Help Lindsay Lohan? Dr. Drew Says He'd Need a Year
By Nicki Gostin Posted Dec 7th 2010 10:01PM
As if Dr. Drew Pinsky isn't busy enough, next year the addiction specialist will add a HLN talk show to his busy schedule, which already includes 'Celebrity Rehab, 'Sober House' and, of course, his day job as a medical doctor in sunny Southern California. Alas, if only there was a term for being addicted to work! If there was, perhaps the doc-of-all trades could treat it. Pinsky dialed in with PopEater for a quick chat and discussed his plan for the new show, why he's "confused" when critics say he's exploiting star addicts and why he has little desire to treat "very difficult" Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen. Also, note to his teenage kids: Your dad will call the cops if you drink and drive. So, you know, don't.
Tell me about the talk show.
We're still in the stages of developing what the show is. I know what I want to do. My favorite thing to do is sit in Larry King or Joy Behar's seat and run those shows. It's a real challenge and it's fun and I'm interested in people and news of the day, and I'd like to have an opportunity to use my sensibilities and my knowledge base to sort of investigate these things. I can't tell you how often I watch TV and think: "Oh my God, they're going down a path that is just false." I know that because I'm a clinician. We're going to have interesting guests from all walks and hopefully some multi-media platforming. It'll start in March or April and I'm very, very happy about it.
What about the new season of 'Celebrity Rehab'?
Although they are ambivalent and resistant when they come in, they all end up really embracing the process and bonding almost too tightly with each other. About a week into it, they declare they're best friends. We were like, "Careful guys we know you're having intense experiences." Good news is most of them are still in treatment and doing very well.
What do you say to criticism that you take advantage of them?
I'm a little confused by that. On the one hand, these are people that are not particularly motivated to seek treatment, yet they desperately need it. They come to us because they're motivated to be on TV and make money and because of that skewed motivation we're able to keep them in treatment. The extraordinary thing we've discovered is that they don't leave treatment. They want to be on TV and make money and I can work very intensely with them. They don't leave. In usual treatment, when you get going intensely, they leave and say, "Screw this, I'm going to do drugs." These guys stay and they end up eventually getting with the program. I think you'll find almost every person who's done it feels it was a life-changing experience and wanting to be an inspiration to other people.
So if it's a mercenary or exploitative experience, you would think we would be taking something from them for ourselves. They're getting paid, often considerably more than I am, they're getting great treatment and a great outcome and they feel good about it. So how is that exploitative? Are we playing on their fame-seeking? Sure, but in terms of getting on the other side you'll see less of them on TMZ.
Who would be your dream celebs to have on the show?
I don't have one. It's just people who need treatment as far as I'm concerned.
Wouldn't you love to have Lindsay Lohan?
No, I wouldn't love it.
But she needs help.
Yeah, but she's a very difficult patient. The only way I would take her is if she would agree to stay in treatment for one year.
Why do you say she's a difficult patient?
What about Charlie Sheen?
Again, he needs a year. I do think my team could really help them in a special way, TV or not TV, but they need longer term.
You have three teenagers. Do you have a zero-tolerance policy?
I absolutely do. If I found pot in one of their rooms, I would get help immediately. I would get a professional team assembled because if it's bad enough that I'm finding it then it's bad.
Surely they've gotten drunk once.
Surely, but if I find out about it ... Listen, here is what I presented to them. You're going to do what you're going to do. You know what I do for a living. I've taken them to treatment programs, they've seen the consequences of use and all day long I tell parents what to do and they don't and horrible things happen as a result. So as a result of my experience -- mea culpa, maybe I'm hardcore -- I'm sorry for you guys that I'm your dad, but my experience has taught me that this is how it's going to go. If you drink and do drugs, I'm going to make sure the consequences are brought down upon you. If you go drinking and driving I'm going to make sure the cops are going to get you and I'm not going to bail you out of jail. I'm sorry, it's going to kill me but that's how it's going to go.
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