New Reality Series Shows Stars Using Drugs

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," November 26, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: This is your brain on drugs. That's not the message in the brand new reality TV show "Celebrity Rehab" on VH1. It's more like celebrity drug use exposed. Videos like this have been hitting the internet and becoming a hit on Youtube, featuring stars snorting cocaine and using other drugs. The point is to track D-list celebrities struggling through their addictions.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, GUEST HOST: But in the world of Hollywood, celebs gone bad, will this show really help as the new anti-drug message? Good question. With us now is the host of the new celebrity rehab series on VH1, Dr. Drew Pinsky.

Doctor, good to have you here tonight, welcome.


MACCALLUM: What's your goal here?

PINSKY: The goal here is to really pull back the curtain on what treatment is. The issue of celebrities going into drug treatment is something that's in the press every day. Drug treatment is not something that's easily described in a sentence. You have to literally watch eight episodes to understand the arc of how somebody is treated. It's different for every patient.

This is finally going to end the discussion about oh, celebrities are going on vacation. These are nine courageous people that are in a very rigorous treatment program. The footage you're looking at here is for the days prior to them coming into treatment, they took out cameras on their own and chronicled their lives. To some extent they had people following them, to another they actually took those photos themselves. They're drug addicts. They were doing drugs, they were sick and in the course of treatment, they were absolutely transformed.

This going to be the end of discussions about celebrities on vacation in rehab. You will see the rigors on the reality of chemical dependency treatment.

GIBSON: So Dr. Drew, celebrity druggies exposed on tape, how does seeing a star do drugs help somebody else, help others?

PINKSY: This is something that has been picked up on the Internet. This is a tiny little excerpt of the lead-in to these people coming in to treatment. As I said, the nine of them took cameras out, they chronicled their lives coming into treatment. They are addicts so they were doing drugs, then they come into treatment and they are transformed in the process of the treatment which is rendered.

This is their life before treatment. They're drug addicts. It's part of the story. This part of the story is not meant to do anything other than to show how ill people get in the disease of addiction.

MACCALLUM: I think it's a very interesting note. The people that are shown, how are they doing now? How long ago did they go through the process?

PINSKY: We did this in August. Again, you know people look at drug treatment as some sort of like a car wash where you go in and you come out and you're done. Now these people, while they are transformed and the transformation is rather remarkable when you really see it on film like this, but they are beginning the process of recovery, which is really a multi-year endeavor that takes many, many months for them to really categorically call themselves a recovering person.

So, yes, many of them, I can tell you the outcome in this treatment was far better than average. Most of them are in recovery and are sober right now.

GIBSON: Dr. Drew, when you look at these scenes and these people that we all know from famous television shows, we think about the Lindsays and Britneys, we haven't seen them before they went to rehab. Are people going to make the assumption they're all doing that same stuff you are showing on this show?

PINSKY: Well, you have seen them before going to rehab. You have seen them in the same kind of shape our patients were in. In fact, that's what websites and now television shows are dedicated to chronicling this. The problem is these young people go to treatment and no one has any idea what that is.

Really, I mean John, do you know what treatment is? Can you describe that? No one really, it's a very difficult thing to describe what happens in treatment and how profound and rigorous and emotional this thing is. We're going to show that for the first time so people can understand how difficult this disease is and how problematic the recovery process is.

You know, the Lindsay Lohans, Lindsay had to go away for six months and that probably wasn't long enough. It's a long-term proposition.

GIBSON: Dr. Drew Pinsky, the show is "Celebrity Rehab" on VH1. Dr. Drew, it's always good to see you.

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