Since Mindy McCready’s death from apparent suicide on Sunday night, attention has turned to Dr. Drew Pinsky’s VH1 reality show “Celebrity Rehab”, after it emerged that she was the fifth member to die after supposedly being treated on the show.
“I think “Dr” Drew Pinsky should change his name to Kevorkian. Same results.” singer Richard Marx wrote on his Twitter page.
After receiving some backlash, Marx amended his claim: ”I went too far with the Kevorkian crack. It is, however, my opinion that what Dr. D does is exploitation and his TV track record is not good.”
So far, Rodney King died in 2012 after drowning in his swimming pool. King’s autopsy revealed he had a mixture of cocaine, alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time, which contributed to his death. And Grease actor Jeff Conaway, who was a participant in season one and two, died in 2011 of health complications he apparently contracted from years of substance abuse.
Celebrity Rehab did little to cure these four of their addictions– they all later wound up dead
On the season in which McCready appeared, two other people succumbed to their addictions. Mike Starr, bassist of the band Alice in Chains, died in 2011 after a drug overdose, and former “Real World” cast member Joey Kovar died in 2012 from opiate intoxication, believed to be in the form of a prescription painkiller he was taking.
With the total number of five people, who were part of the television show, ending up dead as a result of their addictions in the last two years, the backlash is understandable.
It seems that Dr. Pinsky’s rehab treatment on his TV show, which many professionals deem damaging and more for entertainment purposes than actual treatment only benefits the doctor, the production and the network.
Richard Taite thinks the time for treatment for entertainment purposes is over
Richard Taite, CEO of Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center is at pains to point out that rehab treatment for entertainment purposes is wrong, as it does damage to already damaged people.
“Mindy McCready’s death is certainly a tragedy and one that was perhaps preventable if she had gotten real treatment,” says Richard Taite, co-author of the best selling book, Ending Addiction For Good. “Celebrity Rehab is a farce as a foundation for treatment. It is at best info-tainment – a television show that exploits the fragility of individuals who are in desperate need of help. Recovery does not happen in twenty-one days for individuals suffering profoundly from multiple disorders, such as Mindy McCready, and it does not occur under the view of millions of television viewers. One of the main needs any addict has is to develop a sincere, trusting relationship with a therapist and privately uncover the root causes of their addiction. This does not happen in a television show where addicts are part of a ‘cast’ and followed by television cameras 24 hours a day everywhere but in the bathroom! Those who suffer from depression, suicidal ideation, and addiction need long-term, private support in a safe environment. It is tragic that Ms. McCready did not receive that level of care.”
Dr. Drew, for his part, said he contacted McCready last month after her boyfriend’s death.
“When I heard she was struggling, I did reach out to her and urged her to go to take care of herself, get in a facility if she felt she needed,” he said. “Her biggest fear was the stigma of doing so and what people would think if she, God forbid, took care of herself. And this to me is the most distressing part of this story. She is a lovely woman, we have lost her, and it didn’t have to go down like this.”
What do you think? Should the show be pulled given people’s health and life are at stake?
Their fondness for illegal substances such a crack cocaine and heroin was widely known. Their full-blown addiction, however, not so much. Only those in Eva and Hans Kristian Rausing’s privilege world, knew to some extent. But not the full extent.
After being arrested for driving erratically in London last week, her husband, estimated to be worth a staggering $10 billion as heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, was found with drugs on him, and subsequently arrested.
A search by UK police in his 5-story mansion discovered something they weren’t looking for: The body of his wife.
Reports have varied since the discovery, but now the latest news suggests Eva could have been dead in one of the two squalor rooms they occupied for a MONTH. The mother-of-four was only 48.
Rausing and his wife have previously donated large sums of money to anti-drug charities, including the Mentor Foundation, which is an international program that steers youth away from drug use and abuse.
But in the end, all the money in the world or the charities they helped ultimately could not stave off their own demons.
