Examining Sober House With Dr. Drew – Episode 6


Dr. Drew’s weekly commentary on Sober House continues! Below, the doctor talks about why being labeled a “has-been” can effect celebrities so profoundly, visiting the scene of Rodney’s police beating and the grim outlook on Seth’s future.

Andy says that Seth’s abuse made him realize how his own substance abuse affects others. This seems like a lesson that these people never stop learning.

Addicts are notoriously selfish and self-preoccupied. Something obvious like, hey, do you realize you’re hurting somebody? Only comes through when they themselves are sober and beginning to feel what it feels like when someone else with addiction affects them. Watching it affect other people gets through to them a little bit, but when they start to feel bad, they’re like, “Oh my God! It does affect other people.” That’s part of the defect of addiction: from the using and whatever traumas they’ve sometimes survived in childhood, they have a real empathy deficiency. They really don’t feel what other people are complaining about as the result of their addiction.

This may seem obvious, but that’s part of the strength of group therapy, right?

Well, it depends what stage of recovery. With the group, more often than not, you’re taking multiple people and creating consensus against one. Addicts split people one from another as a means of getting their way. When they see a unified front of solid opinion, they’re able to capitulate a little bit. The group functions as a source of opinion. Also, it allows them to hear the common stories that reproduce repeatedly. It breaks down denial more than anything.

Being called a “has-been” affects Seth profoundly, and I wonder if you could comment more on that since you’ve studied celebrities and their narcissism so extensively.

When people talk about celebrities having a stressful life, they don’t. That’s why people would kill to be a celebrity. It’s better to be a celebrity. It’s less stressful. You get things paid for, you make money, people like you, you get good seats at restaurants. What is stressful is the possibility of using the celebrity status. When you’re not clear about your worth or why you’re a celebrity, any little attack can be shattering. That’s particularly when someone does it like David, who was supposed to be on Seth’s side and helping him professionally. To have him undermine Seth like that…look, addicts look for any reason to go use. Here’s a good one!

You tell the group that they have to detach from Seth’s Internet-broadcast relapse drama and focus on their own recovery. Are addicts easily distracted?

They love drama. Drama gives them the same high as drugs. So they really get into the crazy drama around them. Some of it’s the high of the drama, but another part is the avoidance of the pain that comes from examining their own situation. Neither of which are good for their recovery. They also have to come to terms with the reality of addiction: it’s a deadly disease that affects them and people around them. I’m not telling them to be selfish, I’m telling them to focus on their own material.

During group, Bob refers to dying as a career choice during group, and I wondered what you thought of that? Do you agree? Was Bob being overly cynical?

I think he was being ironic. Bob and I have had many conversations about this: so many legendary performers died of addiction, flat out. When people talk about Heath Ledger, he didn’t die from confusing himself as the Joker. He died of addiction. People have a way of glamorizing that or downplaying the disease, but no: it’s addiction.

You visit the site of Rodney’s beating this episode. What was that experience like?

Amazing. Every time I discuss it with him, I’m shaken to my core. I have a certain amount of denial about it, it’s like I can’t believe it. To ride with him and retrace the steps and to hear moment-by-moment what he went through, I don’t have words strong enough to tell you how uncomfortable and…spooky’s not the right word. It’s unbelievable, really. The other unbelievable thing is that we were standing there looking at that building with the crazy roof and he said, “This didn’t used to be here. You used to be able to see the lake.” He was trying to run to the lake that night. We go inside and it’s the L.A. County Children’s Museum. They built the L.A. County Children’s Museum on the site of the beating! That’s crazy. We talked to the directors and they were like, “Yeah, we heard that happened somewhere around here.” It happened eight feet from there!

Rodney seems relatively well-adjusted.

He got a little jacked-up being there. He had some post-traumatic stress symptoms. He was getting a little anxious, his speech was getting pressured. I’m sure if I measured his blood pressure and pulse, it would have been way up. But he is amazingly forgiving about the entire experience. You know, his peers often say, they picked on the teddy bear. Why this guy?

