Dr. Drew PinskyDr. Drew Pinsky, the creator and host of the VH1 reality television show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, is under fire after the death of country singer Mindy McCready (read about it here)” the fifth cast member to die from substance abuse problems.

Dr. Drew answered questions earlier this week on “The View” defending his show from allegations that the reality show is the exact opposite of a successful rehab environment.

‘Celebrity Rehab’ Under Fire for Exploiting Addiction

Critics allege that Dr. Drew exploits individuals who are struggling with substance abuse and mental health problems. Rather than placing them in a positive environment that helps them productively address their addictions” including the complex emotions underlying substance abuse” the show’s very premise is designed to create unnecessary stress and drama.

Past episodes include cast members visibly in pain as they suffer through opioid withdrawal symptoms. Episodes also featured Dr. Drew counseling the different cast members. Addiction specialists criticized his methods as made-for-TV-drama that did exploited individuals at their lowest point for the purpose of creating entertainment, rather than helping them.

However, other individuals praised the show for removing the stigma around addiction and encouraging individuals with substance abuse problems to get help.

Country Singer Mindy McCready’s Suicide is the Fifth Cast Member Death

Season 3 participant Mindy McCready committed suicide last week after a long battle with substance abuse and mental health problems. The recent death of her boyfriend triggered her most recent downward spiral.

Dr. Drew said he was not longer treating McCready, but that he spoke with her prior to her death. She allegedly acknowledged the need for treatment, but said she feared losing custody of her sons and the stigma associated with being hospitalized for mental health problems.

McCready is the third of nine cast members from Season 3 to die due to substance abuse problems, and the fifth cast member from all four seasons to pass away.

Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr died of an overdose in 2011, and “Real World” alum Joey Kovar also died from an overdose in 2012.

Despite Celebrity Deaths, Rehab Works for Many

Despite McCready’s recent death, rehab can work. A television show geared towards drama and viewer ratings is not the best platform for a successful recovery from substance abuse” especially with many of the cast members require intensive, ongoing care.

However, the addiction specialists at a private rehab center (learn more about private rehab here) can make a difference. If a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, a drug counselor can help your loved one get started on the path back to sobriety. Call us today to learn more.