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Dr. Drew Pinsky Says Tiger Woods Will Have Long, Complicated Road to Recovery

When photos purported to be of Tiger Woods at a sexual rehabilitation in Mississippi emerged Wednesday, earlier reports of the troubled golfer’s decision to seek treatment were seemingly corroborated. But while the grainy photo has not been confirmed to be Woods, many have been left wondering what goes on behind closed doors at a treatment facility for an addiction shrouded in mystery.

Pop Tarts spoke with famed addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky, whose VH1 reality series “Celebrity Rehab” follows him as he helps reform stars seeking treatment for sexual and substance abuse. According to Pinsky, who does not treat Woods, the pro golfer has a long road ahead of him before he can achieve recovery.

“The whole treatment takes about 3-5 years, it is a 12-step among other things and usually involves very delicate therapy and trauma therapy as well as a lot of education,” Pinsky told Pop Tarts. “But first you have to establish whether the addiction is chemical or sexual. If it is chemical then you always treat that first. More often than not, the sexual addiction comes under control and is managed in the process of the overall recovery.” 

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Pinsky believes that the first step to recovery for the shamed athlete (who has allegedly had extramarital affairs with as many as 14 different women) may very well be to treat substance abuse problems.

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“You have to wonder about chemical addiction with Tiger. Just a year ago he had a knee surgery and it is believed he was taking [prescription painkillers],” Pinsky said. “Opiate addiction makes people do all kinds of inadvisable things. We speculate that 85 percent of chemical addicts have a sexual addiction too. They go together very commonly.” 

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Pinsky also said  Elin Nordegren will ahave to focus on some of her own issues, should the couple decide to stay together.

“There was a reason Elin was attracted to Tiger in the first place and she has some of her own issues that need to be sorted through,” Drew added. “I don’t want to blame her, but they need to work together.” 

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Still, Pinsky insists there is hope for the Woods family.

“This can be treated. More often than not we urge the spouse not to break up, because the outcome is going to be good.”

Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay