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To Partying Law Students: Put Down the Drugs and Alcohol

Brian Cuban started to figure it out in law school -- he was an alcoholic.

It happened outside the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, after he stumbled out of a bar and puked somewhere near Forbes Field. He didn't really know where he was, but he knew he didn't want to be there.

Cuban eventually made it out, passed the other bar, and went on to help others confront their addictions. Many law students, however, never figure it out.

Alcoholics 101

Alcoholic lawyers often start drinking in law school. According to studies, law students have more drinking problems than other graduate students or the general public.

After graduation, alcoholic lawyers-to-be typically compound their addiction with other problems. Cuban, for example, abused cocaine before he got his head on straight.

Rebecca Brock, a promising law student from Britain, never had the chance. She experimented with cocaine and died from an overdose of ecstasy.

According to reports, she was on vacation with friends at a hotel in Ibiza when she was found with a pool of blood next to her head. Police said she ingested "double the level" of a fatal dose of the drug.

Party Life or Death?

It seems natural for law students to look for diversions from the challenges of law school life. And it's not hard to find places to party. Internet sites publish the best party law schools, and there's probably an app for that.

Cuban said he found a better spot than the bar. It was a hamburger place, which happened to have an a Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet that asked: "Are You An Alcoholic?"

"That evening was the closest I came to self-awareness of my problem with alcohol for decades," he said. And that's when he started to figure it out.

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