Dr. Drew Reunites with Celebrities but Turns His Focus to Teens
The head of VH1's Celebrity Rehab works with school nurses to prevent prescription medication addiction
It’s been five months since graduation for season 4 of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew was taped in August, but Dr. Drew Pinsky will host a live reunion with the cast Wednesday (10 p.m. ET) on VH1.
Of the patients seen on the show – socialite Jason Davis, former supermodel Janice Dickinson, actor Eric Roberts, singer Leif Garrett, Keyshia Cole’s mom Frankie Lon, actor Jeremy London, reality star Jason Wahler and party planner Rachel Uchitel – Pinksy says, “I’m still seeing some of them. Some are drifting, some are more engaged than ever.”
While treating celebrities for drugs and alcohol has become a specialty for Pinsky, he’s also hoping to reach people before the have a chance to become one of his patients.
To do that Pinsky has teamed up with the National Association of School Nurses to create Smart Moves/Smart Choices, a site that educates students and parents alike on the perils of prescription drug addiction.
“It’s something near and dear to my heart,” Pinsky says. “The issue of prescription drugs and young people is the area where we are really losing ground.”
One statistic on the site indicates that 3.2 million high school students in the U.S. say they have abused a prescription medication at least once. “Amazingly to me,” Pinsky says, “people aren’t aware of this. The site is trying to grab people with the facts.”
He also hopes parents and teens will learn to see school nurses as part of the solution and not just the person in the school with bandages and gauze.
“What I always tell parents is the school, the educator, the educational system, this is an asset, an ally, this is part of the team to bring your kids healthily into adulthood,” Pinsky says. “These are professionals who are trained and they have lots of resources and you need to listen to them and reach out to them.”