, predominantly, I mean, I'm thrilled to even hear Ann Richards talk.
I admire so you much, just want to let you know.
RICHARDS: I'm just honored to be on this show with so many high falutin' addicts.
(LAUGHTER) KING: Let me get a break and we will bring Jim Bakker in, and we'll pick up. Everybody can jump in at this. They are our guests for the full hour. Don't go away on this LARRY KING LIVE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, OCTOBER 28, 1997)
BETTY FORD, FORMER ADDICT: I would say my life had become unmanageable, and I was having problems with both the medications and the alcohol. Particularly the fact that I was combining alcohol and the social angle of drinking, when -- you know, when it says on those labels on the bottles, please do not operate heavy equipment drive a car, or drink alcohol.
KING: You didn't pay any attention to that?
FORD: No, I didn't operate any heavy equipment and I didn't drive a car, and I figured the label was for people who didn't know how to drink, so...
KING: You were one of those -- you knew how to drink, right? Drinkers know how to drink.
FORD: That was my alcoholic mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JANUARY 15)
ELIZABETH TAYLOR, ACTOR: It took me twice to go back to Betty Ford. The first time just didn't work. It -- I thought I was strong enough and that I could social -- socially drink. Then it became a bottle of wine at lunch, bottle of wine at dinner.
KING: Do you therefore not drink at all now?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are back. Jim Bakker, you had addiction around you, in various forms, right? Your son, your ex-wife, your current wife, and you.
JIM BAKKER, ABUSED TRANQUILIZERS: Yes. Yes. Actually, my situation started way back when I was in my 20s, helping Pat Robertson pioneer a Christian television network, and I was a workaholic. And I would work three and four days with hardly any sleep, and finally my nervous system collapsed, and so the doctor put me on tranquilizers which set me up like a cat on hot tin roof. And I couldn't live with them or without them, so I had to get off.
But then later on, my son, while I was in prison, got into drugs -- all kinds of drugs -- and alcohol.
KING: And do we know -- now, Joe, here's the puzzling thing about all this. Do we know why Jamie Lee was an addict with Vicodin, but Phil Jones is not?
CALIFANO: Well, we don't really know the answer to that question. We don't know why, as Ann Richard said, some people can have a couple of drinks and other people get hooked. But we do know that these substances are potentially very dangerous. I mean, Vicodin happens to be a very addictive substance. I think one of the points there, and that Jim Bakker made -- too many doctors prescribe these drugs without thinking or focusing enough on the impact they have on their people. And often, an individual who's an alcoholic gets prescribed tranquilizers, and then they can't sleep so the doctor prescribes sleeping pills, and suddenly they're hooked on all of them.
KING: All right. Wouldn't one of the problems, Jamie Lee, from a physician standpoint, you've got terrible migraine headache and Vicodin is going to help you, and I know it's helped her and her. I'm going to prescribe it for you.
CURTIS: Unfortunately it wasn't an ongoing prescription. Once you've had a taste of that feeling, that great relief and feeling that that drug gives you, it just made me want to have that feeling again and again. It was less about getting refills on prescriptions, or...
KING: So you don't know why you -- you had to go back to it, and he doesn't?
CURTIS: I don't know if any of us can really explain what addiction is exactly, because I think it changes with each individual. I think what we can talk about, is really that there's hope to recover from it.
Because, Larry, I lived in a private battle with this for a long time because I was afraid -- because I was afraid of what you would think about, what other people would think. I was a wife, I was a mother. I was a very successful in many careers, and I was afraid. And I think that most people live in fear, and I think fear is a terrible thing.
KING: Governor, the people who don't have any addiction, or apparently don't have addictions, although they say someone is addicted to something all the time, the wonder is, why would you, a successful woman, a governor, need a drink?
RICHARDS: Well, thank heaven, by time I was a governor I didn't need that drink.
KING: But you were successful before you were a governor.
RICHARDS: Well, yes. I was certainly successful in my life. There was no question about that. But the important thing is that -- it's not that alcohol or drugs or whatever you're addicted to is going to keep you from being successful, or that you are going to use those substances to make yourself successful or make yourself feel better.
I, for one, firmly believe -- and there is evidence to show -- that this is a transgenerational disease. People who are from addicted families have more likelihood of an addiction than those of us who didn't have practicing alcoholics in our background.
KING: So it's genetic?