Finally, Seth ends up at the Pasadena Recovery Center and you say that you’re convinced that he’s going to die of addiction.

Yeah. I still am. He’s really trying to decide between strippers and ecstasy and survival. Recovery. He can’t quite choose.

Out of everyone, he seems the most severe.

He is, but they’re all pretty bad. He has progressed in front of out eyes, which is probably why you have that reaction. He’s gotten worse when everyone else has kind of gotten better. In his progression, he’s unwilling to let us help him. All we can do is stand by. We love him, we make ourselves available to him, we do our damnedest but…boy oh boy.

Check out what Jennifer had to say about this week’s episode here.

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  1. Ronna says:

    I would just like to say that Rodney King is truly an amazing person. I was so touched by his heartfelt forgiveness. To be able to forgive is what we have been called to do since the very teachings and examples of our Lord, Jesus. Rodney is most definitely in the midst of God’s calling. He is richly blessed with what we all should be doing, especially in this day and age. If everyone lived by his example, what a wonderful world we would live in. Rodney, you are living His example. To forgive and love above all, is what I believe this troubled world needs. You are an inspirational example of this. God Bless you Rodney, don’t lose sight of this goodness, the rewards will most certainly be bestowed upon you.

  2. RCA says:

    Rodney, I am so happy for you. From viewing the now infamous beating video unfortunatly I had a very different impression of you, and I am very happy to say that I was wrong. Rodney you are the standout person of the show. Right from the beginning of this show as well as the last you have out classed the whole group and have demonstrated that you are a first rate man. I wish you the very best

  3. Elle says:

    what a beautiful thing he did! i am so blessed to hear of his message of peace and forgiveness – that is a sign of being a mature man of God – please keep reading the scripture and stay in prayer as you fight this awful addiction – look for a Celebrate Recovery meeting in your area and you will find love and support – thank-you for your testimony of peace brother Rodney!

  4. Chris Cerino says:

    You are such an inspiration, to be able to forgive those HORRIBLE men who changed your life. I believe in forgivness, it only will make you stronger.
    I know you are on the right track with your sobrity, take it one day at a time. Stay strong.


  5. Carolina says:

    i am very pleased to see the progress that rodney has done. if he didn’t do this show, america would have never met such a well mannered person in the history of reality tv. god bless you rodney and the rest of your cast.

  6. Carolina says:

    RODENY***** you have showed the rest of america the power of forgiveness. not only did you make history books with your situation but also made reality t.v. history. i am so very proud of you that i wish there was more people like you around me. god has granted you the serenity to change things that you can. Enjoy it!!!
    now i will always remember you as a person with a big heart. always forgive but never forget.

  7. bebe says:

    I am amazed at what Rodney did. I feel there are many people who have experienced violence who will be able to take some hope from his example.

    Good luck, Rodney. I can see the type of life you are reaching with with your fiancee, your daughters, and other family and friends. I hope all of you will be happy.

    I am glad Dr. Drew went with him to help document this event. Many people would never imagine this could happen if we had not seen it… the original problems, the things that happened at that time, the recovery, and forgiveness.

    I also liked that Rodney remembered the people who died in the riots. I hope through Rodney’s example, we as a nation can come together for a better future.

  8. J Miracle says:


    I just wanted to say that Dr. Drew was right! You are an inspriration to many. I ask that you forgive me for judging you as so many of us did back then. Absolutely no one deserves what you have been through and for you to stand up like a man and say I forgive you! Wow! Your heartfelt forgivness was nothing short of amazing. I was blessed just to watch the show. I know I was put there for a reason, just as you were that day. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Wishing You All The Best,

    Jason in Tampa

  9. lori says:

    I wonder about sober house success rate because it seems the people involved are now addicted to each other and possibly the drama of each relapse like who’s next. Is it my turn? should i drink or drug this time for the show? and they all seem so close like andy said if this is a has been i’ll take it. Will there be a success story? My vote is for Rodney what a beautiful soul, and a soft but strong presence in a crazy, but loving environment. My best wishes to everyone who has ever suffered with the disease of addiction or any sickness. peace of christ,

  10. patti s says:

    rodney is an amazing person and has really showed his commitment and his character in these shows. his daughters must be so proud, and i want him to know that many of us out here are supporting him and praying for his recovery every day. keep up the great work – you are a great person and i thank you for sharing your story with the world!

