"What nobody knew at the time was that I was a crack cocaine addict," Rick says. "A hard-core crack cocaine addict." Rick says he got hooked on the drug after reporting on narcotics busts. "I tried it, and the next day I was on the same streets [as the raid], buying it myself, and I was an addict from then on," he says.
Rick describes himself as having been a "functional addict," doing drugs mostly at night. He says he loathed himself for this double life—reporting on crack house busts while he was doing the drug himself. "I felt like a horrible hypocrite throughout that time. It was hard to live with, but that also fed into the addiction," he says.
At an anti-drug event in Houston, Rick was offered the interview of a lifetime—President George H.W. Bush. But, what should have been a career high became a personal low point. "I had been smoking crack an hour beforehand, so I was high when I interviewed the president," he says.
Despite his guilt and the destruction of his family life, Rick continued his downward spiral. "It is a psychological addiction," he says. "And I honestly can't tell you why I couldn't stop." Rick says, finally, after 10 years—and spending nearly $250,000 on crack—he kicked the habit. He says he has been clean for nearly eight years.