Each week after 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 we got into Drewbee’s constantly changing decisions, and the effect of family on the patients.
I can’t imagine how freaked out everyone must have been to witness Ashleigh’s seizure, that’s a frightening thing to witness.
It is. There’s a part of you that feels so powerless as it’s happening, and medically when we started this season, Dr. Drew has evaluated all the patients and when he evaluated Ashleigh, he was like “She’s going to have a seizure within two weeks.” So thankfully we were prepared, but you never know when it’s going to hit, and there she is at the dog park and boom, it happened. I’m really glad Bob and Shelly were there, I mean, someone is always around the group, but she was in really good hands and they knew how to calm the situation, it was so intense for everyone. When they came back and they all are talking about what happened, I think it’s really good that they were communicative and able to express what they feel, and it was Michael who said “That was so scary, I was so scared,” and I said “Good, the disease should scare you once you start getting sober.” It’s a good, healthy scare, due to the fact that Ashleigh is okay. It was an eye-opener for them to see what drugs and alcohol do and what the consequences are.
Ashleigh opened up a bit more this week too about her sister’s abuse and how it affected her and it was the first time we really got some openness from her.
Deanna had been so brave in opening up and talking about her own rape and she was feeling the emotion and going through it, and Dr. Drew has said “This is a human experience” and it was something Ashleigh could relate to and it allowed her to no longer hide. You can only keep your secrets for so long, and it’s great that everyone else was kind of calling her out and Dr. Drew and Bob convinced her it was time. You can’t keep hiding. So they were able to call her out, but also let her know that she’s safe.
Bob brought up the fact that there are two types of addicts, those who were neglected or abused and those who were over-loved and smothered a little, like Mike and Drewbee, and those two were actually the addicts who were worse off and I think that surprised them.
I’m so glad that they’re showing that, because that’s talked about a lot in treatment, that overbearing love. Bob talked about the parents, I forget if it was Mike or Drewbee, that would give money to regulate how much they could score, and I say this all the time but it’s true, there really is such a thing as enabling someone into a grave. We, the people who work in treatment, know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, they just need to go through this pain first in order to get through this. But when they know they can go back to their homes and get away with things and manipulate the parents and family in their lives, the family is gonna roll with it. So after this process is done, if someone like Drewbee or Michael’s going to go home, they will die, because they’re going to follow their brain, which is telling them to use, more than they’re going to follow the logic part of it.
You’ve been close to Jasmen, so I’m wondering what you think of her session with her dad, they seem to have much more open communication than they did in the past.
They did, and you’re talking about a father whom she inherited the alcohol gene from, he was in the penitentiary, and the drugs and alcohol had led him to the bottom of the barrel, and there was a lot of pain shared between them. It was such a moment for both of them, they both love each other and that was the beginning of them starting to heal. I think it was so important for him to say that his actions speak louder than words. He knew that. Addicts and alcoholics say a lot of things, and we have great intentions but horrific execution when we’re using. So her father had let her down her whole life, but he was also so young when all this happened, as was her mother, remember that. I love how raw and honest he was and ready to say the truth.
When he sat with the rest of the group to talk about his experience, it made me realize how many of the patients have parents with an addiction and it was great to see him share his story with everyone.
Addicts and alcoholics really respect other people that come from the street or that have lived a hard life, and that guy was no joke, he was the real deal. So you’re looking at this man and you will hear his words because you know he’s wise. Again, addicts and alcoholics are very intelligent and they’re going to spot that he’s the real deal right away. So just walking in, he earns their respect.
Before Drewbee’s parents came in, he had pretty much decided to skip sober living and continued treatment, is that something that he had discussed with you or were you surprised by his decision?
I don’t think any of them were thinking about sober living, except for Eric, who arrived and said “I have packed up all my things and I’m not going back.” And the funny thing was that he’s the one who kept threatening to leave treatment. After the night of the alley, Drewbee started detaching and disconnecting and I think I mentioned that you’re going to start seeing him detach more and more, and I think that’s only due to the disease, all the injuries he’s had, and how his brain isn’t making any sense. He can’t think right now. He had already started withdrawing, if it wasn’t the cameras, it was something else, and he was always agitated. And with the family coming in, he started withdrawing even more. He had no desire to continue with anything, he was adamant that his disease has more sense and more strength than his recovery. But Dr. Drew said you can’t actually believe in what’s happening with him because his decisions will constantly change. It was heartbreaking to see his parents in there sobbing hysterically, his father could die from a broken heart at that point and knowing that their kid does not want to continue treatment, they know what that means.