  11. Amanda says:

    The only comment Dr Drew makes that I wiah he would have exspanded on so the people who are trying to understand what this addiction is is w hen he said”look, addicts look for any reason to go use.” It sounds like every addict no matter how long they have beenclean or sober will look for “ANY” reson to use. That is very true for some addicts and addicts in certain level of recovery, esecially newly sober addicts. However speaking from my own battle with addiction I have now have more then 18 months clean and I don’t feel I look for “ANY” reason to use infact for me it’s quite the opposite. I’m not saying I never have cravings I do. And when I was newly clean I would have looked for any reason to use. I just wish Dr. Drew would have exspanded a little more on that statement because for someone who isn;t familiar with addiction it could be miss leading. Either way I thing you are Awsome for all you do Dr. Drew and I wish there were more people like you. I pray that all of them get to the place where they are always looking for that escape. Even more I pray for those like Seth who need help the most. God Bless

  12. Peace Love says:

    Rodney our special thought and prayers go out to you…Your courage, faith and truthfulness are a tribute to your character.
    Peace, Wellness to You

  13. jospyder says:

    May we all learn something from Rodney King’s desire to forgive. I personally have problems forgiving the murderers of my nephew but maybe with time I can grow and get to that point. Rodney I know you are an inspiration to many people that are watching this show. Young, Old, White, Black, HUMAN. Thanks and good luck.

  14. AMAZED says:

    I am so impressed that Rodney can forgive as he did on the show, and yes he will go down in history but it will show how the strong survive. I root for you every time I watch the show, you amaze me with your strength.

  15. Kemala says:

    I, too am in recovery. I give props to RK for his humble efforts. I watch this show every time I am home on pass(from treatment) and the one thing I have noticed is the determination I see in RK’s eyes. It is so evident. I can honestly say that I know where the residents of the Sober House battles lye. I lift each one up in prayer. I am at a long term (9 mo) program. It is very hard. I cannot imagine living my recovery on national television. The shear ugliness of my past for all to see. However, I admit I would go to any length to stay clean and sober just as you all have. God Bless each of you.

  16. Lisa says:

    This post is for Rodney. Your ability to forgive is truly humbling. Thank you for showing us publicly your strength, weakness, courage, fear and profound love for yourself, your family and now for these police officers. I have thought of you often since that episode and watched with tears in my eyes as you rose like a phoenix out of the ashes. I know you have a long road ahead but no doubt, by opening your heart to forgiveness will liberate you from many bumps that might have otherwise been in that road. We are all praying for you, cheering for you and are learning valuable lessons from you. I’m sure this “fame” isn’t what you planned or would ever want but none-the-less, you are loved and admired!

  17. Terry says:

    Good Luck Rodney, you seem to be one of the only ones busting your )*`($$@!!_`#_$` to stay sober. You’re not tempting yourself with the nightlife.

  18. Michelle says:

    Rodney, I am now watching you in your quest to make amends and give forgiveness to the men who attacked you.
    I look at you somewhat as my guide on how to live my life and give forgiveness to those who have also impacted my life in a negative way. God bless you and may your journey to sobriety be as successful forever as it appears right now. You are not the person that was portrayed on the news. You are a human being and a good one at that. Take care and continue to do good for your family.

  19. atriciaanderson says:

    I am a recovering addict and alcoholic with almost 8. yrs of recovery,andI was so inspired by Rodney Kings decision to let go of his resentments, which is not an easy thing to do. resentments are the #1 reasons many people relapse.. I have been struggling with this lately, andI saw through Rodney it really only hurts me more.
    Also, there is so much drama concerning Seth, so rather than look at their own sobriety, they, everyone excluding Rodney, spend more time in the chaos than in the solution.
    Also, what is with Amber not being in group. That girl needs to stay home and do some step work, and get a sponsor instead of going to clubs
    I loved Celebrity Rehab better than this, no one pays any consequenses, and even then,real rehab would have kicked their ))+#^(__&$#~@^% es out.You are not doing them anyfavors by not sticking by the rules, but then u wouldnt have anyone on the show.