KING: It's genetic, you're saying.
RICHARDS: I think there is a great deal of genetic predisposition to addiction. And I tell my grandchildren, and of course, my children, that because I was addicted, they will have a much greater likelihood of becoming addicted themselves.
KING: Is that true, Joe? If your father is alcoholic, it's likely that you might be?
CALIFANO: Well, you have a higher risk than somebody whose father isn't an alcoholic. If your father or mother is a drug addict you have a higher risk, and indeed, if your parents are smokers, you have a higher risk of smoking. Some of that is genetic, as Ann says. We have cases in which twins are separated at birth, and one twin goes off and lives with a family in which there's no alcoholism, and that twin has a higher risk of becoming an alcoholic if her biological or his biological parents were alcoholics.
But the environment is important, too. And a lot of it, Larry, is kids. I mean, one thing I think it's important to focus on here is, if we want to deal with this problem, we've got to deal with kids, because we found at CASA that if you get a child through age 21 without using illegal drugs, without smoking, without abusing alcohol, that child is virtually certain to be home free. That's where it's at, in terms of prevention.
KING: By the way, CASA stands for...
CURTIS: Center for Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
KING: And it's based at Columbia University. We'll come back, continue with our panel after these words. Don't go away.
KING: When you were drinking, how did that affect your parenting?
VAN DYKE: Well, I probably -- in the way of promises not kept, things we planned to do that we didn't do, because...
KING: I'll take to you to picnic on the ball game Sunday, right? VAN DYKE: That kind of thing, you know. But my kids say, you know, we never were aware that there was a problem. It happened in the evening, usually after they went to bed, and they weren't that aware of it. Thank God for that.
KING: Tom Arnold, the child thing. Why? We read about 9-year- olds.
ARNOLD: Well, yes, I have been lucky enough to work with some kids, some teenagers, and there's nothing more inspirational than a 16-year-old girl who's decided to get sober and really work a program. And it's tough, because how do you tell -- it's hard to tell a kid, well, you know, you've got this problem -- because they've had these episodes -- and you can never drink again.
Kids that young think -- they think about tomorrow, and they think that, you know, it's impossible. So it's very inspiring for the ones that are doing it. But it does change their life. It doesn't just change their life that they don't get drunk or use drugs. It -- they work a program that makes them live a more honest life, makes them be able to relate to their parents better, get rid of their resentments easier.
KING: They can do it.
ARNOLD: They can do it. Of course they can.
KING: But peer pressure must be...
CURTIS: You know what? It has to do, for me, with the parents' example that they set. At my daughter's school they do a drug treatment talk with the kids and the parents. They say to the parents: If you celebrate with alcohol, if every good thing that happens to you, you celebrate with alcohol; or if every sad thing that occurs in your life you use alcohol to recover from...
KING: Kids see this.
CURTIS: What is the message you're giving your kids? The message is: alcohol is the tool for which you need to live your life. Emotionally, physically, spiritually.
And to me, the greatest thing we have is the ability as parents to lead an example, and I just want to give you an example. A person very close to me, a Hispanic family, the day their first son was born, the husband looked at the wife and said, "My sons will never see me with a beer in my hand." And these three boys have been raised in the city of Los Angeles and they have never seen their parent with alcohol in their hand.
KING: That doesn't mean they don't have a beer, right?
CURTIS: I'm -- if you, as an adult, want to go to a restaurant and have a beer, have wine with dinner -- to me, if you do it at home, the message to your kids that you're giving is "alcohol is the release that I'm seeking, and therefore you will seek it, too, if you choose to."
KING: Jim Bakker, what's the Camp of Hope that you're opening next month?
BAKKER: Camp of Hope is for young people. We're starting with children in the inner city, but we're also starting a college here where we're bringing young people from all over the world. Young people have already been through a training program, but then they're going to mentor young people -- going out in the inner cities, helping people to get off from drugs. Because it's a peer pressure thing. It's wanting to be with the in crowd, and that's how it starts. But then they need help to get off drugs.
And the thing that I find is the greatest therapy is a real group, not just a group sitting around, but a community of people in there, helping people to get off drugs.
KING: And Ann Richards, that sounds like the AA philosophy. Do you share that view?
RICHARDS: Well, yes, I do, but I tell you, I have a problem, Larry, with the reference to getting off drugs.
KING: What do you mean?
