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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Addiction and Substance Abuse
Aired May 4, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAHN: Alcohol and drug abuse are all over the news. A hidden tragedy in millions and millions of lives. When the truth comes out, it is always shocking and ugly. Just minutes ago, Paris Hilton got 45 days in jail for violating the terms of her probation for alcohol- related reckless driving. Entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas is still at the Los Angeles courthouse where the sentence just came down.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: It's a moment we were all waiting for. What kind of jail time would Paris Hilton get? Prosecutors were right on, they were asking for 45 days. That's exactly what she got. She came in about ten minutes late to the hearing today, she was dressed very conservative, here to do business, and she did take the stand. When she was on the stand, she said she was unaware that she was not allowed to drive. She said that her publicist told her that after 30 days, she was allowed to go and from work. The prosecutors said, didn't you check your mail? Didn't you sign saying something that you understood you were not allowed to drive? She said, at some point, I don't read everything that I'm asked to sign, people tell me to sign things, I sign them and I don't read all of my mail. Elliott Ments (ph), her publicist agreed, that yes, he did tell his client that after 30 days she was allowed to drive to and from work. But the judge, Paula, was not buying it. He said that Elliot Ments, he actually compared him to Cyrano de Bergerac (ph), at one point, falling on the sword for his client. Also, he said that there was no question that Paris knew her license was suspended, but she chose to ignore it. I've got to tell you, the response in the courtroom from Kathy Hilton was definitely notable, Kathy Hilton being her mother, was absolutely disturbed by this whole thing. At one point we were told that she asked the prosecutors for an autograph, and she also came out here at the very end, she was the only one that spoke. Paris Hilton was absolutely hurt by this thing, but her mother was adamant, saying this is absolutely pathetic. And it's just awful this happened to her daughter, and it was something that should not have happened. Now, I won't tell -- one last thing, she has until June 5th to report to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynnwood to serve her time.
ZAHN: Maybe she'll learn something from this experience. Thanks so much, Sibila.
Recently we've been hearing a lot about high-profile stars who have gotten into trouble, who have checked into rehab. Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohanan, Mel Gibson. And just this week, the entertainment show "Extra" played this video of actor David Hasselhoff, drunken and barely coherent. We'll have more on his problems in just a little bit, and explain to you how this videotape was shot in the first place. We'll talk about operation tough love by his daughter.
But all of this got us wondering, where do Hollywood A-listers go to deal with drug and alcohol problems? Entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson got rare, inside access to an exclusive rehab center. It is the first stop on our special "Hooked, Inside Rehab."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Break the surf zone, swim out to the right a bit more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sweet.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Surfing, massages, gourmet meals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have two balconies up here.
ANDERSON: Luxurious accommodations.
You wake up every morning to this view?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every morning I wake up, step outside, take a deep breath and thank God for allowing me to be here.
ANDERSON: You may think this is a posh resort, but in fact this is drug and alcohol rehab Malibu style.
(on camera): Is this rehab? Or is this summer camp? Come on, here we are at the beautiful beach in Malibu.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a little bit of both, but what happens while you're here is that the primary focus is dealing with your emotional therapeutic issues.
ANDERSON: Twenty one-year-old Scott Young is nearing the end of his 30-day stay at Passages Addiction Cure Center.
SCOTT YOUNG, GUEST: I ended up smoking pot and drinking when I was 10, 11 years old. Ever since then it's progressed, using heroin, crack, cocaine, drinking when I couldn't get those things. I spent two months in jail before I came here. It's been a long journey for me.
ANDERSON: This his Scott's fifth or sixth time in rehab, his first in the lap of luxury. A family friend picked up the tap this time, because the stay at Passages isn't cheap, at nearly $70,000 a month.
YOUNG: This is the master bathroom. It is by far one of the biggest bathrooms I have ever stepped my foot in.
ANDERSON: It's enormous. YOUNG: There's views. I come and brush my teeth every morning and I get to look at the ocean. It doesn't get any better than this.
ANDERSON: Meet Concetta Bruce (ph), a 43-year-old mother who extended her stay to two months. Her parents are picking up the whopping $135,000 bill.
What does your family think about you being here? From the outside, boy, it looks like a five-star resort.
CONCETTA BRUCE, GUEST: Yes, they all said, we want to go, you know? They realize that in order to get here, I had to be in a really dark place, and I don't think anybody would want to change places with me, to go through the darkness to get to this place.
