Dr. Drew – Stop Policing Other People!

Dr. Drew enrages me. The way his whole empire is built on callous exploitation of the pain, suffering, and need of others makes me very suspicious of his motives and goals in treating people. But even more than that, his eagerness to observe people through tabloid reporting and unsubstantiated rumors and then make unfounded assumptions about whether they’re experiencing substance addiction or abuse issues and/or mental health issues is, frankly, repugnant.

He’s been targeting Lindsay Lohan recently, and has said some absolutely outrageous and unacceptable things about her in recent days. I saw this reported by the Onion AV Club and they respond so nicely I’m just going to quote them:

Dr. Drew Pinksy, of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew, Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew, and Dr. Drew’s Ol’ Fashioned Healing Vapors & Hair Tonic, is obviously a great doctor. He can diagnose life-threatening drug addiction just by listening to unsubstantiated rumors. He knows which cameramen will help the most in each individual addict’s recovery. And he is great at uncovering and broadcasting an addict’s childhood trauma—which is the only reason anyone becomes addicted to anything ever.

In fact, Dr. Drew is such a great doctor, he diagnosed then officially cured Lindsay Lohan via an interview with the always reliable gossip website RadarOnline.

First, Dr. Drew detailed his recommended course of therapy for Lohan:

“If she were my daughter, I would pack her car full with illegal substances, send her on her way, call the police, and make sure she was arrested. I would  make sure she was not allowed to get out of jail. I would then go to the judge and make sure she was ordered to a minimum of a three year sobriety program.”

I’m sure Dr. Drew already emailed this interview to the head of development at VH1, because in addition to being a terrific treatment plan for an addict (and also a morally sound thing to do), Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Frame-Up & Jail For Addicts Featuring Dr. Drew would also make a great reality show.

But after pitching his new show/course of therapy for Lindsay Lohan, he added this:

“I would say it’s less than a 1% chance of her making the decision to go to rehab. I have said this many times before, I believe that Lindsay will make a wonderful sober person, someday, if she survives this. I absolutely wish no harm to her, but I just have a feeling that something awful is going to happen to her, like she is going to lose a limb. I hope Lindsay gets help before something terrible happens.”

Something terrible like having a celebrity doctor diagnose you on a gossip site, or tell you what you need to do, or plant drugs in your car then call the cops on you?

It is easy to imagine the same kind of “logic” and “help” being applied to someone with a mental illness. Dr. Drew might suggest calling the police and saying that an individual had threatened suicide – even plant a weapon or suicide note on them to be sure the police would take them in for psychiatric commitment. He would publicly judge and shame that person for not seeking what Dr. Drew considers to be appropriate and beneficial treatment and imply that if his proposed treatment plan isn’t followed, any harm that befalls the person is their own fault.

This is not ok. It is dangerous, and is unfounded judgments and shaming. And it is utterly inappropriate and unacceptable from a medical doctor.

By 16 April, 2010.    blaming, media and pop culture, shaming, television   



7 Comments

  1. Yuck!

    And who will the doctors listen to – the “drug addict”/”crazy person” or the calm and reasonable doctor? (Because no matter how hard you try, it’s kind of hard to remain calm when you’re being checked in or in the hours after. As I learned, when I was like, yeah, take my books, I’m done with them. 5 minutes later, pacing and acting “crazy”.)

    And anything she (Lindsay) says in reply will be twisted to serve his diagnosis.

    And yuck, what if her dad joins in? What if he does this? He is so grody.

  2. Ah yes, the doctor or therapist who says “I know best and I will manipulate you to get you where I want you because I know best….” How many of these have I experienced? Too many, far, far too many. And the ethics violations I have seen in my two treatment centers. I could write a book. And funny enough, one of my therapists who did some serious manipulation and mind-messing to get me sent to a christian treatment center where I was told I was going to hell complained when I got back that ‘KJ just doesn’t trust me.’ Gee, you think? I didn’t trust her because she had proved to me that she was a master of manipulation. But on my files it was written “KJ has trust issues.” Because I was the problem, not the manipulation.

    I hate that sort of therapist. Heck, they are part of the reason I am planning to become a therapist…so I can prove that you can help people by being honest and not messing with their mind. Funny, the only therapist that helped me was the one who didn’t play mind games.

    KJ

  3. A good therapist – physical or otherwise – should tell you before they start anything.

    Because I can’t just do the imagination thing by myself, you know? My therapist isn’t playing games with me or doing a Dr Drew thing, which would suck, since I’m seeing her at school so while I could stop seeing her and stop going there, how far would it reach? “Kaitlyn is combative” on my college records, um no.

    My sympathies KJ. I had an… “adult” at the psych ward accuse me of throwing pity parties because I cried. And his method of screaming at us and telling us he’d see us in prison (his other job, he helpfully informed us) if we didn’t clean up our acts… what kind of therapy is that?

    For about five minutes after that horror show, I wanted to be a therapist or a shrink or something to stop things like that from happening. But I’m one person, and I hate people. So I can just repeat my story a million times and hope it eventually reaches someone who cares. But how many times have stories of abuse at psych wards been collected and *gasp*ed over and then ignored by those in charge?

    Besides, someone will say, Dr Drew didn’t sleep with Lindsay, so he’s not REALLY a bad therapist. Because it’s only PHYSICAL abuse that matters.

  4. Who is this Dr Drew person? Is he really a doctor? (I ask this not because I think he doesn’t behave like a doctor – that kind of bullying is all too familiar! – but because I thought there were rules against diagnosing people in public, without their permission, like that.) Also…”she’s going to lose a limb”? WTF? So he has evidence that an actress is an injecting drug user, or he’s just speculating wildly?

    I find it offensive when regular gossip columnists do this kind of thing, but I find it far more offensive that he’s using his authority in this way. Especially the part about framing someone and getting them into the prison system for her own good! Double WTF!

  5. lilacsigil, Dr. Drew is an actual doctor. He became famous with Loveline, a call-in show in the nineties where people would ask him questions about sexual issues. More recently, he’s mostly been known for Celebrity Rehab, a “reality” show that follows celebrities through drug and alcohol rehab under his supervision.

  6. I’m too young to remember Loveline, Ruchama, and only know about it vaguely through MAD magazines from the ’90s.

    But I did know about his celebrity rehab show. And just like “Intervention” on A&E, that is something I will never ever watch. It’s… it’s a private thing but hey let’s broadcast it all. Yuck.

  7. loveline is still on the air, actually – sunday through thursday nights. and dr. drew is still on it. (that said, i haven’t listened since the 90s!)