  20. Staci Wilson says:

    I am also a recovering addict my ten year anniversary is coming up on March 8. I remember when all this happened with Rodney I lived in Southern California all my life. It makes me so sad…The reason I got sober something so tragic happened to me in my life also I had gasoline poured on me and lit on fire I was burnt over 23 percent of my body. That’s what it took for me to finally get clean. Getting set on fire wasn’t my fault but being a drug addict was. Hang in there and your in my prayers. I’m not sure if this is even going to help you but I hope maybe it does. Not I live out of California away from all my past I’m a happy and proud mother of 5 and happily married. Good luck Rodney…Please email me if you would like. Stay Sober!!

  21. jennifer says:

    Dr. Drew
    will you please explain to me your reasoning in having someone with only 2 years sobriety running a sober living house? I have been wondering for awhile, but the 6th episode really hit me.I my self have 13 years recovery,and have worked any and all aspects of life into my step work…including my sex life and the addiction, which comes before any substance abuse usually, of drama… I have sponsered many, many addicts. Please allow me to share the comments I made on Jennifers page. I hope you are willing to look at this choice you have made, these people need a strong person running this house.I wont even bother addressing all of the other questions alot of us have because if you read these postings, all of them, I thing you will find alot of wisdom out here. I look forward to some sort of response from you. Thank you in advance for your time.

    I have 13 yrs sobriety. I am blown away that you are running this house. You TOTALLY gave into the drama that Seth was creating! It was more like watching people (you) in “sodryety”. Step one, “became willing to admit that we were powerless over our addictions”…hello, are you not powerless over Seth? A perfect opportunity to discuss Step one with the house mates, and tie into their recovery the power of not giving in to an addicts drama, hence maybe learning not to create drama in thier own lives, which for the time being is the number one reason alot of addicts relapse! Do you not see that you all are powerless over other peoples drama? You all were not sober that night…you were “dry” addicts,you all were in TOTAL addiction mode! Seth needs to figure out for himself that he is powerless over his own addictions…obviously he has not gotten that yet. I guess none of you have. As long as he has you allowing the sobriety of all involved to go by the wayside,so you can chase him and make him feel special you are only hurting him and everyone involved.Trust me Seth knows you all love him. And the best way to show him is to be there, healthy and having a new understanding of how to say sober in EVERY sense when HE decides to come back. Anything else falls short and is just enabling him, and eachother for that matter. He has to hit his bottom, that just may be death,something else you should have discused with everyone that night, instead of being glued to the phone and the computer, and all you did that night was enable him and everyone else in the house to feel that they are what they call “terminally unique”.That way of thinking is STINKING!! Some have to die out there so the rest of us can get it!!! Seth has to want to recover, that means he has to come to you…you cannot chase the addict around to “help” him…he is the one that must stop running and seek help.If, if he had called that night and ASKED then you and you alone could have gone to him. What you should have done is had all of your “children” in a manditory inproptu meeting to discuss everyones feelings,to discuss the above things I have said, read from your big books, and talk about how best to say sober from drama which is a number one addiction of addicts. But you should know that Jennifer. Instead you “led”and “let”them” run with all the crap Seth was throwing out. All of you freaking out and calling and watching and waiting…is that not exactally what we come through the doors into sobriety to learn to deal with in a healthy manner? The opportunity you had that night with the house was HUGE, and you missed it. What you allowed to happen that night was not healthy in any way shape or form. You should not be the house mom, you are to new in your own recovery. Dr. Drew should know better…kind of makes me wonder about him.