ANDERSON (voice over): Concetta says she's been in and out of rehabs over the years. Struggling with everything from an eating disorder to gambling, abusing alcohol and methamphetamine, even attempting suicide. Before getting help this time, Concetta became isolated from her family.
BRUCE: They said, look Concetta, we can't have you this way around our family. And I told my daughter, mommy's still very sick and she's using drugs again.
ANDERSON: Concetta says she finally feels she has a grip on her dependency after finding the root of her problems at Passages.
BRUCE: It's four intensive hours a day of therapists one on one, which I felt I needed to be able to get to the core issues.
ANDERSON: Passages is very different from your average rehab. With less focus on group therapy and more focus on one on one treatment, which Concetta and Scott allowed us to witness.
YOUNG: I had no self-acceptance whatsoever.
ANDERSON: Some is what you would expect. Regular meetings with a psychologist as well as therapists who focus on family issues and chemical dependency.
YOUNG: Putting the toxins and poisons into my body, it didn't affect me at all. It just numbed me to having to feel this self-hate and misery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE THERAPIST: You're accepting yourself right now without judgment. And accepting your emotions right now, that's pretty cool.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE THERAPIST: You are worthy, worthy and deserving.
ANDERSON: But there's also regular hypnotherapy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE THERAPIST: Listen, feel, sense. You're learning to love and respect yourself. ANDERSON: And meetings with a nutritionist who specializes in spiritual counseling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Opening the heart, connecting to your emotions.
ANDERSON: Here, they say the massages help heal the body ravaged by drugs. And they claim activities like surfing serve a purpose, too.
STEVEN ELLIS, PASSAGES LIFE PURPOSE COACH: There's a time to unplug and unconsciously process a lot of the serious work that's happened at Passages. When we're out here, sometimes there are serious conversations that happen that are by no means trivial, whatsoever.
ANDERSON: Chris Prentiss and his son, Pax, a former heroin and cocaine addict, founded Passages six years ago based on the tools they say helped Pax become sober.
(on camera): Why the gourmet chefs? Why the massage therapist? Is that necessary?
CHRIS PRENTISS, PASSAGES ADDICTION CURE CENTER: It's not necessary in a way, but in another way it is. Because this is a healing center. The people that want to come to this program, expect to be in a nice surrounding.
ANDERSON: Nearly $70,000 a month. Why so expensive?
PRENTISS: Because it's one-on-one treatment. Because it's in a $22 million estate, because there's 100 people to work here to take care of 29 clients. It just an expensive program to put on.
ANDERSON (voice over): The Prentiss duo claim a success rate of better than 80 percent and even wrote a book about their unconventional approach. They reject the decades-old 12 step program and proudly defy scientific studies about addiction.
(on camera): Doctors, scientists say addiction is a disease. You say it's not.
PRENTISS: I know it's not.
We know it's not. People do not use drugs and alcohol because they have a disease in their brain. People use drugs and alcohol because of heartbreak, loneliness, because of stress, anxiety, peer pressure, because of childhood problems, rape, incest, brutality, abandonment, guilt, things they have done to others. That's why people use drugs and alcohol. It's not because they are some incurably diseased person with no hope of recovering.
PAX PRENTISS: The difficulty I have with the disease concept and with calling yourself an addict is that labels you and defines you.
ANDERSON: When you send patients home, what do you say to them? PRENTISS: You're cured.
Totally cured, 100 percent.
PAX PRENTISS: You will never used drugs and alcohol again, your dependency has been cured, have a wonderful life.
BRUCE: I can't wait to have the rest of my life unfold. It's going to be wonderful.
ANDERSON (voice over): The time has come for Scott to pack his bags and head back to New York, where he plans to enroll in college to become a drug counselor.
YOUNG: Because of finding that acceptance in myself, I'm able to connect with the world and other people in a different way. It's a great feeling.
I'm definitely capable of growing out there just like I am in here.
ANDERSON: While the Passages approach to treatment may be debatable, hope is never questioned.
Brooke Anderson, CNN, Malibu, California.
ZAHN: And with me for tonight's special hour, Addiction Specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky, the author of "Cracked, Putting Broken Lives Together Again." Also with us right now, someone you just saw in Brooke Anderson's piece, Chris Prentiss, co-founder and co-director of Passages and author of "The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure."