We spoke to addiction expert, Richard Taite, President and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, to get his opinion, and he provides an enlightening, if not incredibly troubling insight into just how deep in the trenches the couple were with their drug addiction.
Celebzter: This week, American heiress Eva Rausing was found dead in her 70 million pound home in London, she was said to be dead for a week, and her husband was found driving erratically and with drugs in his possession…
Firstly, do you think he was high on drugs to deal with the grief of losing his wife?
Richard: While I cannot speculate that he was high at the time, grief does give a good excuse for a drug addict to continue on their downward spiral. Having said that however, I have serious questions as to whether or not he even knew of the passing of his wife.
Celebzter: What is the thought process behind someone living with their dead wife for days upon days?
Richard: Here is my thought on this matter and it’s only speculation (and it’s speculation based upon years of personal experience). I think it is not only possible but probable that this gentleman didn’t even know his wife passed. First of all, let’s say she had been gone 2-3-4 days. In “crack time”, that’s 2-3-4 hours. When you are smoking crack, time goes by at the blink of an eye, that’s why I refer to it as “crack time”. When you are smoking crack for as long as these people allegedly had been you don’t have a sense of smell, and again that comes from personal experience. So a body that might be decomposing at the time would not have even been noticed by the husband. Lastly, it is common that people partying together for a long time runs its course and the continued usage is done in mutual isolation, no longer together. So, if these two have been partying in separate parts of the home, it is highly likely that someone gone for 2-3-4-5 days, could have gone unnoticed by the other.
Now, in the alternative, to answer the question directly, if he had gone into the room where his wife was after a few days and noticed she had deceased, it is possible that he would have been so grief-stricken that instead of calling someone in his immediate support system for help, he would have continued to get high as an avoidance mechanism to deal with the grief. I did hear one interview however, that some retired FBI agent made the silly statement that if this gentleman didn’t kill his wife, why would he have waited days? He basically said: what other explanation is there that he didn’t kill his wife, that he waited 2 or more days with a decomposing body in the house? Out of the 3 scenarios: 1) he didn’t know, 2) he found out after the fact, and 3) he had a part in his wife’s murder (which is by far the least likely that he had a hand in his wife’s murder).
Celebzter: The couple had long fought addiction problems and been to rehab unsuccessfully, do you think because they were so fabulously wealthy, it was easier for them to exist in a drug-fueled world since they didn’t have to get up and work every day or worry about making a living?
Richard: It’s always easier to do drugs when life’s responsibilities don’t get in the way. Every crack head’s dream is to have absolutely no responsibility whatsoever other than getting high. With these folks, the money isn’t going to run out, so as you can see, even when the money doesn’t run out, crack smoking comes with side effects.
Celebzter: The pair lived in mansion, yet in the end, were confined to two rooms which were described as a squalor….does this show for one, that they were unable to live a normal day-to-day life, and secondly, does it highlight the depths of their drug addiction?
Richard: First of all, it is definitely part of the drug addict psyche to make your environment as small and compact as possible, and that has to do with a comfort level in part. You also increasingly get more paranoid. So it’s more comfortable to stay in a small place. Their house is stated to be worth 70 million pounds, which is about 100 million dollars US and around 5 stories. This is a huge house, probably 10,000 square feet or larger, so it’s not at all unreasonable that these people were on separate sides of the house.
Secondly, what most people do when they smoke crack is they tweak on their surroundings. In lay person terms, they literally destroy the areas they are smoking crack in. It is not at all uncommon having a foot of garbage covering the room while you are smoking.
Celebzter: Why is drug abuse so rampant amongst the rich?
Richard: If you think drug abuse is so rampant amongst the rich, I invite you to go to the poorer neighborhoods of this country. I would argue that it’s much more rampant there. Drug addiction is a problem everywhere. It’s just sexier to talk about the rich being drug addicted.
Celebzter: Do they think that by having money, they are invincible, when in reality, they are no different from the poor who are addicted?
Richard: People who have money in general feel more invincible, and they can also get a better class of drugs.
Celebzter: And do you think that boredom is a factor in their drug abuse?