  22. allee says:

    hi peeps. just wanted to comment on the episode where rodney forgives the cops who did him soo wrong, you are a very sweet man rodney and thank you for sharing that with us,we can all learn from you, stay blessed.. allee

  23. Karl says:

    I have to just say, I think it is quite possible that I have more respect for Rodney King than just about any human being I have ever seen. For all his self-doubt, he has a humble dignity and strength of character about him that is overwhelming to see. That is the type of guy I think anyone would want to give their left arm to help in times of need. But not out of pity. He is so far and away above pity it’s amazing. I’m talking about real respect. There are not many people in this world I admire anymore. But out of those I do, Rodney is at the top of the list.

    Rodney, you’re a better man than I am.

  24. Nikki says:


  25. Eileen says:

    You truely deserve all the blessings one could bestow on you. You have shown what great dignity lies behind even the most battered soul. I hope you continue to share that beautiful smile and light the way for others who feel lost. Thank you for being such an ispiration of strength.

  26. sandym says:

    Dr Drew. Why don’t we see the celebrities going to AA. Instead of going out to clubs and such on Saturday nights wouldn’t it be safer to go to AA? Are they “unique” to sobriety and does it help them not to go to AA??

  27. cindeer says:

    I lost the thread where the person Bob gave an open message to Dr. Drew to quit doing this garbage, and I wish I could find him again. Everyone was agreeing on how Sober House is bull and people wouldn’t get away with this in the real world at least not in the half way houses I have been with. Now to read that the house mother is putting on a one-woman show with the help of Andy (#@_`($^&)$%)%!( just goes to show how people are using this show to further their careers. How much do the people get paid Dr. Drew, I thought the amount was $86,000 at least that is the amount I thought I heard you say on Conan O’Brian and on Tom Green’s website show. How sickening, nothing is sacred, not even rehab with you Dr. Drew you are making us addicts look like fools and that at the slightest provocation we will run off and use and then after a day of detox be let right back into a half way house. I saw the episode where Jen was telling Andy to come talk to her in the hot tub, I think it was, she didn’t invite anyone else, I guess she was too busy trying to set up a gig. You failed miserably and are making fun of addicts whether you admit it or not. Money talks and you should let everyone know at the beginning of the show that these people are being paid so people know they are not there just for the good of there own recovery, money is a big motivator. Why not use normal people if you are going to pay them, not people who want to further their careers. I respected you once, you even call down Dr. Phil for what he does, you should have a good look in the mirror yourself Dr. Drew.

    Rodney King is the only good thing in this show, too bad he doesn’t get much air time, I guess he isn’t a media pig like the others.

  28. faith says:

    I didn’t get to do traditional rehab or be in a sober house, so I am enjoying watching everyone at the sober house. I never miss a broadcast. I have 6 years sober as of March 25. And I have learned a lot from the participants and the events that they have living there. I hope that they will make the right choices for themselves.
    I hope there will be a celebrity rehab 3 and a sober house 2.

  29. Chris says:

    Why Rodney King? He is neither a celebrity
    or any sort of person to admire. As I recall he was wacked out on drugs, involved in a police chase and beaten for attempting to fight off police. Don’t get me wrong I love the show and have been in recovery for 3 years. But the choice to have this man on the show is just in poor taste.

  30. Lynn says:

    This is for you Rodney. When you went back to the place of the abuse with flowers, bible and letter in hand, I was extremely moved by your forgiveness and heartfelt letter. I too am a recovering alcoholic and although my abuses don’t come anywhere close to what happened to you, the resulting alcoholism and the ongoing process of recovery are much the same.
    The emotions that you brought out in me when I watched that episode, on a Saturday morning, brought about an intense, much needed, soul searching cry which had been years in the making. A breakthrough that came when you said that you could only pray for those who abused you and let the anger go. You made me realize that we all have to get rid of the anger towards those who abused us as their own problems have caused their abusive ways and we can’t change that. Without dealing with the anger, so we only continue to live with that very negative emotion that is detrimental to ourselves and our recovery. We both know that we will never forget but you have made me realize that we have have to forgive to move forward.
    Thank you Rodney!
    You are my idea of a real hero, both in the way you are make huge steps with your own recovery while helping out a bit in mine.
    I wish you all the best!