Welcome to both of you. So, Dr. Pinsky, I know you have a big problem with the whole idea that addiction and alcoholism are considered by Mr. Prentiss as not diseases, something therefore that can be cured.
DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Right, I agree with him totally the reason people start using drugs are issues of trauma, neglect, abuse, abandonment, absolutely the reason they start using. The problem is, explaining why they can't stop, even when the drugs and alcohol no longer work, and in fact the drugs and alcohol are clearly what are destroying their lives and making things so much worse. And what has been clearly documented is that their brain changes. I don't know what else is a disease other than an abnormal physiology of an organ, manifesting in signs and symptoms, with a predictable response to treatment. That's all disease. It just so happens this disease is in the brain.
ZAHN: Do you concede, Chris, there are changes in the brain related to dependence on alcohol and drugs?
PRENTISS: Absolutely. You know, Dr. Pinsky is well-respected in this community. And well-loved by millions of people for his earlier television work. He's an authority in this, and I certainly respect what he says.
However, we had another side to that coin, and the other side is more than 80 percent of the people who come to passages, since we opened our doors in 2001 are still clean and sober, and we don't treat addiction or alcoholism. We regard them simply as symptoms of an underlying condition. What we treat, are the causes of the condition, and the reason that people relapse over and over, not because they have a disease, not because their brain has changed -- though I agree with Dr. Pinsky that it has changed. But the underlying conditions are still present that created it in the first place.
ZAHN: So Dr. Drew, do you think these are phony numbers on Chris's part? Or do you think it's true, that 80 percent of the people who pass through the walls of Passages, never have had another drink or done a drug.
PINSKY: By the way, we're both agreeing with each other, which I find interesting. We're just mincing on our semantics, in terms of the data on outcome, I please beg him to publish that in a peer- reviewed journal. So those of us that work in the field descend upon that data, see if the data can be reproduced in our units, if we understand what what is going on, if it's carefully studied.
ZAHN: Chris, I want to ask you of your view of the 12-step programs, you think mere baloney. Yet people like Dr. Pinsky think they're very effective. Do you have any scientific evidence that you can share with us tonight that would show that the 12-step program is worthless?
PRENTISS: It's certainly not worthless. The 12-step program has many advantageous aspects to it. There are things about the 12-step program that we would like to see changed. Step one, declaring yourself powerless over drugs and alcohol. We believe that's your only hope. I know there's many different interpretations of that, and I don't want to get into that tonight, but there are slogans, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. Once an addict, always an addict. How about this, relapse is part of recovery? Relapse is not part of recovery. Relapse is a return to dependency.
So I would like to see the 12-step program blossom to what it can be. You know, according to the Alcoholics Anonymous home page, only 5 percent of people who ever go to an alcoholics anonymous meeting, ever go back for a second meeting. The reason for that, in our opinion, is they don't like calling themselves addicts and alcoholics. They don't like to declare themselves powerless. We tell people you can be cured completely. We instill hope. With the 12-step program, the first thing they do is declare their hopelessness.
ZAHN: We have to leave it there. Thank you both. If you have a question for the doctor, please send him an e-mail to now@CNN.com. He'll answer some of them a bit later on.
While our Brooke Anderson was at Passages, she met a celebrity designer who was amazingly candid with his own addiction.
MARC JACOBS (ph), FASHION DESIGNER: When I choose to pick up a drink or drug, it gets out of control and I behave irresponsibly.
Fashion diner Marc Jacobs with a search for a way out of his downward spiral.
A bit later on, he grew up with money, privilege, a magical name, yet he lost his way a bunch of times. In fact, basically from the time he was 13 to 30. The hidden secrets of Christopher Kennedy Lawford, in our special Hooked, Inside Rehab.
ZAHN: The stress of building a business can lead to big problems. Out in the open tonight, a controversial program to help executives overcome alcoholism without giving up day-to-day control. That's coming up a bit in our special hour, Hooked, Inside Rehab. We are spending the hour tonight taking you inside the world of addiction and recovery. Our out in the open special, Hooked, Inside Rehab continues now.
This videotape first ran on the entertainment show, "Extra," a very sad and painful example of a recovering alcoholic, actor David Hasselhoff who clearly has fallen off the wagon here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me you're going to stop.
UIDENTIFIED MALE: I am going to stop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Promise?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a mess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Horrible to watch. Hasselhoff was videotaped by his own daughter, he says to show him what he was like when he was drunk. He said it happened three months ago, and he's doing much better now. As for how the tape got out, he says he's in the middle of a very nasty divorce. Now, Hasselhoff has spent some time in rehab before that taping.
