Dr Drew – Ringmaster in the Circus of the Damned?



I don’t know about calling Dr Drew “Ring Master in the Circus of the Damned.” But I do know Celebrity Rehab is not Treatment. It’s reality TV. As a society we seem to be obsessed with celebrities these days. I’m not sure why? Maybe it’s because something is missing in our own lives. Maybe it’s a fantasy? Or maybe its just easier to live vicariously through others. And its not as if celebrities are doing anything we’re not.

Addiction effects every walk of life. Glamorizing rehab is just wrong. There is nothing glamorous about it. As a matter of fact, its tragic. I wish you could come to work with me. I work in a treatment center. Believe me when I say it doesn’t look anything like what you see on TV. There are no patients lounging by the pool. There’s no pool. You won’t find patients lounging anywhere. They are far to busy learning the necessary coping skills to keep them from going out and using again. And if they’re not – eventually they need to go.

Attitudes are contagious and you never want to give the impression you’re at a spa. The truth is, if you’re in rehab you’re in ICU. Addiction is not only progressive, its terminal. And it’s’ not just the patients either. if you don’t give the family system support and therapy it doesn’t work. Inpatient treatment without family programs and long term follow up after care is just, well….. unfinished. The outcome is bleak.

I really can’t imagine how difficult it must be trying to get well if you’re a celebrity. Paparazzi waiting to pounce on every corner. People getting paid to clean up your messes. But then again, its not only celebrities that have people cleaning up messes, anyone suffering from addiction has someone who will do this.

I do hope if Dr Drew is serious about helping people become well he change his tactics. I must admit I watched many episodes, tearing my hair out and ranting at the screen. It was frustrating to watch his patients so obviously run the center. One thing I know for sure, once you let addiction run the show, you’ve lost the show.

Whether you’re a celebrity, or an ordinary Joe or Joanne, addiction doesn’t decipher. It’s all the same  Maybe we could do a show about training the trainer, wouldn’t that be something to see. We do physician training programs for just this reason. Addiction is a deadly business. And we’ve lost enough good folk to it. I find it disturbing to think we might lose anymore.

The next time you find yourself tuning in, look beyond the celebrity status. Look beyond the chaos and dilemma, see the illness. Look, really look. Celebrity or not, these folks are sick and without proper treatment they can die. Whether Dr Drew can be called a ringmaster, I’ll leave that up to you. But its a dangerous business putting rehab and the lives of the people being treated, on a TV show. It makes a mockery out of a situation I find no humor in.

If you still think rehab is trendy talk to the families of someone suffering from this. Believe me, they aren’t laughing. The good news in all of this is, it’s bringing about discussion. People are curious. If you, or someone you love is suffering from the illness of addiction help is available. It’s as close as a phone call. And if you really want to become well?

I’d do it off camera.


(c) 2014 Jagged Little Edges All Rights Reserved

1 comment

  1. Well said. There is no glamour in addiction or in the lives of people fighting it. What you see on Dr. Drew and movies like 28 Days is a joke!!! Keep writing the truth. I for one, love to hear it.

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