VH-1’s Celebrity Rehab Show Draws Critcism from Recovery Community

An organization dedicated to changing the public’s perception of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is asking people to speak out against the way addiction treatment and recovery is being portrayed on VH-1‘s new reality show, “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”

Faces and Voices of Recovery has written a letter to VH-1 president, Tom Calderone, that asks the network to inform viewers about the reality of long-term recovery from addiction and where they or their loved ones can get the help they need if they are struggling with addiction.

The letter, signed by the organization’s executive director, states “It is our belief that the show takes advantage of and uses people in deep distress because of their addiction as a way to draw in viewers.” It continues to say, “We believe that when people see this show, they’ll wonder why they should help people with addiction and why people struggling with addiction should get insurance coverage for their care.”

Faces and Voices of Recovery is asking VH-1 to take 3 steps to “put a little reality” into its “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” series:

1. Open and close the show with Dr. Pinsky making an affirmative statement about the many effective treatments available to people still struggling with addiction and the reality of long-term recovery from addiction.
2. Provide information on the VH1 web site about the many ways that people can get help to recover from addiction, including mutual support groups, medication-assisted treatment, professional clinical treatment, and faith, including links to the Federal government’s Treatment Locator.
3. Add a crawl during the show promoting the link to your Web site for more information on where people can seek help.

In an interview dated 1/7/08 and posted on VH-1’s “Celebreality” blog, Dr. Drew states “These people wanted and needed help and they very courageously were willing to do it in front of other people, if it would help other people. Our task was to finally end the nonsense that’s tossed about about chemical-dependency treatment or rehab, that it’s some kind of vacation.”

What do you think?

Read More
Visit the “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” Website
Read Dr. Drew’s Celebreality Interview

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