RICHARDS: Because inevitably, what you're talking about is some illegal substance. You're -- you know, usually marijuana, cocaine, hashish -- stuff like that. The reality is that the most insidious addiction in America is the addiction to alcohol. Alcohol is a drug. The addiction to nicotine in cigarettes, which will kill you -- and I want to say today that Jamie Lee is so right.
When kids see parents smoke and use nicotine, they -- it's cool. It's a good thing to do. I worry to death because one of my granddaughters has a mother that smokes. I'm so afraid that this girl will get that message. that it is OK to smoke.
When you're talking about drugs, you're talking about nicotine, alcohol and all of those other drugs that are illegal, and I don't want nicotine and alcohol left out because they are legal.
CALIFANO: Larry, two things -- a couple things about -- I think Ann is absolutely right. and in perspective, we have about 61 million Americans addicted to nicotine, somewhere between 18 and 20 million addicted to alcohol and maybe 4 to 6 million addicted to illegal drugs. So that puts the problem in perspective.
On nicotine, we now know about secondhand smoke, which is a very important thing. It does affect, you know, Coop, the surgeon general, calls parents who smoke child abusers. And picking up on Ann's point. And I think that we have to recognize that the parents -- Jamie Lee is so right about parents. They are where it's at, and we're promoting something called Family Day for the fourth Monday in September, September 24th, a day to eat dinner with your kids, because the more often a family eats dinner together, the less likely the children are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs. It's is an incredible and important and simple fact.
KING: Let me get a break. We'll be right back with more of our panel on this edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Do you know why you drank?
MARY TYLER MOORE, ACTOR: I think because it -- smoothed the edges of life.
KING: Would you be drinking while working?
MOORE: No. No, I never drank in the daytime. I drank only at night. Oh. sure, on the weekends sitting around the pool I'd have a Bloody Mary, maybe. But it was contained, and everything that happened in the daytime was cataloged in my mind based on how soon it was until 5:30 or 6:00, when I would be home and having my martini, which would then become two martinis, which would then make everything all right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Every morning I get up and I make a decision not to drink. And I don't -- I'm not going around, I don't want to drink and I don't want to go buy an ounce of cocaine, but -- you know, but I made up my mind.
KING: You get and it's a book? You actually open a book?
IMUS: Yes, it's called a 24-hour book.
KING: You read from it?
KING: And make a...
IMUS: Conscious decision.
KING: "I will not...
IMUS: Yes, I'm just not going to drink today. I mean, when I quit, I quit a minute at a time. A minute at a time. And then it got be five minutes, and then it got to be an hour, and I'm shaking and -- it got to be a day, and now it's 12 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: This is for each of you. It's about getting better. How did you stop -- Tom Arnold? ARNOLD: Well, I had -- it took me a while. It took me about three years to stop. I stopped for a month and then I'd get back on, I'd stop for a month.
I went to rehab and talked my way out the first time, and I think what really got me to stop was I had to lose a lot. I lost my fiancee at the time, where I lived, my job -- and that got me into my final rehab 11 1/2 years ago. But the reason I don't do it today is because after I was there about eight days, I went back to get -- you know, I was in the tabloids. I went back so that people would think I was a good guy, my soon-to-be-ex-wife would love me again, all this stuff.
But on my eighth day there I started feeling good physiologically, which -- every other time I felt good like that I said, oh, I better get some more coke. But this time I thought, well, wait a minute, I feel good, and maybe I deserve to feel good. And that's the only reason I'm sober today.
KING: So you've been sober how long?
ARNOLD: Eleven and a half years.
KING: How did you stop, Ann?
RICHARDS: We had an intervention of a group of my friends and my family that -- well, it looked like the last supper, there were so many people there. And they tell you, you know, what you have done that caused harm to them or embarrassed them or something, while you were drunk. And I was on an airplane that afternoon to St. Mary's Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And that was -- be 21 years ago this September.
And for me, Larry, just the smell of alcohol now -- if I smell it on somebody's breath or I get a whiff of it, I have a reaction. It's like smelling DDT. It's like poison.
KING: I have the same thing with tobacco. Intervention is how Betty Ford did it. Jim Bakker, how did you get off tranquilizers?
BAKKER: Well, I went back to the doctor, and the doctor increased the tranquilizers. I would have panic attacks at night. I mean, I was -- and the panic attacks increased, so I was living in fear. Even people walking on a wooden floor by me would send pain through my body, my nervous system.
