When Sean Fogler fell off the mountain, he hit every boulder and tree trunk on his tumble to the bottom.

One day he was a respected anesthesiologist, the next day he was in a prison jumpsuit battling drug addiction.

The Inquirer headline on July 21, 2016, read: "Phila. doctor charged with providing drugs to 'sugar baby.'"

Fogler, 49, traces his slow decline to 9/11, when he was working on Wall Street, taking a break from his medical education.

He worked four blocks from the World Trade Center. After the first building was hit, he and a coworker started to walk out of the chaos that was gripping Manhattan.

When the first building collapsed, everything got worse. "People were running and screaming in the street, and crap was falling from the skies. You can't see anything, being enveloped by this cloud and thinking, 'I'm dead,'" he says. "I think I did die that day, because nothing was the same after that."

At the time, he was living with his first wife in New Jersey, across the Hudson River from his office.

He began using drugs, and in less than a year he quit his job, ditched his wife, threw his belongings into a storage unit, and returned to medicine, completing a residency in anesthesiology at Hahnemann University Hospital in 2006. Not long after that, he married his current wife, now 40, a nurse. They have a 10-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son.

Even after starting his family, Fogler dabbled in drugs.

The trauma of 9/11 was like a disease, he says. He tried antidepressants, but they didn't work. Cocaine did. "Having a job and money allows you to dress it up and think everything is fine, and it's not," he says.

To outward appearances, he was successful, but his drug use was growing. "It would numb me out and keep me disconnected from life," he says, but the disconnection intensified his depression.

Still falling down the mountain, he hooked up on a sex website with a woman who was more drug-dependent than he. That bad choice was compounded when he wrote some prescriptions for her and her friends that later led to his arrest.

He hit bottom in 2014, and in 2015 he put himself into rehab that ran four months.

In one of life's little ironies, Fogler was arrested and prosecuted after he had gotten clean and become involved in a support group for physicians with addictions. "There is a lot of stigma around mental health and addiction issues" for the medical profession, he says.

He hopes that telling his story will be a cautionary tale for others.

We're talking in the living room of his condo on the edge of Chinatown that has a wraparound deck and a panorama of the Center City skyline. He's clean, sober, and grateful for a lot of things, including his wife's forgiveness.

In August, Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter gave Fogler five years' probation, and the doctor lost his license.

I couldn't get the judge on the phone, but the Pottstown Mercury reported that Carpenter explained his sentence by citing Fogler's "great efforts to dig out of a hole" and help others in addiction.

Dr. Frederic Baurer also gives credit to Fogler for helping others. Baurer, president of the Pennsylvania Society of Addiction Medicine, tells me Fogler spent a couple of years in weekly psychotherapy sessions conducted by the Pennsylvania Physicians Heath Program, which services physicians in recovery.

Fogler remains active in the recovery community, trying to help others get straight, and has coauthored a book about opioid addiction that he's hoping to get published.

Finally, with a few friends, he's launched a startup with an app that protects patients and doctors in the prescription-writing process. Such an app might have prevented him from writing illegal scrips.

Too late for Fogler, but, from the bottom of the mountain, he hopes it may protect another doctor.