Richard: Let’s get this straight: EVERYTHING next to smoking crack is boring.
Celebzter: Eva penned this email to her husband’s father but never sent it…
“If nothing changes I will die, Hans. I just felt that I did not want to die without trying everything that I possibly could to reach you and to ask you to please help me. Your son feels very, very hopeless. Although I stick close to him, I am losing my grip because I am weakening.”
And she also recently spent time in rehab and went back to Britain to get her husband….by the sound of things, his addiction was worse and she feared leaving him because she feared he would die of an overdose.
The question is when you put two addicts into the mix, does it just exacerbate an already dangerous situation?
Richard: When two people are using together they always feel like the other one has the bigger problem. In this case it appears after all that she had the bigger problem.
Celebzter:Another sad story that emerged over the weekend was the death of Sylvester Stallone’s son Sage was found dead– he was just 36. It is understood he died of a prescription pill overdose and was dead for a week before he was found….his friends are surprised because he is understood to not dabble in drugs….what would make him. There was no suicide note found, do you think this is the classic case of someone accidentally taking too much medication?
Richard: I am heartbroken for his parents and the rest of his immediate family and friends. I do not believe it’s appropriate to speculate about what happened at this point in time. The truth is, all we know about this is one officer, or someone with the coroner, was talking about something he knows absolutely nothing about. The statements this person made was to the effect of: “Yeah there were prescription drugs there, but I’m not going to get into it. Maybe it was Viagra and Lipitor.
If you know anyone who is battling substance abuse problems, contact the Cliffside Malibu helpline on 800 501 1988
Prescription drug abuse in America is nothing new. Study upon study has shown that more Americans are abusing prescription drugs than illegal ones due to how readily available they are and the lack of legal consequences that come from taking them.
But mostly, the abuse of prescription drugs is associated with college students, but now there is a new face to addiction: Moms who are trying to do it all.
Across America, with the stresses of the economy, working and trying to raise a family, the people you’d least expect, are using trickery to get prescriptions.
Adderall is specifically designed to treat those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but many of those taking it actually don’t suffer from the disorder.
Between 2002 and 2010, there’s been a 750 percent increase in Adderall prescriptions for women between 26 and 39. Critics say clearly not all of these women need the drug for ADHD.
We consulted addiction expert Richard Taite, President and CEO of Cliffside Malibu to see why American women are drowning in their secret addiction and the dangers they face.
Here is our interview with him…
Celebzter: Between 2002 and 2010, there’s been a 750 percent increase in Adderall prescriptions for women between 26 and 39. Critics say clearly not all of these women need the drug for ADHD…is there an explanation as to why this is happening?
Richard: Yes, because when you go to a psychiatrist, they prescribe drugs. That’s what they do. If I go to a barber, I’m getting a haircut because that’s what barbers do. That’s the reason for it. That’s what they do. Top notch psychiatrists are more conservative with prescribing medication but they are like finding a needle in a haystack.
Celebzter: One woman spoke out saying she started taking the prescription drug to keep up with the demands of being a mother of four and that she found that she could get everything done in the household and it “would be perfect”…. is there too much demand on mother’s these days to be superwoman, thus leading them to take something like this prescription pill?
Richard: Essentially what this mother is saying is she took speed to be able to keep up with 4 children and it works perfectly, and I bet it does. But what’s going to happen with Adderall, as with all drugs, is at first it works wonderfully, then it works with problems, and then you graduate to all problems. So let’s give this woman 2 years on Adderall before the wheels fall off and she realizes she has been taking speed just to have the strength and stamina to chase 4 children around the house. As far as the social issue of whether woman have too much pressure on them to be “super mothers”, that seems to me to be very clear. I have a child, and I know how hard my wife works to be present, available and connected to our child, as do I, but having a child later in life, as she is 40, and I’m 45, we have enough experience and involvement to know that we shouldn’t have more children than we are able to be present for. I wish that all parents took that into consideration prior to having children as well.