And one day I was watching television, and I saw Dr. Claire Weekes, from England. She wrote a book called "Hope and Help for Your Nerves," and she began to talk about relaxing, and imagine yourself back on a cloud and resting, and doing certain things. And I literally had to take myself off the pills because the doctor kept give me more drugs.
KING: So you did it -- by your own self? No help?
BAKKER: No help. I literally started mowing the lawn. I literally started working, physically, hard. And I recommend to young people, one of the greatest things that I can see them do is to get active. And that's why at Camp of Hope, kids have to work here. They have to be active.
And my son, who was an unbelievable drug addict, he came to see me in prison. And he was crying one day in prison, and he said, "Dad," and he confessed to me he was on LSD, having flashbacks that were killing him. He said, "Dad, please, I'll go to the doctor if they could cut something out of me. I'll go to surgery right now. I got to get relief from this."
And I sent him to a doctor psychiatrist friend of mine in Wisconsin, to go right from the prison right to there. And -- Dr. Basil Jackson, he gave him some medication to stop the flashbacks, but Jamie was also into alcohol.
KING: But did he stop cold? Did he stop cold?
BAKKER: No. No.
KING: Jamie, how did you stop? I'm trying to get -- I'm trying -- everyone get into this. How did you stop, Jamie?
CURTIS: Actually, there was an actress friend of mine, who had small children, and she and I both shared the same love of Vicodin. And I actually had this image of -- that either she would be dead or that I would be dead and that either one of our children would be standing at a funeral. And that if I saw her kids at the funeral, that I would know that I didn't have the courage to say to her "You're wrong, and I'm wrong and we're in complete denial that this is going to kill us."
And so I actually, because of my delicious friend Richard Lewis, who has been sober for a long time and he and I used to be on a TV show together -- he had always reached his hand out to me and said, you know, if you ever want to talk to me -- and he was great. So I called Richard and I walked into a recovery meeting, just by myself.
KING: And you needed that.
CURTIS: I did.
KING: Compatriots, and...
CURTIS: I need it every day.
ARNOLD: And, Larry, you have to understand that there are recovery meetings, 12-step meeting, Alcoholics Anonymous, all this, everywhere in this country.
KING: Going on all hours, day and night.
ARNOLD: And I promise you, that works.
KING: We'll pick up. We'll get how Jim Bakker's son did do it, how Joe Califano stopped smoking and lots more. We're only halfway through. Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JUNE 7, 1997)
LARRY HAGMAN: I never got drunk, I just got kind of nicely gassed, you know.
KING: But you were an a alcoholic, or are a alcoholic?
HAGMAN: Oh yes, sure.
KING: Go to AA now?
HAGMAN: Yeah, I love it. It is wonderful.
KING: How many meetings a week?
HAGMAN: I go to one. I couldn't go to another, they are very emotional.
KING: But they are around the clock. There's something going on right now.
HAGMAN: Absolutely, anywhere. And I suggest it with anybody who thinks they got a problem, go in, take a look, it can't hurt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome back to this program dealing with the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
And our panelists are the honorable Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas, she is with us in Austin.
Here in Los Angeles, Tom Arnold, the well-known actor and comedian.
In Vernon, Florida is Jim Bakker, Evangelist who opens his Camp of Hope next month in Florida.
Back in L.A., Jamie Lee Curtis, the actress and best-selling author, who is also on the board of directors of CASA.
In Washington, Joseph Califano, the chairman and president of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.
And joining us now from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is one of my favorite people, Pat Summerall, one of the great place kickers in national football history. He's been 50 years around football, 10 as a player, 50 as a broadcaster, still the best play by play man in the business.
Your problem, Pat -- you have joined as a little later -- is and was drinking, right?
PAT SUMMERALL, RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC: Only drinking. I never did anything else, Larry.
KING: Do you know why you drank?
SUMMERALL: Oh, I guess, no, I really don't to answer your question. Honestly, I wanted to be a part of the crowd, and the crowd was drinking. It was always available. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed being the first person to be at the scene of the drinking and the last person to leave.
KING: Did you drink while you were playing? As a player?
SUMMERALL: Oh, no. No, no, no, no. I drank, you know, after a game or something like that. We would get together have beer or whatever. But after I got into the broadcasting business was when I made a serious effort toward drinking.
KING: That will do it every time.
