This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.
Ten years ago, News Tribune readers knew Nicholas Cecil Leading Horse as the poster boy for the price society pays for street drunks and addicts. In his case, it was an estimated $2.4 million.
His story was a revolving door of dysfunction. He’d get drunk on cheap alcohol and pass out. Someone would find him and call the fire department, which would respond and transport him to a local hospital emergency room for treatment. He’d go into detox or rehab, get out, start drinking and the cycle would begin all over again.
Leading Horse’s craggy face was all too familiar to firefighters and ER personnel, and his care was a costly drain on public and hospital resources.
But in September 2008, he almost died when his alcohol-ravaged esophagus ruptured. And that’s when he decided to live. He checked into rehab, and this time it took.
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