Tonight we're going to give you a remarkable look what it's like when a celebrity goes through rehab. Once again here's entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson.
ANDERSON (voice over): His name is synonymous all over the world with cutting-edge fashion.
JACOBS: I just love when girls wear my clothes. It's the highest, absolute highest compliment.
ANDERSON: Designer Marc Jacobs has been a trendsetter for over two decades with a loyal following.
SELMA BLAIR, ACTRESS: I think I wear Marc every day.
TORRI SPELLING (PH), ACTRESS: I love his stuff.
ANDERSON: Marc Jacobs appears to have it all.
JACOBS: This is like a dream come true.
ANDERSON: But beneath the cool and confident exterior, Marc Jacobs has been fighting a dangerous addiction.
JACOBS: When I pick up a drink, or choose to pick up a drug, it gets out of control and I behave irresponsibly. I don't want to be that person.
ANDERSON: We caught up with Marc while he was seeking help for drug and alcohol dependency at Passages Addiction Cure Center in Malibu, an expensive and luxurious rehab facility.
JACOBS: I start slipping into this thinking of I can have a drink, I can have five, ten drinks. This began in Moscow on a trip, and I thought everybody is drinking vodka, and I haven't drank in years and I can drink again. It came out of the a celebration that I decided to drink and of course it progressed. I'm not happy and full of life like this when I'm holed up in a hotel room on my third bottle of vodka. And not answering the phone because I didn't show up for work.
ANDERSON: Marc's struggles began with what he describes as a horrible childhood.
JACOBS: I didn't have the ideal family, I was teased and sort of made fun of by my peers, and I had no one to talk to. I was too full of shame to really approach someone to talk to.
ANDERSON: This is Marc's second trip to rehab in two months. He left a treatment facility in Arizona after 18 days to come here to Passages, a 30-day stay costs nearly $70,000. It's a center that looks more like a ritzy resort than a rehab, offering tennis lessons, massages and gourmet foods.
JACOBS: We pulled up here I said we're in the wrong place. I didn't believe this was a drug treatment center at all.
ANDERSON: Does this seem a bit like a vacation at the same time, though? You are a very busy person.
JACOBS: Sitting here in a tank top and pair of shorts, with the sun shining, it seems like a vacation.
ANDERSON: But, Marc says, it's far from a holiday, with four to five hours of intense individual therapy every day. In addition to regular meetings with psychologists and addiction specialists, there's also hypnotherapy, acupuncture, relationship and spiritual counseling, unusual offerings for a rehab facility. Do you think a month is enough?
JACOBS: I think for me, a month is enough. I feel like today I could leave and never drink and drug again. It's been a powerful experience, one I will never forget.
ANDERSON: Brooke Anderson, CNN, Malibu, California.
ZAHN: We hope it continues to work.
We're about to meet a man from one of the most wealthiest and powerful families in the country, and it nearly destroyed him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've killed myself many times. I'm a very lucky person to be sitting here. I was dead four times.
ZAHN: Out in the open next, Christopher Kennedy Lawford's amazing story of addiction and recovery.
Later on, battling alcoholism while running a business. If you have a question for Dr. Drew Pinsky, send them along. E-mail us at now@CNN.com. He'll answer it coming up.
ZAHN: Welcome back to our special hour, Hooked, Inside Rehab. Drug and alcohol abuse costs this country more than $360 billion a year. And we're devoting the program tonight to bringing out in the open the challenge close to 5 million Americans face, breaking their addictions.
Christopher Kennedy Lawford is the nephew of President John F. Kennedy. At the age of 13, he started abusing drugs and only began to recover at the age of 30. Lawford a master's in clinical psychology from Harvard Medical School, where he's been a lecturer in psychology, and he joins me now. Welcome back, Christopher. Always good to see you.
CHRISTOPHER KENNEDY LAWFORD, AUTHOR: Good to see you, Paula.
ZAHN: Why do you think you got in so much trouble with drugs and alcohol?
LAWFORD: Well, I sort of describe my experience as being the product of an addictive perfect storm. I think culturally in 1969 we didn't know nearly as much about this issue as we know today. When I started, you know, it was sort of free love, free expanding your mind, and people were doing this kind of behavior intergenerationally without any idea what the consequences might be.
