Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew is back for a fifth season, and we’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk about the show with Dr. Drew and some of the other staff at the Pasadena Recovery Center to get an inside look at the rehabilitation process. This week, we spoke with Dr. Drew and Jenn Gimenez and Dr. John Sharp about the addition of Jessica “Sugar” Kiper to the show and the surprisingly touching results of equine therapy.
First up, Dr. Drew…
Last week we talked about Bai Ling and what caused her to get up on the roof. Do you ever assume anybody is exaggerating their symptoms or their behavior because there are cameras there?
You can tell when people are posturing for the camera but I don’t think anybody’s ever exaggerated for the camera. This is just something that people do in treatment, there’s nothing at all unusual about it, this is all just standard stuff. If somebody were to do something completely out of character for us to see in treatment, well…it’s never happened. But by the way, when Bai Ling finally took her medication she got a LOT better.
One of the more touching scenes to me was the equine therapy scene, especially the part with Sean Young, she seemed truly moved my her experience there with the horses.
Sean did a lot of work. She really, really applied herself to treatment.
At one point Sean says she feels like a loser in treatment, ashamed of her addiction—
She fluctuates between that and immense grandiosity, but she is an extremely bright, capable woman, she’s a substantial person she is neither worthy of shame nor worthy of immense grandiosity, she’s much more than that, so she’s developing a much more stable and realistic self-image of someone who’s got more than she knew she had. And the degree to which she’s allowed her relationship with her husband to undermine everything. She’s someone who’s got more than she knew she had, she’s really substantial.
When we spoke to Jenn Gimenez, our first thought was about Bai Ling’s resistance to taking prescribed drugs. Bai was upset at having to take one drug while trying to get off another, so asked Jenn if that’s a common reaction.
Jenn Gimenez: People do get scared that they are gonna get hooked on meds. Like all of a sudden they think that they need to rely on something else to keep them going. A lot of times people get really upset about the fact they are diagnosed some other things, other than drugs and alcohol. She is the type of patient that came into this facility needing medication in order to get her to start the process of recovery. What she was taking was not a addictive medication, it was only to make her center herself so she could start the process of recovery and she could start dealing with her serious issues.
During this episode, Amy states that she feels like this facility is a prison, which obviously is a little bit of a stretch and everybody sort of takes offense to that, what do you think of her saying that?
I think Amy’s statement was very fictional in the fact that I know how they were treated and they were treated very well. You’re getting care from like, the A-list doctors of all time. And people are, we are literally at their beck and call. This is a process where you start to find yourself and find your issues, and she is still in such denial that she doesn’t want to address anything about herself and she’s like continued to bash the outside stuff. Now its jail, now it’s the food, and the way the people are treated there is bad. Before that it was the cameras. I mean, it’s always something.
I have to admit I was skeptical about the equine therapy, like what is this horse business? And then you see it and they completely bond with the animal they really let their emotions come through.
They did!There is something pure about that. The thing about this animal is it’s so nurturing, it’s so healing, it’s so pure. I know that it’s very therapeutic and it really does work, believe it or not.
And it works well for Jessica Kiper, who enters the facility in this episode. She comes in with a marijuana addiction, which I think is hard for some people to wrap their head around because people brush it off or don’t think it’s addictive.
Yeah, marijuana is a drug just like pills are, just like shooting up is, you can abuse it and it is a drug, period. People tend to forget that. Just like saying “Oh, I just drink on the weekends,” but that person can still be a alcoholic. It’s about the spiritual matter and how you feel. There’s not a day that she hasn’t drank or smoked marijuana. Unfortunately society accepts that more, like it’s no big deal, but it’s addicting. I just think that it’s amazing that someone like Jessica comes on the show and you can see, she is an all-American girl that smokes a little to much weed actually really does have a problem, ’cause it’s more than just that.
There’s also a lot of tension this week with Steven and Amy, when Steven calls out Amy’s denial as interfering with his own treatment.
Steven…it’s not his first rodeo and he knows the process and at this point you’ve seen the willingness of Steven, and…hearing someone constantly whine whine whine… When you’re in the group itself it does effect it, but personally, Steven is not focusing on himself and what he can do. What he is hopefully saying to himself is “This isn’t about anyone else, and yes this girl does irk me, but I’m here to get better for me.”
Does the rest of the group commiserate or discuss what’s going on? Is that a high school question to ask, whether they are talking about each other and gossiping?
Yes, yes! Absolutely…again I keep saying they’re like kids. You’re talking about people acting like they are in junior high, high school, and you know they are forming groups and all going “Oh my God can you believe…” At the end of the day we are like really…is that what you’re focusing on?
We also spoke with Dr. Sharp, one of the resident psychiatrists on staff to get some insight about Amy Fisher and Bai Ling’s behavior this week as well.
Last time, we spoke about Bai Ling on the roof. Is there a worry now that she’s out of treatment that when she watches the show back she’ll be embarrassed and that would be potentially dangerous to her, after making progress in treatment?
That’s a good question, and one we addressed in after-care with her, we started to talk about what it would be like when the show airs, what are your concerns? And Bai Ling said “I’m so worried that people will get the wrong idea about me,” and I tried to use a medical model and say, you know, you were kind of disturbed in a way that wasn’t your fault, you were feeling something you couldn’t understand and now you do and you were able to get treatment for that and you’re so much better. It’s not what you started with, it’s where you end up, and I think people will see how good it is that you were able to take care of yourself. It’s not that initial spectacle that she needs to worry about, but rather the outcome of her treatment.
Amy Fisher is so self-aware, and yet she won’t give in and admit her problems this week. Is she any less self-conscious new or willing to admit her problems?
She actually came out of treatment more self-conscious, more aware of the impact of her way of dress, of her actions, on how she’s being perceived. She is very proud today to have made the decision to give up adult films, which she felt she needed alcohol to self-medicate around. At first she knew that might be a problem but she tried to discount it, and she was minimizing her concerns, but as she got more sensitized, she found the power to say “This is not good for me, I don’t have to do this.”