KING: How were you able to stop?
SUMMERALL: Well, there was an intervention which was spearheaded by a group of friends of mine, Tom Brookshire (ph), you remember, I'm sure.
KING: Sure do.
SUMMERALL: I played golf with him this morning here in Jackson Hole. But at any rate, there was an intervention, they told me what I meant to them, this group of friends, they had all written letters to me, and told me I was killing myself, and they hated to see that happen. They told me how much they loved me and they hoped I would go to the Betty Ford Center, which I did do.
It sort of opened my eyes, to, there was another way to live this life. That I wasn't -- I didn't have all the answers. And I -- the stay in the Betty Ford Center, I came away with a lot of hope, which I didn't have before.
KING: And you also bring religion into it, right? That is very important to you.
SUMMERALL: Yes, I thought I was a Christian, Larry. I thought I was what I was supposed to be, until I went to the Betty Ford Center and I realized that I really had to have spiritual help to beat this addiction that I had. I learned that there was hope as I mentioned.
When I got out of the Betty Ford Center I felt I was still missing something. I knew there was a supreme being, but I wasn't that sure that I had begin my life and my heart as I later did.
So I asked the minister at my church if I could be baptized at the age of 68, and he said sure, and I said, you would do it? So he did, and, when I crossed my arms and he started to put me backwards into the water, it was the most helpless feeling I have ever had in my life. And, when I came up from under the water, up to stand up again, I felt like I had surrendered and I felt like that I knew where my life belonged now, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
KING: You have been sober how long now?
SUMMERALL: 9 1/2 years.
KING: All right, now, Joe Califano, one thing we are learning tonight is that there are many roads that you can take to recovery, right?
CALIFANO: Absolutely, there are a whole variety of roads. And people do it on their own, people go to AA, people go to Betty Ford or other places. And I will note with respect to Pat's last statement that our research shows that religion is a significant part for most people of both prevention and recovery.
A kid who will say, religion is an important part of my life, or who goes to church frequently and that is parents taking him or her incidentally, is less likely to use drugs.
I wanted to just mention -- you mentioned nicotine, Larry. I was up to 4 packs a day on nicotine, working for Lyndon Johnson, and for many years thereafter. And I my -- my 11 year-old son Joe, one day at the beach, I said, "What do you want for Christmas, Joe? Your birthday is near it -- you never get a proper present."
He said, "Dad, I want you to quit smoking."
I said, "What do you really want?"
He said, "I really want you to quit smoking." And I came back and I joined Ben Bradley in a smoking cessation program and the two of us quit.
That kid incidentally is now a head-neck cancer surgeon, as you know, at Johns Hopkins.
KING: I had a heart attack.
CALIFANO: How did you quit?
KING: Heart attack, did it every time. I had the heart attack, three- pack-a-day, stopped that, scared to death. That worked, too. Fear can work.
CALIFANO: Absolutely, very important.
KING: We will come right back. We will come right back with more, we'll pick up with Ann Richards and we'll continue with Jim Bakker on his son as well. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JANUARY 20)
JAY BAKKER: I was an alcoholic, we were living in this little house in Charlotte, and I was out partying with my friends every weekend, and my father hadn't had a chance to be my father. And all he wanted to do was keep me from killing myself. Drinking, and so we would argue and fight, and I wanted to go be with friends, because I felt like I had helped him get out of prison, I had done my end of the bargain, now I was just going to live.
But unfortunately, my father didn't want me to -- or I guess, not, unfortunately -- fortunately, my dad didn't want me to just be an alcoholic and drug addict my whole life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are back. Governor Richards, you wanted to add something to what Joe had said and Pat had said?
RICHARDS: I think it is important for us to acknowledge that the people who really need almost as much help as the person who is addicted is the family or friend, or the boss, or a coworker of an addicted person. I don't think I have a week go by that I don't get a telephone call from someone who has a great deal of affection for someone that is abusing some kind of substance, and wants to know how to do it the right way. What should I do? Where can I go? Because I don't want to do it the wrong way.
And it is important for people to know that there really is no wrong way, that confronting a person who is addicted with genuine love, and with affection, that you are worried you are concerned, you want to get them help, finding out where they can get help, that you can't foul it up.
KING: Can government get involved decriminalizing some drugs? Would that help?
CURTIS: Oh, don't go -- ahh.
KING: You would not.
