Another case involved a twentysomething woman in New York, the daughter of a Wall Street broker. "She would not go into treatment unless I flew back to Orange County with her cat," Zalkins says. "I had to get all of this special gourmet cat food before she would even go to the airport with me. But she ultimately went—with the cat, of course. I was able to get the pet to a family friend in Laguna Beach for the 60 days she was in treatment."

On Feb. 17, Zalkins celebrated seven years of sobriety. "My whole purpose is to help an addicted individual find recovery, a new path and a life worth living," he says. "When people hear how drastic and dire my addiction was, it gives them hope that if I got well, they can, too."

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