Since 37-year-old country singer and Celebrity Rehab alumnus Mindy McCready took her own life last week, there's been a lot of criticism directed at Dr. Drew Pinksy, the addiction specialist known for leading McCready and many other stars struggling with substance abuse through 21 days of televised treatment. Out of the nine cast members who participated in the same season as McCready (the show's third season), three have since died; McCready was the fifth Celebrity Rehab contestant to die in the past two years.
Not a great track record for Dr. Drew or the show, I suppose -- and reason enough for those who've dismissed Celebrity Rehab as exploitative from the start to feel justified in their opinion. Still. In all fairness, can the average not-on-television rehab program for non-famous types claim a higher rate of success?
Statistically, the answer is no: A staggering amount of treatment centers report a relapse rate as high as 90 percent, regardless of philosophy or methodology or even the particular physicians in charge. So can we really blame Dr. Drew for McCready's death?
No. Because Dr. Drew is a doctor, not a miracle worker, and treatment for disease is never a guaranteed cure. Which is not to say that rehab doesn't work for some addicts -- including Celebrity Rehab. And it's worth noting that the majority of addicts who never end up getting sober never tried to get help in the first place.
Do you think it's fair to blame Celebrity Rehab or Dr. Drew for Mindy McCready's death?
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