CURTIS: I want to talk about hope. I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about...
ARNOLD: I think it would be worth a try somewhere.
ARNOLD: Decriminalize one drug in particular.
KING: Like marijuana.
ARNOLD: Like marijuana, and see what happens. See what happens. Try it in one state.
CURTIS: What I'm more interested in...
KING: Hold on, Joe. CURTIS: I'm more interested in the family idea. When you were talking about your friends and family getting together. You know, one of the great things that CASA does is studies the effects the drugs and alcohol have on every area of society. And what they found is that hands-on parents versus hands-off parents have a much better shot at not having kids who use drugs and alcohol.
And to me the whole idea of hope is, a hands-on parent is a parent who is interested and involved in their life.
KING: Jim Bakker, how did your son finally stop?
BAKKER: Well, Larry, I just have got to say that you are talking about hope, and faith is the basis for all deliverance from drugs, cigarettes, any habit. I studied this for so many years now, and those that have hope in Jesus Christ or hope in a higher power, they can be cured.
The government programs, they cure maybe 3 to 4 percent at maximum, spending billions of dollars, and a little group like team challenge having little groups all over the country, they'll have a cure of 89 percent and it is based on a faith-based program and that is really what happened in my son's life. My son really began to turn things over to God. He joined AA. He loves AA to this day because AA is like a real church because you can call people at 4:00 in the morning on AA, and they there are for you.
I believe in this family, this group. It takes people, a support program and love. Whatever it is, if people stand together it can happen. KING: Joe, does government have a role?
CALIFANO: Oh, I think government has a role. I think government has a role No. 1, in research. It is important to find out more about who is more likely to get hooked who isn't and how can we deal with it. I think government does have a role in reducing availability.
We'll never stop drugs from coming into this country. I understand that and drugs come here by invitation, not by invasion. But government does have an important role there. Because, two of the keys particularly for kids in terms of drug use, are availability, and perception of risk -- whether it is dangerous or not.
And I think with all due respect, great admirer of Tom Arnold, but I think decriminalization would be disaster for our kids. I think what's important, though, the key is what Jamie Lee put her hands on. The family is the key. The greatest influence on kids in America are parents, and the next greatest influence is schools. But parents are where it's at.
KING: Let me get a break, and we will pick right up. We are zooming right along. We'll talk about that marijuana legalization, get Pat Summerall's thoughts and the like. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SID CEASAR, COMEDIAN: I was doing a play in Canada and all of a sudden I could not remember a line of the play I had done a hundred times. I couldn't remember anything. And I went back to my dressing room, I looked in the mirror, I mean I was really shocked. I didn't even know it. I looked in the mirror and I said, "Sid, you want to live or you want to die?"
It was as simple as that. There was no gray area, no maybe this maybe that. This is it. You either give it up or that is that it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: I interviewed four police chiefs from the United States many years ago, and I gave them the query, Tom, if you could legalize either alcohol, or marijuana, which would you do. They couldn't even let me finish the sentence, they all said marijuana. They said they never saw a murder committed with someone on marijuana. Most murders, 80 percent, have alcohol related to them.
ARNOLD: But the murders are committed by the people who are bringing it into it the country, you know, the people that are transporting it.
KING: But you would give it a shot?
ARNOLD: I think you should give it a shot. That's my opinion. Try it in one state and see what happens. I'm not advocating people smoke pot, especially kids, anybody or to drink, or smoke cigarettes. But, I think worth a try. Things aren't working the way they are. I think we need more money for treatment, and I think that you know you can tax cigarettes, you can tax alcohol, I think it's worth a try.
KING: Jamie, but banning seems to not work.
CURTIS: We are talking about drugs. We are talking about children and drugs. I -- no offense Tom. What we need do is have the government educate us as parents, and our children. That is where all of the money should go into is education.
KING: And research.
CURTIS: And research and treatment, because as we know there are wonderful forms of treatment. And as Ann said, there are all sorts of forms of treatment. There are treatment programs, there are in you know in house -- sober living programs. But it's education for the children because they are the commodity. We are all adults, we make choices.
They have not been able to make those choices yet, and they are either going to make the choice to do drugs and alcohol or they are going to make the choice not to.
KING: Ann Richards, how about decriminalizing? RICHARDS: I don't know that I want to go there, Larry. I think there are so many things to be said on both sides. People want to say get the money out of the system, and then, you know you are going to save money on, law enforcement and all that.