Celebzter: But it’s not just a drug you can take once, but highly addictive, right?
Richard: That depends on whether or not you liked it. If you didn’t like the fact that your heart was beating fast and you wanted to relax for the day, but you found yourself painting your house, then it’s not addictive, because you aren’t going to like the effect. If you like the effect produced by the drug, and you found yourself more clear, more productive, more social, those kinds of things, then yes it will be addictive. But, just like all other drugs, at first it’s all fun, then you graduate to fun with problems, and then you graduate to all problems.
Celebzter: Some women have even resorted to tricking their doctors into giving them a prescription, claiming it is for their kids…. once you get to this point, it’s a slippery slope…where does one go from there?
Richard: Well, let’s call that what it is: You are using your children in order to mislead your physician so that you can engage in drug abuse. How does that sound?
Celebzter: Women also say they like the drug because it curbs the appetite and they lose weight…. that would make it even more alluring to women, right?
Richard: This is a tough one because if you went to a doctor and you were completely up front with them and you got enough of any type of drug that would suppress the appetite, in the proper dose it can be argued that it would not be mind-altering, yet still produce the effect desired, which would be appetite suppression. So if you went through that channel of full disclosure with your physician and you used the medication for this purpose and didn’t take more than required, I could see that as something that would be appropriate provided of course there was no current or past drug abuse history or addictive history or pre-disposition, or of course body dimorphic issues, or eating disorder issues.
Celebzter: Is the abuse of Adderall by women getting out of control?
Richard: More women are using it than men, at least that’s our experience at Cliffside Malibu. Where you are really getting the Adderall abuse is college students and professionals with high stress, high demanding jobs.
Celebzter: What are the side effects fromthe drugs?
Richard: Some of the side effects include: Weight loss/anorexia, nervousness, trouble sleeping/insomnia, weakness, stomach pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, new or worsening mental or mood problems (eg, aggression, agitation, anxiety, delusions, depression, hallucination, hostility), dry mouth, dizziness.
Celebzter: Are you personally seeing more and more women entering treatment programs after abusing Adderall?
Richard: There is an uptick in women using, but it is also prevalent among college students and professionals in high stress, high demanding jobs, whether they are women or not.
Celebzter: What is your advice to women that feel like they are becoming addicted?
Richard: The advice is always the same: If you feel that you have crossed that invisible line into addiction or abuse, seek treatment immediately at a top-notch treatment facility. We are never too busy to help anyone. Even though we are either almost always full, and because we are very expensive and it may be cost prohibitive for many people, if we can’t help someone at our treatment center, we can always make a referral to someone who can help at a price point that is more comfortable.
Here is a clip where one woman explains how she fell into the trap of taking the drug to help her get through the day.
She’s beautiful, rich and young, but is Rihanna having too much fun?
According to reports coming out of Britain, her mentor Jay-Z wants the star to check into rehab and curb her partying ways.
A source told Closer magazine: “Rihanna has been out of control for months.
“She was supposed to catch a flight back to the UK last week, but she ended up missing it, which was the final straw for management.
“Jay-Z hit the roof when he found out, and told Rihanna, “Go to rehab now or I’ll drop you from the label”. She’s not happy, but she now feels she has no choice.”
We spoke to our to go-to addiction expert Richard Taite, President and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, to get his take on Rihanna’s situation.
He says: “Hey, Rhianna is young and beautiful and popular and, partying is what you do when you are in your 20s and you are on top of the world, but when people start making excuses for you, that is when problems can start.
“What concerns me and should concern her family and friends is when Rihanna starts losing focus, missing appointments, putting partying before her career and relationships. Jay-Z is absolutely correct, if she is partying too much and losing her way, she might very well have an addiction problem that needs to be addressed before it goes too far. Setting a boundary will be the most loving thing Jay-Z could ever do for her and it could in fact save her life. Not to mention she could actually reach her magnificent potential. I wish someone like Jay-Z would have set a boundary for Whitney.”