In addition to that, secondly I had my own personal circumstances. I was basically a a product of divorce. I watched two of my family members be brutally murdered in a public way, so I was a terrified 13-year-old. The third thing is I think I have the genetic predisposition for this illness. ZAHN: What is so staggering about your story is how you were able to hide your habit. You went through your heroin stage, for two years where you were doing PCP every day of the week, and you somehow got through college. How were you able to do that?
LAWFORD: Well, I'm not that much of an aberration. There are a lot of kids out there like me. I talked to Greg Johnson at the University of Harvard Health Services the other day, and he said it's not difficult to identify the kids who are really in trouble. What's hard to identify is the functional addicts. I went through law school, addicted to drugs. I got my master's certification in clinical psychology from Harvard Medical School with an emphasis in addictive behavior, and I wasn't sober.
This is what alcoholics and addicts are capable of, even in the midst of their disease.
ZAHN: Christopher, I know you have talked quite poignantly about cheating death four times in your battle against drugs and alcohol.
Describe to us tonight, as vividly as you can, what happened when you hit your absolute rock bottom.
LAWFORD: I woke up that morning with this dread in my gut like nothing I had ever felt before. I realized the only answer for that, because I had tried everything -- the only answer for that pain was to either put a gun in my mouth or to surrender. I didn't have a gun, and I don't think I would ever do anything like that, but that's the level of pain I was in. I just knew on some fundamental level that it was over. I believe it was a moment of grace.
ZAHN: You were one lucky guy. Now, that story in and of itself should scare the heck out of kids and adults abusing drugs and alcohol, but is there one single argument you can make tonight to convince them to stop abusing liquor and drugs?
LAWFORD: I wasted a lot of time, you know? And at 30 years old, I woke up, and I realized that I had wasted a good 15 years of my life. And I can't ever get that 15 years back. And, you know, that's something that I have to live with.
You're never going to scare a kid into getting sober. You're never going to threaten a kid into getting sober. What you can do, I think, is share your experience with them. And when I share my experience with them, I think kids get the fact that I love life, and I wasted a lot of my life, and I regret that.
ZAHN: Well, we appreciate your raw honesty here tonight, Christopher Kennedy Lawford. Thank you again for being with us.
LAWFORD: Thanks, Paula.
ZAHN: How many of you businesspeople out there are hiding a secret like this man? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J.D., RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC: I would close the door to the office and start drinking, or I would just simply leave, go to a bar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Next, is it possible to kick the habit while still running your business? And what do you do if you're not the boss?
ZAHN: More now of our "Out in the Open" special hour, "Hooked Inside Rehab." A University of Buffalo study found that as many as two million Americans have worked while under the influence of alcohol. And you may wonder, what happens when the boss has a drinking problem? Heidi Collins brings that out in the open, a controversial rehab program designed especially for high-powered executives.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): At first, partying was just a way for J.D. to blow off steam.
J.D.: As I got into my late teens, it was an everyday occurrence. Friends would show me pictures of the things that we were doing. Some of it was hilarious. Some of it was just fun. But later on, the stakes got higher.
COLLINS: Back then, J.D., now the owner of a successful multimillion-dollar construction company, didn't let drinking get in the way of work. But as the pressure to succeed grew, so did J.D.'s problems with booze. Drinking after work soon became drinking at work.
J.D.: I would close the door to the office and start drinking or I would just simply leave, go to the bars.
COLLINS: But the greatest damage happened in his personal life. J.D. has been arrested numerous times, including three DUIs. Estranged from his young daughters and his professional life in chaos, J.D. knew he had to get help.
DIANNE ALLEN, ADDICTION EXPERT: Is there anything anybody wants to talk about?
COLLINS: J.D. checked himself into Gulf Coast Recovery near Tampa, Florida.
ALLEN: Intelligence and affluence are your two biggest barriers to staying sober.
COLLINS: Dianne Allen has been working with people in recovery for 20 years. She says there is a desperate need for specialized treatment for executives. ALLEN: I don't know if they drink more, but it's hidden longer. Money insulates it. They can go get a DUI, hire a good attorney, get off with reckless driving, and brag about it.
COLLINS (on screen): What is so different treating them? What sort of traits do they have?
ALLEN: Most of the people that I see here are creative. They're very fast-thinkers, usually a little bit more intelligence, and they tend to be very stuck in their ways, but yet real creative at the same time.
