Each week on Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who had battled demons on her own, and she offered up her insight and some behind-the-scenes details about The three new additions to the cast and Deanna’s 911 health scare.
This week we met three new patients, and I’d like to get your first impressions of all of them, so why don’t we start with Cinnamon, a.k.a. Jasmen.
Let me start by saying this: I think the whole dynamic of this new crew is that there’s a lot of disassociation, a lot of disconnect with what their true reality is. That’s how they survive and that’s their coping mechanism. So you see someone like Jasmen, and when she walks in she’s calling herself Cinnamon. And when she came in she was really funny. And that’s a mechanism for her, to be funny and lighthearted, but she says it like it is and I was thinking “Oh, God, this girl is gonna take me down.” The thing with Jasmen, is that how she’s been able to cope. And what you see from her now is not really what you’re going to see later on down the road. She has a trust issue and I immediately spotted it and she and I clicked right away, I was fortunate enough to gain some respect from her, and I’m honored to say her trust factor with me was high. But you will definitely see a lot unravel with her. She’s not a bad person, but she’s had to cope with a lot to survive. She’s a very, very fragile patient.
Heather also is repressing a lot of issues herself and using the humor and smiling to cope with her past.
Yeah, I think Heather’s an interesting one. I felt like Heather — she was really sick and she had gone into treatment a couple days before joining us and when she came in, she had a lot of disassociation and with her long-term using, that’s her coping mechanism and it was much harder to bring her out and get all that stuff through. I think because she has been suppressed for so, so long. Sometimes you either go crazy and get loud when you’re upset, or sometimes you go into that smile and numbness, and that’s just as intense but that’s where she was. There was a lot lot lot LOT of stuff going on with Heather, and not just what happened to her as a teenager, it’s stuff that stems from childhood as well, and with Heather, she just presents herself differently.
And then there’s Drewbee. Did you guys call him Drew or Drewbee?
Well, okay, back to Jasmen for a second, she came in as Cinnamon and I finally asked her “What’s your real name?” even though I already knew it, but she told me it was Jasmen, and I was like, “Great, okay, Jasmen,” and she was like “NO one ever calls me Jasmen!” and I was like “Really, Jasmen?” I think it’s important to learn to identify to the real you. It’s really important to identify to your real name because you can create different characters.
Now, with Drew, he comes in as Drewbee and when he walked in…it was like, oh, God, this is going to be the longest night of my life. I knew, first of all, that he was loaded, and it was a shock because everyone else had already started the detox process, and he comes in loud and with a big personality, he has a lot of issues. It was interesting to watch him unfold and unwind. I was there calming the rest of the patients down, Eric was like “Jenn! What’s going on I don’t like him!” and I was like, you guys, you came in looking like that but just a little different. I just was trying to make everyone accept him. But when it came time for him to go to bed, he came running down the hall screaming to me “They’re out there!” and he could hear and see things, and I have been there before myself with hallucinations, I understood his withdrawal. I had to sit with him and finally after a few hours it all calmed down. That’s something you guys didn’t get to see.
Eric definitely had a problem with Drewbee at first and complained that he came in acting like a celebrity, is that because he was still under the influence, or do you think he was trying to work it for the cameras in order to get noticed?
I understand what you’re saying and I don’t think he came in as a character to be noticed, he just came in because that’s who he is. You can tell in the film that was shot months prior with his father, he’s off his rocker. You will see more of his behavior unfold.
With Deanna and the 911 call, I was wondering if you thought that her symptoms were typical withdrawal symptoms or if she was overreacting, or if you really were concerned that she was having a heart attack?
She had been complaining all day, and in fact her symptoms had gone on for a few days, and that night she had been panicking and shaking really badly. I kept checking her blood pressure and I gave her her medication and nothing would calm her down and her heart rate kept going faster and faster. She kept complaining about her heart and that was my concern, she was breathing heavily and finally she was like “Oh my God, it felt like my heart stopped,” and when someone says these things, you can’t play with that. It was definitely scary for her in that moment.