Some wise words, and perhaps she will heed them… and let’s hope the reports of a reconciliation with Chris Brown being imminent, is just an unfounded rumor.
The news of a man eating another man’s face off and growling as he had human flesh hanging from his teeth was stomach-churning enough as a on-off isolated incident.
But in the past two weeks, more and more utterly atrocious situations which resemble the Miami incident have come to light.
The latest of which, saw a homeless man reportedly high on “bath salts”, attempting to bite off a police officer’s hand after he was arrested for erratic behavior at a Miami fast food restaurant.
The zombie-like incident took place only two weeks after another bizarre attack in the area, in which Rudy Eugene, 31, attacked homeless man Ronald Poppo, 65, by eating off his face.
And, according to Richard Taite, President and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, this new drug currently poses the biggest threat to society, more so than any other street drug because it is relatively inexpensive and easily accessible.
“These drugs are so inexpensive that even the homeless can party like rock stars around the clock for a week or more at a time with no food and no sleep,” Richard explains. “The biggest problem here will be that this greatly endangers our children’s lives and their futures because not only are these “bath salt type drugs” inexpensive but they are far too easily accessible. You can get these drugs almost anywhere, including online.
“So this problem has to be dealt with or else it will become an epidemic very quickly. The federal government and all states have to have very broad legislation that covers these drugs, and because the chemicals are always changing to produce relatively the same effects these bills have to be passed in a way that allows for the ever evolving new ingredients, and quite frankly the language that should be used is “any mind altering effects that these chemicals or combination of chemicals produces.”
He continues: “But none of this will matter unless its enforced. The manufacture and distribution of these drugs has to be enforced by police and prosecuted to the fullest extent of these new laws. We must use every asset available to us as a nation including, but not limited to, all cyber terrorism departments or agencies, because if we don’t act right away and make this a priority we are killing our children and many innocent victims. This is something that both sides of the isle should be able to arrive at a consensus and make an immediate priority because this is just the beginning, and I mean the very beginning if we don’t make this a priority.”
Richard is also concerned about the impact this will have on the children of the nation.
“In the article that I just read it talked about Miami police letting their officers know to use extreme caution while dealing with homeless people who are acting erratically or abnormally,” he says. “If the media wishes for our elected officials to do nothing about this issue they will continue to frame this as a homeless problem because as we’ve seen time and again, as Americans we feel bad for the homeless but not bad enough to actually do anything about it. The issue here is simple: this is a failure of parents everywhere to protect their children. It is a huge dereliction of our duties as parents and we are letting our children down. As parents we have to put as much pressure as we can on our elected officials to create legislation and insist upon the enforcement of the legislation and we should all be doing this immediately.”
And the most important thing we can all do? Richard says, knowledge is the key.
“Finally, it is more important now than ever to remain connected to your children’s lives, know what they are doing, who their friends are, and what’s going on with them emotionally,” he says. ” If you can’t make the time to be involved in your children’s lives you shouldn’t have had them in the first place.”
It’s a crime that shocked the world: A man not just eating a man’s flesh, but his entire face off. It’s one that the imagery alone has traumatized many (including us) as we try to come to grips at how a human being could possibly even contemplate doing such a despicable and throughly horrifying thing.
With various reports claiming that Randy Eugene was under the influence of a new drug called “bath salts”, we consulted Richard Taite, President and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, who informed us that the usage of this street drug is on the rise…. and rise.
And, as we have seen, the consequences of taking it are dire, stomach-churning and utterly beyond comprehension.
There are two reasons, Richard explains, why there has been a surge in the usage of this drug.
“If you can buy an ounce of cocaine for $600 but the equivalent of bath salts for $60 and they produce the same relative effect why wouldn’t an addict do that?” Richard says. “Further, it is much more accessible than cocaine. Now if you are currently a cocaine addict, you will probably only supplement your cocaine usage with bath salts. The bigger danger is with the new user because he has yet to experiment with cocaine due to the accessibility and affordability .