COLLINS (voice-over): They may also be isolated.
ALLEN: For the most part, they're at the top of their company, and so they don't have a lot of people to talk to.
COLLINS: Here, there is a lot of talking. Along with attending 12-step meetings, executives meet one on one with Dianne and spend up to 16 hours a week with other executives in group therapy.
ALLEN: One of the things your addiction does is it undermines who you are.
COLLINS: They're also given homework, writing assignments to reflect on why they drink and what they will do to stay sober. The program is essentially small, no more than 10 executives at any given time. Alumnae like J.D. are allowed and encouraged to check in often.
J.D.: It eats me up, because I cheated myself. I lied to myself.
COLLINS: Clean and sober since the fall of 2005, J.D. has lost 25 pounds.
ALLEN: What I'm trying to do is have them see that, if they have a balance between a mental, and an emotional, and a physical, and a spiritual way of living, that that balance comes together in a synergy and makes them more effective people.
COLLINS: The program is also specifically designed for people who cannot drop out of the work for a month. Executives are allowed to keep in touch with the office. J.D. says, every now and then, he thinks about having a drink, but ultimately keeping clean is far too important.
(on screen): Where do you see yourself in five years?
J.D.: I see myself sober, sane, with my girls. I want to be happy.
COLLINS: Heidi Collins, CNN, Treasure Island, Florida.
ZAHN: We wish him luck. Back with me now, addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky. So, Doctor, do you think it's a good idea for people to continue their jobs and try to beat their habit?
DR. DREW PINSKY, "CRACKED: PUTTING BROKEN LIVES TOGETHER AGAIN": It sometimes is the only way you can get people into treatment is if you allow for that, because they just aren't coming any other way. But the reality is, it's far better for them to let go of everything and to focus on their recovery.
ZAHN: Let's focus on what the so-called Average Joe is up against when it comes to rehab. You're not going to get, you know, your own little private bedroom. You're going to share a room, of course, a bedroom. You're not going to get gourmet food, massages, acupuncture. You certainly aren't going to go surfing. And what about the whole insurance issue involved here?
PINSKY: Right, most people are very shocked by that. In fact, Mr. Prentiss (ph) was emphasizing how they get individual therapies. And in treatment, individual therapies have not been shown to be particularly useful. So group therapies are what are deployed, and that's what your insurance will cover.
The reality is, although your insurance may say it's covering 30 days of inpatient rehabilitation, the reality is that they send that insurance risk pool over to what's called a review agency, and the review agency sets the standards and criteria that are needed to be met for you to stay in inpatient treatment. And on average, in my hospital, that's about five to seven days. So very few people get treatment in a hospital, inpatient setting, longer than that.
ZAHN: That's it?
PINSKY: That's it. And, believe me, it's not about what the doctor is telling the insurance company. They set these criteria based on something called the ASAM criteria, which are criteria for the types of care rendered for the degree of illness of that particular individual.
They were never meant to be used as rigid criteria for the specific levels of care, but insurance industry now uses it as such. It's very frustrating and very difficult. You have to create multiple levels of care to try to get your patient's needs met.
ZAHN: And I think one of the most terrifying things about this process for a lot of people is the stigma that's attached to it. And they are really afraid to approach a boss and tell them that they have a problem or a boss admitting to his workforce or her workforce if he or she has a problem.
PINSKY: Well, sure. I totally agree, Paul. And, just in general, though, it's a funny thing. People sort of cave into the addict's sense of grandiosity and their defensiveness. They don't want to upset them and create the chaos that sometimes ensues. I mean, people like me, we just get used to confronting addicts, because that's what we do all day. But the general public needs to get used to walking up to people, because you're doing it on their behalf. You're trying to save their life with a deadly illness.
ZAHN: Dr. Drew, please stand by. We've got some more work for you to do. We've got some e-mails we're going to shoot your way, and you can continue to send more questions to us at now@CNN.com. We'll get to as many of them as we can.
You probably remember comedian Chris Farley and what killed him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FARLEY, CHRIS FARLEY'S BROTHER: It wasn't really an overdose, per se. It was more like a heart attack brought on by years and years of abuse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Nine years later, a company is actually uses Farley's image to advertise its controversial treatment for drug addiction. What's the problem with that? We're going to bring it "Out in the Open," next.