  31. Catherine says:

    I think Rodney is ONE of the only “seriously interested in sobriety” on the show. Nikki as well, but he sincerely seems tired of being sick and tired, which from experience is what it finally takes at some point. I feel for Seth, I just don’t think he is ready and he knows he still has some high’s left. The scary part is that he knows there is consequences for each one coming and as addicts you can’t stop it, no matter how much you would like to “until the time comes”.

  32. soulrebel says:

    I find strength in the Soberhouse show, bec ouse if your not an addict of some form of substance or alchohol you have no !`&&^@*)#(~+*~# in clue what its like too work so hard at having a good clean life.And then you spend your whole paychek on Dope!!Well i do all too well.I am 1 day clean hoping many more too come? time will tell it never lies…

  33. mercedes says:

    Rodney is my favorite person on the show. He shows true integrity and is completely admirable. As a recovering extreme alcoholic myself(having been taken to the ER a few times),I understand what it’s like to try and beat this disease. What has helped me was a book called ‘The Power of Now’ by Echart Tolle. Growing up in an extremely religious household (and rebelling aftwerwards), this book has really helped to understand and appreciate the Bible. I’d recoment it to anyone who feels powerless, in despair and hopelessness.
    THANK YOU RODNEY for your presence on the show!!
    p.s. I just saw where you went to your home and couldn’t believe the mess. I live in a beatufull house on the lake and when I got sober, I couldn’t believe the clutter and mess my alcoholism had created.

  34. mercedes says:

    Rodney, you TOTALLY without a doubt deserved your house remodeling! I am so happy for you, sounds like you’ve been truly blessed…

  35. Ranae says:

    Rodney I think you’ve done an amazing job of engaging in the sobriety process……Your by far my favorite person on the show……Congratulations on the re-model of your house……I wish you continued sobriety and happiness!!

  36. Roxane.p says:

    to Rodney,
    your an amazing person. when you got beat by those white police, well it made me ashamed to be white!!!
    and then when they got away with what they did to you made me sick to my stomach!! just know that they will have to answer to god for what they did to you!! keep your head high and love yourself!!! much respect and love to you Rodney, hope your life is all good from here on out!! thank you for sharing a little bit of your life with us…
    your fan Roxane form California

  37. JUSTINE says:


  38. mike says:

    I would love to watch a show that just follows Steven Adler around!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Elaine says:

    This episode really made me cry. I will not forget the day that Rodney King was beaten by those police officers. It was, by far, one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen on TV, with the exception of the 911 bombings in New York. When the officers were acquitted back in 92, I absolutely could not believe it. I am so thankful that someone recorded the incident, thus alerting the press and law enforcement agencies that this poor man was unjustly abused. God Bless you Rodney King. I wish you the best. Stay strong.

  40. Craig Range says:

    My name is Craig Range…. I am a singer/songwriter. My song RODNEY, off my new cd VISUALIZE promotes PEACE and denotes RACISM. The chorus rings “CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?”… I think it would be perfect for SOBER HOUSE because Rodney is on the show. Anyone can hear this song and my whole cd VISUALIZE on http://www.CraigRange.com
    Take a listen.


  41. vicky says:

    I was a faithful fan of Celebrity Rehab 2 & Sober House.
    Rodney, I am so sorry for what happened to you. I cried my eyes out when you told your story to Dr. Drew. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. You deserve happiness and I believe you are determine to find it with your family. You’re going to make it.

    Seth, Andy, Nikki, Mary, Amber & Steven – I will miss seeing you all every Thursday evening. I have people with addictions in my family. I was able to avoid temptations so I never could fully understand why people I loved would choose their addictions over the people who loved them. You all opened my eyes to the difficulties an adict faces everyday. I hope seeing your struggles will help me to understand the struggles these people in my family face. It’s a work in progress for me but you all have opened up my eyes. thanks for sharing. I wish you all the best!!! take care & all of you please call Andy!! Love to all. :)

  42. liz says:

    this show rocks:) i hope all is great with the cast mates. hopefully they’re can be somethingthat can get them all back together… miss them all and my pryers are with them and their families.
    peace and love.