Dr. Drew’s weekly commentary on Celebrity Rehab wraps up in this post. Below, the hardest-working doctor in showbiz gives his impressions of each of the celebs as they leave rehab, how they’ve held up since and what he thinks the future holds for them.
Before we get to the patients, can you explain the major differences between the program we saw these people in, and a sober-living program?
Sober-living doesn’t have doctors and nurses. It doesn’t have programs throughout the day. It’s just a living environment with a meeting in the morning and then a meeting in the evening. This is the same model of treatment we use in the psychiatric hospital, we just have more difficult or unstable patients in a hospital environment.
And how does out-patient treatment fit in?
Out-patient is the same model we use, but you go home at night. Out-patient is for patients who are highly motivated with, hopefully, no co-existing psychiatric problems, who are willing to go to meetings at night and maintain their own structure, rather than having it maintained for them. It’s really the rare patient that can do out-patient treatment and get well. Typically, we think of it as stepping down. It’s a lower intensity of services, as you transition back to your life.
And now, let’s get your final impressions of the celebs as they were leaving rehab. First up is Seth.
Seth is sick, he knows he needs structure, God bless him. Best of luck. Go with God.
I really thought she was going to have more trouble than she did. She was unraveling a bit there at the end. She was getting aggressive and irritable. She was demeaning the process a little bit, which wasn’t explicit, but I could feel it from her. But God bless her. She wanted to do it her way. In my mind, it was possible she’d be OK. If Seth said that to me: impossible! If Jessica said that: impossible! Brigitte: possible, but bad idea. My hopes for all of them who had a B- plan, was that they’d contact me if they got into trouble. That they’d stay in the game. I don’t care so much that they follow my directions now, I just don’t want them to spiral out with their disease and lose everything they’ve got.
Chyna makes a breakthrough, Chyna makes a commitment. I had a vivid moment with her off-camera. They served us an Italian dinner right after graduation. Some of the patients drove off and some stayed and ate. Chyna was one of the ones who stayed. I was standing next to her and she was in a more positive aspect than I’d ever seen in her entire treatment. She seemed very upbeat. I talked to her about seeing the doctor, she told me, “Absolutely, I need it.” We talked some more about her art therapy, which was so vivid, all these splintered aspects of herself that she couldn’t integrate into the whole. And then nothing. I hope she does end up doing what she said she would. She really needs it.
I believed him when he said he was serious. He had to be. I just wasn’t clear that it would be enough. I didn’t believe he was going to go to meetings. That was my greatest concern. He was saying things that were enough to keep someone sober – people get and stay sober by doing what he was saying that he was going to do. I didn’t believe it. But he did it. It’s really hard to do that: go to two meetings a day, get a sponsor, etc. People just don’t do that. But his feet are being held to the fire with the legal problems, and it helped motivate him.
There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that she was going to light up within a couple of days. I really felt sad about that, because I didn’t see how we could get her back in the game. She did some really good work, and a lot of it didn’t get on TV, and at times, I had real affection and respect for her. She’s a really substantial person. To see her just throw in the towel, it just made me feel awful.
Our relationship really fell apart at the end. She and I were at loggerhead. She was lying and doing all the addict stuff, and I was just too frustrated. I couldn’t get through it. At that point, you just throw up your hands and say, “Whatever.” At that late hour? You’re on your game till the end, and then all this nonsense? It was a horrible sign. She was throwing up crazy roadblocks, and saying some crazy stuff that you don’t see on TV. She was going, “You don’t understand this, but in TV…” And I was like, “Uh, I think I have some knowledge of television.” It was getting to a level that I couldn’t believe she brought me to. It was petty and ridiculous and I had it: if you don’t want to go, fine. Don’t go.
But say she really did have a contract that she needed to fulfill?
Oh, that happens all the time. Here’s what you do: you first go, “OK, horrible idea. You’re allowing unimportant issues to erode the priority of your health and survival. Bad sign. Bad thing. We’ll see you back in the hospital in time.” As soon as the sobriety becomes less of a priority, you’ve got problems. You’re gonna be in trouble. But I work with patients. I treat musicians all the time, and magically, they come into me a month before they go on tour. We get them hooked up with programs, we do the best we can. Every situation is different. But it’s always a struggle, and it’s rarely successful.
Mary was in and out and in and out and in and out. When I look at what she was doing now on TV, I didn’t know the half of it. I’m pissed: what do you mean you’re going to Mr. Chow after all this? Mary, what the hell? To see her make a commitment was a huge relief.
Jessica needed sober-living maybe more than anybody, but certainly as much as Seth. Those two were our hardest core drug addicts, and they need hardcore treatment over a long period of time. If they don’t go to treatment, they are in trouble.
So, three patients say yes to sober living, but four say no. That’s a bittersweet end, no?
Here’s what I love about the show: it just goes down. No one manipulated anything. When the reunion show came together, it was that same thing. “How are we gonna do this? How can we make this TV?” Finally the producers just said, “Let’s see what happened.” I thought, that’s exactly right. That’s exactly why this show has been successful: you just let it go. It is what it is. And that’s what treatment is. Not everybody goes to sober-living. Very few people go to sober-living. Sober-living is not the absolute answer for everybody. Brigitte is living-proof of that. It’s just generally the case: the longer the treatment, the more the structure, the longer it’s sustained, the better the outcome. For decades, people have gotten sober just showing up in meetings. Just putting their ass in a seat. That’s really all you have to do.
Learn more about the patients’ progress and where they are in their recoveries by tuning into the Celebrity Rehab Reunion next Thursday (March 13) at 10/9c.