ZAHN: Our special hour, "Hooked: Inside Rehab," continues now. And our next story brings out in the open a controversial treatment for addiction and the even more controversial advertising campaign behind it.
The pitch man happens to be a dead comedian, Chris Farley. He, of course, spent years battling addiction before a heart attack killed him 10 years ago. And now, in a strange and very disturbing way, he's a star again. Ted Rowlands has the story.
CHRIS FARLEY, LATE COMEDIAN: I am divorced, and I live in a van down by the river!
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On "Saturday Night Live" and in movies like "Tommy Boy," Chris Farley made millions of people laugh during his relatively short life.
C. FARLEY: Holy schnikees.
TOM FARLEY, CHRIS FARLEY'S BROTHER: And what you were seeing on screen was the real deal. I mean, that was what he was like in person, and he was.
C. FARLEY: Maybe I'm not the "norm."
ROWLANDS: What you didn't see on screen, according to family and friends, was an addiction to drugs and alcohol that took control of Chris Farley's life.
C. FARLEY: How can we get back on the right track?
T. FARLEY: Chris tried everything in the world of rehab. He wanted success in his area, and sometimes it just got so hard that he would just, you know, give up first time, and relapse, but he would always get right back on it.
ROWLANDS: In 1997 at the age of 35, Chris Farley died of a heart attack in his Chicago apartment. According to the coroner's report, there were drugs in his system, and his family says he was using drugs the night he died.
T. FARLEY: There wasn't really an overdose, per se. It was more like a heart attack brought on by years and years of abuse.
ROWLANDS: Almost nine years after his death, Chris Farley was back in Hollywood, his face plastered on huge billboards with the quote, "It wasn't all his fault." It's part of a controversial advertising campaign using Chris Farley as a pitch man from the dead.
TERREN PEIZER, CEO, PROMETA: Our goal was to create awareness of addiction as a brain disease.
ROWLANDS: Terren Peizer's company, Hythiam, is behind the Farley's ad. The product is called ProMeta, a new drug treatment program that uses medication to fight drug addiction. Patients, like this woman who says she's addicted to heroin, are given intravenous treatments that they claim remove toxins and curb the addiction. What's unclear is whether ProMeta actually works and if it's appropriate to use a dead comedian to help sell it.
(on screen): The Farley family says they agreed to the ad campaign, not necessarily because they believe that ProMeta is some sort of wonder drug, but, rather, they say because they believe that drug addicts need all of the help they can get, which is something they didn't necessarily believe until after Chris was already dead.
T. FARLEY: Not that we were looking for whose fault is it, but we thought that Chris and only Chris could just stop.
ROWLANDS (voice-over): The Farley family was paid $25,000 for the initial ad campaign. The money went to the Chris Farley Foundation, which brother Tom Farley runs out of his basement in the family's hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. The foundation's mission is to use comedy to get kids to stay away from drugs.
Tom Farley travels to schools around the country using students to participate in comedy skits that deal with drug issues. The foundation also produces anti-drug ads using other comedians.
JIMMY FALLON, ACTOR: Don't put an end to the laughter in your own life.
ROWLANDS: The Farley family says, despite some negative e-mails against the billboards, they are convinced that Chris Farley would approve of the ad campaign...
T. FARLEY: Any attention is good, right?
ROWLANDS: ... and the foundation's mission of using his story to help people stay off drugs while making them laugh.
Ted Rowlands, CNN, Madison, Wisconsin.
ZAHN: And right now, we're going to change our focus for a moment or two. All this week, we've been celebrating Larry King's 50th year in broadcasting. He is known for his candid interviews with the famous and the infamous, but some of his most memorable conversations have been with celebrities in crisis.
Here's Larry on his interview with Martha Stewart, just after she was sentenced to prison.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Martha Stewart appeared many times during that period of conviction, jail, trial. And every time she was on, it was exclusive. Every time there was a possibility that she would make news, Martha Stewart came on the show.
And it was always good to have her. She was always direct, didn't duck anything. I thought she handled her prison well and her coming out very well.
People makes jokes. You're going to redo the jail?
MARTHA STEWART, TELEVISION HOST: Larry, it's not a joking matter.
KING: No, it's not a joke.
STEWART: It's not.
KING: Do you fear it?
KING: What do you fear the most?
STEWART: I mean, I'm not afraid to go to jail. I'm afraid to be incarcerated. I mean, it's a lack of freedom. My freedom is taken away. Anybody in their right mind would fear incarceration.