“These users, especially those predisposed to addictive behaviors can get in big trouble real fast. This will affect adolescents in high school and those in their 20′s the most and even if they survive it , depending upon the amount , consistency and duration of usage will most certainly have long-term brain damage.”
If other illegal drugs such as cocaine were considered dangerous, Richards says that “bath salts” pose the most dangers out of any that are currently being peddled on the streets.
Richard explains: “This drug is dangerous, it causes unpredictable behavior, and like any other street drug, there’s really no way to stop people from taking it. The only thing we can do is continue to educate people and create awareness about the devastation it can cause.”
“The client that I spoke to at greatest length about this subject, likened it to smoking crack and said it produced almost the exact same effect.”
But in most cases, people don’t CHEW off someone’s face on crack.
Bath salts have been connected to a range of violent incidents and a spike in emergency room visits since they became popular several years ago. Last fall, the Drug Enforcement Administration banned three chemicals used in bath salts, and 38 states have enacted their own bans, but incidents continue.
Watch the video below at your own peril. It should, however, be used as tool for anyone even contemplating taking this destructive drug.
Amanda Bynes has been accused many things of late, with the latest report claiming she “slammed into a car on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley on April 10″ and drove through a red traffic light to escape the scene.
The actress took to twitter on Sunday to deny the incident, which was reported by TMZ, and she took the time to clear up some other matters.
“I can’t help but laugh at all of you writing fake stories about me. I was not in any hit and runs,” Bynes she wrote. “I don’t drink so the DUI is false.”
Bynes was arrested on April 6 after she sideswiped a police car after she was reportedly drinking the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles.
So, is the 26-year-old actress following down Lindsay Lohan’s wayward path? Or have the media got it wrong?
Richard Taite, President and CEO of Cliffside Malibu shares his expert views on what is perceives to be going on the actress.
Question: Why isn’t someone stepping in and saying, enough already, you have a problem?
Richard: If the reports is true, young actresses like Amanda Bynes have probably been coddled since their early years being the main supporters of the family or TV series and many people don’t want to upset the apple cart. However, years of this kind of leeway can lead to a permissiveness that most families and friends never contend with. How do you start saying NO after years of looking the other way? How do you cut down your money tree? But what they have to understand, is that there is a young woman who is obviously crying out for help and unless someone does something about it she can hurt herself of an innocent bystander.
Question: At this rate, will Amanda be the next Lindsay Lohan in terms of a good career going sour because of drugs/alcohol?
Richard: Again, if this is true, I absolutely see this as happening. Bynes, like Lohan, was all over the place, TV, Movies, Award Shows… Then rumors of drugs/alcohol abuse took over and the legitimate job offers dried up. Its only after years of abuse, jail time and rehab that Lohan is finally making a come-back and finally has America rooting for her.
Question: Whether it’s true or not, if she does have a problem, how would you council the Bynes team as a plan of action to salvage her career/life?
Richard: I don’t care what anybody believes, the truth has a way of coming to the surface. This is not something that she will be able to hide from. So again, if the reports are true, Amanda needs to check herself into a treatment facility immediately and stay the course until her treatment is complete and that usually means 3 months, not just some 30 day treatment program that in this case wouldn’t work based on her lack of accountability. She needs to learn how to function without drugs and alcohol, and thrive in the process. Believe me, at a top-notch facility for 90 days this is not only a possibility but a probability and the worst period of her life will turn out to be the best period in her life.
Yesterday, we wrote in detail about Bobby Brown’s first interview since the death of his ex-wife Whitney Houston.
The interview aired this morning on ‘Today’, with Bobby telling Matt Lauer that he wasn’t to blame for the singer’s early demise, and that he didn’t get her hooked on drugs.
When Matt asked him if Whitney was the victim and if he was behind her drug use, Bobby said: ”No, that’s not true. I didn’t get high before I met Whitney. No, I– I — I smoked weed, I drank the beer, but no, I wasn’t the one that got Whitney on drugs at all.”
