As the host of “Celebrity Rehab” — and its short-lived offshoot “Sex Rehab” — Dr. Drew Pinsky has seen more than his fair share of celebrities struggling with addiction.
With the news that the embattled Harvey Weinstein is heading to a rehab facility in Arizona to treat his sex addiction, Dr. Pinsky questions Weinstein’s commitment to the rehab process.
He points to Anthony Weiner as an example — “I never thought I’d say these words,” he says with a laugh, “but if you look at what Anthony Weiner is doing, that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Weiner pled guilty to his sexting crimes and has been sentenced to 21 months in prison. “You’re supposed to commit your life and your time and the current focus to the treatment process,” he says. “Just like any other addict.”
Pinsky says Weinstein’s apologies at this point are hollow. “[Addicts] are not really capable of apologizing, until they’ve been in treatment quite a while,” he says. “Even then apologies are really empty. They have to make amends. That means cleaning up their side of the street, which means taking the consequence fully for whatever catastrophes they’ve brought upon other people and themselves. And sometimes that means prison time.”
Treatment can take years, says Pinsky. “The hardest part is getting them to engage and commit because these patients are typically very defensive,” he says. “The early part of the treatment is getting through that defense and getting them to be realistic about what they’ve done. Once they get to that point, the shame they feel is profound. It’s overwhelming.”
Pinsky says Meadows — the rehab Weinstein is rumored to be attending — is “a great place if you stay,” but he says a better choice would be Patrick Carnes’ facility in Mississippi, where Tiger Woods sought treatment.
If Weinstein were his patient, his advice would be: “Do not pass go. Go straight to Mississippi,” he says. “Don’t talk to anyone, don’t say anything. Just get in there. And stay there.”
While rehab for sex addiction can help, he says not all people can be treated, especially if they’re not willing. “It’s hard to tell if there’s something not so recalcitrant about their personality structure that they can’t effectively be treated,” he says.
“All of this power and control is a compensation” for underlying feelings of insignificance, says Pinsky. “People like that, their whole life is designed around not feeling those things — including fighting not to go to treatment. And fighting treatment once they get there.”
Pinsky cautions the treatment may not go well until Weinstein takes responsibility for his actions. “To my way of thinking, the more he fights against it, whether it’s taking legal action or taking half measures, the less well it’s going to go,” he says.
And that’s only more complicated for someone like Weinstein, whose misbehavior dates back decades. “You’ve got to remember, patients with addictions are at risk of other psychological problems,” he says. “Suicide is not an uncommon outcome. I would really worry about that with someone like this.”