But the role that government can play, and we proved that in the state of Texas and they have proved it also in New York state, is that if you institute good treatment programs in the penitentiaries and in the prison systems, so that you send people out who have been treated and have some hope for a job and some self-respect and some hope for their own addiction, you are going to take a great deal of money out of the penitentiary system and out of the criminal system. Because 87 percent of the crime committed in this country is committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
KING: Joe, quickly. Yes, Joe.
CALIFANO: Yes, Larry, just quickly, we did legalize marijuana in Alaska. It was a disaster and Alaska repealed the law. I'm not -- I think we have to -- treatment is important. I think we need alternatives to prison, but I don't think we want to bless the use of drugs and I really do think it is a policy of despair.
I think the point Ann made is critically important. We have two million people in prison today, 1.6 million of those people are there for crimes either committed under influence of alcohol and drugs, or to rob or steal to get money for it. And we don't provide treatment for them except in rare instances when we have governors like Ann, and Pataki in New York.
KING: We'll be bank and get some final thoughts from each of our panels on where they think all this is going from each of our panel members. Don't go away.
KING: We are back. Governor Richards, how do you stay sober?
RICHARDS: Well, I stay sober because I don't even think about drinking anymore, basically. But...
KING: You never fear you will take a drink?
RICHARDS: No. I really don't. I'm sort of passed that point. One of the things I wanted to add, though and I think it is important to say, is there is a lot of ways to get sober, and there is a lot of ways to stay sober. As different strokes for different folks. The faith part of a program is a wonderful part. But I also want to say there is a lot of people out there, Larry, who are not going to wake up one morning and pick up the bible or find Jesus in the bedroom.
And there is hope for them, too. There is hope for everybody.
KING: Are you optimistic, Jamie Lee, or pessimistic? CURTIS: Oh, you know what, Larry, I wouldn't be here today. I chose to out myself in a magazine because I was sitting doing the interview with my daughter next to me the woman said to me, well you seem so happy everything sounds so great, what do you attribute it to?
And most people would like me to talk about my damn diet and how -- and the truth is I looked over and I looked at 14-year-old daughter and I said well, I think the best thing that ever happened to me that is I got sober two and half years ago. And to me, it is the only reason a person of celebrity, a public figure should talk about substance abuse and their recovery is the hopefulness, is the possibility to improve and change your life, and get out of the secrets and the closest of despair that everybody talks about.
KING: Pat, what keeps you off?
SUMMERALL: I have never had a craving. I guess I've been one of the lucky ones, Larry. I have been, based on my association with other people who have had the same problem. A lot of people crave. They want to go back to places that they used to play -- with their friends, and their drinking buddies so on. I never had that desire.
And the one word that seems to come through from all of our panelists, all the people that are talking is the word "hope." And I think as long as you have hope and as long as you have faith, and you believe in something, then you've got at least a foot up on the way to an answer.
KING: Jim, are you optimistic?
BAKKER: Absolutely. That is why we are so involved with kids here at Camp of Hope. Pouring dreams back into them, and giving them hope in Christ, and something to live for. That is why my son stays off drugs. He is pouring his life into other people and getting his mind off of himself, and there is hope through Jesus Christ, I believe more than any other way. ARNOLD: What about the little Jewish kids, Jim?
BAKKER: And the God of Abraham Isaac, and Jacob.
ARNOLD: I go to meetings a lot. I share.
KING: You go a lot?
ARNOLD: Yes, I talk about it. I don't forget how bad my life was. No matter what happens today it is better than it used to be. I'm very grateful. I vividly remember what my life was like then.
KING: You are an everyday AA-er.
ARNOLD: Pretty much.
KING: Joe Califano, we started with you, we'll end with you. Are you hopeful?
CALIFANO: I'm very hopeful, Larry, and I think we ought to remember in all those people out there one: We have cut drug use in this country by half from the peak in the late 1970's. We have kids getting better and better understanding of this, and -- this show is such a marvelous thing because you can see that the there is hope not only that you can prevent it but if you get hooked you can get off of it.
You have done and he an enormous thing this evening.
KING: And we have just skimmed the surface. Ann Richards, Tom Arnold, Jim Bakker, Jamie Lee Curtis, Pat Summerall, and Joe Califano, we thank CASA for their cooperation as well. Thank you for joining us and good night.
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