And he added that Whitney was dabbling in illegal substances “way, way before,” they got together.
We spoke to Richard Taite, President and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, to get his perspective on Bobby’s claims, and why, after several trips to rehab, Whitney still continued to dabble in illegal drugs.
Here’s out interview with him…
Celebzter:Bobby says he wasn’t to blame for Whitney’s drug problems, and he only took drugs once he got together with her. Is this atypical for someone in a relationship to start using if their partner is?
Richard: It is actually common for someone in a relationship to start using if the other person does, and frankly I remember while watching all the interviews of her inner circle immediately after her passing, her family actually inferred the same thing: that she didn’t start using drugs when she got together with Bobby; that she was already dabbling in cocaine prior to meeting him.
Celebzter: And does it escalate both of their habits because they are both doing it?
Richard: Yes, their habits can escalate. Any time you have a connection with someone and you become dependent together, it has the potential to dramatically increase their usage because they are not hiding it from one another, they are using together. If you include the sexual component on top of it, which was most certainly there, that’s going to escalate the usage as well.
Celebzter: There must be very little chance of getting sober if you have a partner who is not?
Richard: If you have a partner who is using and you are trying to stay sober and if you don’t have the tools to stay sober then yes, you are going to ultimately lose that struggle. But if you have two people who end up in treatment together and they are both working to stay sober it can actually be a supportive environment. However, if both get treatment and one person relapses they endanger the other person.
Celebzter: What do you recommend in this situation?
Richard: When both people in a relationship are abusing drugs or alcohol, then both have to seek treatment concurrently, and don’t leave until their treatment complete.
Celebzter: In terms of addiction, Whitney checked in rehab several times, but she never managed to stay clean. Is these circumstances, is it because the person just doesn’t want to beat their addiction or is it a failure on the part of them not taking rehab seriously? Or perhaps the rehab wasn’t intensive enough?
Richard: I don’t know where Whitney sought rehab, so I don’t know whether she got top-notch treatment or not. She checked in several times, but she never stayed until she reached what we call the Maintenance stage, where she would have finally gotten to a point where she could transcend the struggle and it was harder to pick up a drink or a drug than it was not to. That’s the goal with treatment: where it’s harder to get loaded than it is to stay clean; where there is no struggle and the drugs don’t have a hold over you any longer. This is something that can happen easily, but not in 30 days based on what some insurance company says. Sometimes you just have to be willing to do what it takes in order to transcend that old damaging destructive behavior. If you are like her and have been using for 20 to 25 years, then what’s 3 or 4 months in order to get your life back, so you can spend the remainder of your life in the magnificence of who you are and live long enough to enjoy your children.
I believe we are the most intensive treatment facility in the world, but there are times, depending on where a person is at, that in 30 days I can’t take you and move you to the place of transcending the struggle so that you can be your best self. If we can’t do this and somebody else promises you they can, they are lying to you. The reality is that we have 28 and 30 day rehab because initially insurance companies would only pay for 28 to 30 days. But how silly is it that this tradition of 30 day treatment is based upon some blood sucking insurance company who couldn’t care less about your wellbeing instead of what the science dictates. Most people require 90 days of treatment depending on where they are at emotionally, the amount and timeframe of usage, the trauma involved, and so forth. So when people say they put their best foot forward in a treatment center and they say, “I’ve been to rehab, I left after 30 days, I finished my commitment”, well basically what you are saying is “I’m not willing to do what it takes to be successful and get my life back.” Insurance companies are there to make money. They don’t care about you. In most cases 30 days will not produce long-lasting behavioral change. That’s just the simple truth.
We constantly read about one star after another checking into rehab for a whole host of problems. Often, it’s attributed to “exhaustion” for media press release purposes.
But it’s not just stars who are falling by the wayside. The public as a whole, has started to use prescription drugs as their clutch to get them through whatever curveballs life throws at them.
We spoke to Richard Taite, President and CEO of Cliffside Malibu about the rise and rise of prescription drug abuse in society.
Here is our interview with him….
