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Dr. Drew Pinsky's Authoritarian Approach to Charlie Sheen

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I don't normally go after people but Dr. Drew Pinsky is saying things that are so offensive and destructive that I am making an exception.

In the name of love and all the people who have been misled, mislabeled and mistreated by the disabling beliefs of the addiction-recovery-treatment industry--I'm calling names. And right now I'm calling out some of my least favorite company, Dr. Drew Pinsky and kind.

In a recent video with hollywoodlife.com, Dr. Drew Pinsky discusses Charlie Sheen (sprinkled with condescending head nods and ending in smug amusement because the fate of someone's life is such a funny subject): "Whether it's drug induced or drug withdrawal or whether he has bipolar disorder, I don't know but right now he's manic. That's an acute psychiatric emergency. Bipolar patients that are manic are more likely to kill themselves or hurt themselves than when they're depressed. So this is somebody who should be in the hospital."

Note that Dr. Drew Pinsky is calling for the involuntary medical incarceration of someone who has not violated the law. If he wasn't using medical terms to threaten someone's liberty and to dehumanize them by refusing to respond to what they are saying, we would call this "libel." But what is going on here is worse than slander because this kind of insensitive, uncaring, profit-oriented, social-control oriented behavior is destroying people's lives.

I should know, it almost destroyed mine.                    

If you are unfamiliar with my story, you can get the gist of it in the foreword of my book, written by Dr. Stanton Peele. In summary, for more than 20 years it was pounded in my head by Dr. Drew Pinsky's kind that I was powerless over an incurable disease that required me to follow the 12-step rules of a 1930's, authoritarian, philandering, hypocrite. I was also shipped off on my first 72 hour hold at age 14 while I was locked-up in a drug and alcohol facility in 1984. While on that 72 hour hold I was treated in a demoralizing, dictatorial, spirit-crushing manner. I was ignored or critically judged when I spoke. I was also injected with an unknown substance, against my will and without explanation. Those are the kinds of dehumanizing things authoritarians do.

That was the same year Dr. Drew Pinsky joined Loveline on KROQ. His "in" with us, the younger generation, was that he said "penis," "clitoris," "fellatio" and "Chlamydia" on the air at a time when no one was. This led people to think he was "cool" and "with it," but it was just a stylistic cover for his authoritarianism.   

It troubles me that Dr. Drew Pinksy's kind are making claims that can strip a person of their freedom and justify dehumanizing them. This sort of authoritarianism is cruel and inhumane. The police are required to read a suspected criminal their Miranda Rights before they lock them up, but not Dr. Drew Pinsky's kind. They can call a person "manic," identify him or her as a risk to either themselves or society, and have them taken away. Having been a victim of this practice, I can tell you that once you're locked-up, your freedom is completely gone. You are at the absolute mercy of outside sources and forces about what goes into your body and whether you ever get out of that institution again or not. Choice is no longer yours. In Dr. Drew Pinsky's addiction-recovery-treatment world a person is guilty until proven innocent.

Let me state this loud and clear--there is a problem. People are suffering with addiction and they do need help. But the problem is not the people, like myself, who find fault with the treatment they are given. The problem is the treatment.

It was extremely difficult for me to break free from the dominating force and negative influence of the addiction-recovery-treatment industry that is based on the disempowering (and frankly, rather "odd") 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous--but doing so saved my life. Some of my friends were not so lucky.

In order to face the emotional aspects of my drug and alcohol use, I had to completely abandon all that I had ever heard and learned about addiction and "recovery." I had to trust my intuition that AA's methods and the disempowering "Dr. Pinsky" mentality was false. I had to summon the strength and courage to say, "Screw all of you, I'm doing this myself." And I did.

So what should be done with a person who is quitting drugs and alcohol after years of hard-core ingesting and who appears flustered, angry, anxious and beyond what you're used to handling? The answer is they should be embraced in an environment of healing, one that encourages peace of mind and healthy expression of their experience, not one where they are put in a fight or flight position. Their body needs time to heal; their psyche needs freedom to heal. As I wrote in my book, the greatest gift you can offer a person--any person--is the psychological space they need to make their own discoveries about their well-being in life.

I have a line in one of my songs, "Don't believe that you can change what I know, promote your ego!" As it stands today, the addiction-recovery-treatment industry is corrupt. We need a better system--not someday--now.

Yo, Dr. Pinsky, MY people are crying. Your "peeps" need a lesson in love.

 

I am an artist living in Los Angeles, CA.


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In the old Soviet Union, those who dissented and r... by John Bardi on Friday, Mar 4, 2011 at 12:22:22 PM
Welcome to the new system.Great comment, exactly r... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 6:32:04 AM
Wow, great post! I look forward to the day when th... by Susan Gray on Friday, Mar 4, 2011 at 12:36:23 PM
Amy,How does someone provide this to another perso... by dee sootil on Friday, Mar 4, 2011 at 1:18:20 PM
The main thing is that you don't flood a person's ... by Amy LCB on Friday, Mar 4, 2011 at 9:27:43 PM
As a long time criminal defense attorney, I dealt ... by John Reed on Friday, Mar 4, 2011 at 6:10:39 PM
No! A person does not have to suffer a world of He... by Gunthar2000 on Friday, Mar 4, 2011 at 11:22:52 PM
There are other methods. But I have had 31 years ... by John Reed on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 2:15:32 AM
That you say the essence of addiction is selfishn... by Amy LCB on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 2:40:49 AM
What greater experience could one have than being ... by John Reed on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 3:11:57 AM
I think the key to the discussion here between Joh... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 6:52:30 AM
I think you make a fine point. However, take the e... by John Reed on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 7:47:20 AM
John, you have elaborated very well.The truth can ... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 8:08:30 AM
What you're talking about is brainwashing.A health... by Gunthar2000 on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 10:17:39 AM
Stop telling me what is wrong with my position gai... by John Reed on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 1:57:13 PM
Quitting drinking has nothing to do with selfishne... by Gunthar2000 on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 5:33:51 PM
Since you repeatedly fail to answer my question, a... by John Reed on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 6:11:44 PM
I tried AA over and over again for 18 years and ne... by Gunthar2000 on Friday, Mar 4, 2011 at 11:36:43 PM
Good and interesting article, some really good and... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 at 6:23:59 AM
6 six years sober with AA and 14 years sober witho... by pogue mahone on Sunday, Mar 13, 2011 at 3:34:06 PM