KING: I've always admired Martha Stewart, and I'm always glad that she comes to us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: And, of course, celebrities still coming to Larry's microphone. Tonight, some of the starts he's interviewed join comedian Bill Maher for a salute to Larry King. That's coming up in about 11 1/2 minutes. So what questions do you have about addiction and rehab? Well, the doctor is here. Dr. Drew Pinsky, he has some answers for you, straight ahead. Stay with us.
ZAHN: In this hour, we've been taking an in-depth look at addiction and recovery. We've got a ton of your e-mail questions for Dr. Drew Pinsky. He's back to answer them.
Let's get going with this one from Joe. The question is, "Does the brain ever recover from using drugs? I imagine it must depend on the drug use, but are the changes everlasting? And if so, how can a person ever quit using?"
PINSKY: That's exactly the point, Paula. It does depend on what drug you've been using. Some changes are permanent; some are not. But the fact is, the way to think about this is it leaves behind a drive, a memory that can be retriggered. That drive diminishes with time, but any exposure to chemicals that cause addiction, whether you were a marijuana addict and then get exposed to alcohol, you are a heroin addict and then get exposed to cocaine, it all retriggers those same drive systems and reactivates the disease.
ZAHN: A lot of Joes out there watching tonight. Here's another one from Joe. "How do you initiate an intervention on a top-level executive who needs rehab?" That's a tough one. You don't want to get fired for turning in your boss, right?
PINSKY: No, that's right. And, in fact, the job is often the very source of leverage that you need. If there's somebody above that executive, that's where you need to go, particularly for men. They're highly motivated by their career. So in an intervention, people from that person's career tend to be the most powerful motivator. That, and hire an interventionist. I really think there are plenty of good professionals out there. For something like that, it's tough.
ZAHN: This next question comes, I think, from the only Tiffany who wrote to us tonight, and she writes, "What is the evidence supporting a genetic predisposition, as Christopher Kennedy Lawford suggests, for drug and alcohol abuse? And why aren't people with risk for the disposition treated before a problem exists?"
That's an interesting one.
PINSKY: It is an interesting one. I just want to say about the Mr. Lawford interview, that was great the way he got at that moment of change. That was such a clear description of how people get to that bottom and then are willing to change or die.
In terms of the genetic predisposition, there's actually no doubt about the genetic predisposition for addiction. It's a defining quality of the disease. We consider it a genetic disorder. There are three good genes out there which have been isolated. In fact, two of them, in this one San Diego study, if you had two of them, you had a 100 percent probability of developing alcoholism. The reality is, though, we really don't know what to do with these people we identify. I would say the one thing is to educate them and, secondly, as most emotional help as possible, the least likely the activation of that gene is. Genes don't mean destiny.
ZAHN: They don't, but it's too bad you can't get more help to those that have that in their gene pool.
The last question from a viewer named Maureen, and she writes, "Do you think it's possible for someone to rehab on their own? If so, do you have any suggestions, books, tapes, et cetera?"
PINSKY: Very quickly, I would just say sometimes people stop for long periods of time, but treatment is not a solo process. It's an interpersonal experience, and it must be done with other people.
ZAHN: And it's, in some cases, long and painful process.
PINSKY: Indeed it is.
ZAHN: Dr. Drew Pinsky, delighted to have you with us tonight.
PINSKY: Thank you, Paula. Appreciate it.
ZAHN: Always appreciate your help.
We're going to take a quick 'biz break right now. This is a good one for all of you investors out there. The Dow finished 23 points higher, a six point gain for the Nasdaq. S&P gained three. The Dow's record today makes it the longest bull run in 80 years. The index has risen in 23 of the last 26 sessions, the best streak since 1927, two years before the crash that led to that Great Depression.
A new clue in the investigation into contaminated pet food. The FDA now says the Chinese company that exported the tainted ingredient may have avoided inspections by mislabeling it. And the FDA also says 20 million chickens in several states may have eaten contaminated feed, but none of the birds has reached stores.
We are minutes away from a special celebration of Larry King's 50 years in broadcasting. The host tonight, Bill Maher. He will host a star-studded salute to the King, coming up at the top of the hour.
ZAHN: Happy anniversary, Lar. That wraps it up for all of us here tonight. Thanks so much for dropping by. We'll be back, same time, same place, Monday night. Hope you join us then. Until then, have a great weekend. "LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.
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