Celebzter: More and more stars are checking into rehab….do you think both illegal and prescription drugs have become somewhat of an epidemic amongst celebrities?
Richard: It is becoming an epidemic, but not only amongst celebrities. We are seeing it more amongst professional athletes, business professionals, it could even be your next door neighbor, your best friend, or your wife. The majority of our clientele come to be treated for a prescription drug abuse problem.
Celebzter: Why do you think stars, more so than the normal folk, fall into the dangerous trap of alcohol and drug abuse?
Richard: The biggest reason for this is because, for celebrities, the access to alcohol and drugs is much easier and the quantity is pretty much unlimited. They are frequently at events where they can have any substance they want, and any amount they want. Stars are often thrown into the life of fame and fortune before they have developed the necessary skills to cope with everything that that lifestyle entails and that’s where some get trapped into making bad choices.
Celebzter: Is it the pressure of the spotlight, or an insecurity which leads them to get a high from something else?
Richard: Everyone is different and will have different reasons for using, but basically they are trying to escape that moment because they don’t want to feel pain, or stress, or anxiety, or an uncomfortable feeling. They might have suffered from a traumatic childhood, or maybe they are terrified of large crowds, or maybe they lack social skills. These deep underlying issues and lack of coping skills are the big reasons why people use.
Celebzter: Do you think Hollywood is glamourizing/deglamourizing drug use these days?
Richard: I think it has stayed consistent.
Celebzter: Moving away from celebrities for one second, why do think the western world has such a problem with addiction? Could it be blamed on both personal bad experiences and the recession, which propelled many into despair and depression as they struggled to survive and find a job, and used it as a painkiller?
Richard: The important thing to note here is that there isn’t just one simple explanation for why addiction occurs for some and not others, and by the same token, there isn’t just one magic treatment program that works for everyone. Every addict has underlying issues that caused them to abuse alcohol and drugs in the first place, ranging from physical abuse as a child, to getting teased at school, to getting fired at work, to having back surgery at 40 years old.
Celebzter: If someone is self- medicating to block something out, what is your best advice to them?
Richard: If someone is abusing a substance to the point of dependence, they need to get help from the best treatment center they can. They will need a safe, comfortable detox program, and that should be followed up with an addiction treatment plan that will help get to the root of the underlying reasons for self-medicating in the first place. The best treatment facilities, just like anything else that is the best, come at a high price, but at Cliffside Malibu we understand that not everybody has the opportunity to access a top-notch facility such as ours. This is why we make the best possible recommendations and referrals based on the person’s exact needs. Long term addiction recovery is possible with the right treatment, and they can go on to excel and live the life they were always mean to live.
Celebzter: Are shows such as Intervention a good or bad thing?
Richard: Shows like this don’t give people a chance at a true recovery. They don’t really get help when they are not being completely honest and authentic, and what happens is they end up just playing to the camera. What is even worse is that once they relapse, they are under the illusory impression that they had actually given rehab a chance when they had not. Not to mention the fact that when they do ultimately relapse, because they are getting substandard treatment, they are usually under contract by the TV show to allow the train wreck at the end to be shown. This furthers their embarrassment and gives the addict further reason to medicate the embarrassment away. It’s actually quite mean-spirited.
Celebzter: Do you think people are abusing now more than ever?
Richard: That’s a great question, and I know people are abusing prescriptions drugs now more so than ever. I know that because I see it first-hand. But I see street drugs not being used as much as they used to be. Scoring illegal drugs is quite inconvenient and a lot of times what happens is you put yourself in harm’s way and in dangerous situations with dangerous people. Doctor shopping, online pharmacies, and pill mills are not only a less expensive way to get high, but a much more convenient way to get drugs, especially for the upper middle class and very well to do.
Celebzter: If so, what can we do to stop this trend?
Richard: Provide more education and awareness about why addiction really happens, how you really can overcome it and how to help and support a loved one with an addiction. With the right help, it’s possible to overcome an addiction and live the life you were always meant to live.