Former TV weatherman turning tragedy into opportunity

Idaho StatesmanJanuary 15, 2011 

BOISE, Idaho -- Brad Lamm is on such a roll these days — working with Dr. Mehmet Oz, producing a show for Oprah’s OWN network and promoting a new book in a nationwide tour — it can be difficult to imagine what a terrible grip that alcohol and drugs have held on his life.

The details of the 44-year-old’s addictions make his current success and eight years of sobriety all the more amazing. Now he’s a board-registered interventionist, making a career of helping other people who are grappling with addictions.

“I used to have six to 12 drinks a day, usually vodka or wine,” said Lamm, referring specifically to the years when he was a TV weatherman at KBOI-Channel 2 in Boise from 1996 to 1999.

“After work, not before,” he said.

He used crystal meth less frequently in Boise than he had in New York City, in part because it wasn’t as available, but also because of his high-profile job.

“You don’t want to be the weatherman and be arrested for buying crystal ... but my drinking was off the charts,” Lamm said. He also feared the powerful nature of meth in a way that he didn’t fear other drugs he used, including cocaine, but that didn’t stop him from using.

Lamm’s drinking and drugging made getting to work by 3 a.m. all the more difficult. He paid a wake-up service to call him twice each morning.

“I had five alarm clocks,” he said, adding that he still didn’t always make it to work on time. But there were few people around at that hour to notice.

Lamm’s brother Scott, 47, a longtime Boise resident who travels a lot for work, said he wasn’t aware of the extent of his brother’s problem.

“It was one of those uncomfortable, unspoken, ‘Hey, if there’s anything I can do to help you let me know’ kinds of things,” Scott Lamm said. “I didn’t feel equipped to know what to do to help him.”

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