If anyone understands how easy it is to get caught up in the 24/7 business of being a celebrity – a celebrity who’s built his reputation on partying, no less – it’s Dr. Drew Pinsky. The addiction specialist – who hosts his nightly show, Dr. Drew on HLN at 9 pm ET/PT as well as his nationally syndicated radio show, Loveline – spoke exclusively with Wetpaint Entertainment about the struggles The Situation likely dealt with prior to checking into rehab – and what dangers Sitch faces now that it’s been announced he will take part in Season 6 of Jersey Shore, set to film this summer, once he’s done with treatment.
Wetpaint Entertainment: The Situation admitted he’s seeking treatment for a problem with prescription medication…yet another example of celebrity having issues with prescription pills. What do you have to say about that?
Dr. Drew: Well, mostly, I’m thankful we’re still talking about his life and not his demise. If things are at the point where he’s seeking treatment, he’s severely addicted. Let’s not pretend that’s not the case. I’m just so glad we’re talking about him getting treatment and not his funeral.
The problem is, there’s a really long distance between being in treatment and being fully engaged in recovery.
Do you think being the star of a show that's essentially about out-of-control partying led The Situation to feel like it was a lifestyle he had to keep up even when the show was off the air?
Well, in a way, because of the show, he was paid to show up and party. That was his job. But let’s be clear: regardless of the show, he’s a drug addict. Everything he’s been doing, it’s drug addict behavior. Being on Jersey Shore doesn’t make you a drug addict. The show probably just reinforced behavior he was already engaging in.
I’ve written about this [in The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America]: reality stars are some of the most narcissistic people out there. Often, there’s a lot of trauma and a lot of addiction going on with them to begin with. Being on TV just reinforces that narcissism and brings their issues into the forefront.
In my estimation, he’s not the only addict on that show. I believe steroid addiction is as bad as everything else that’s going on there. In my opinion, there are also a lot of issues with drinking. I don’t know these people that well individually, but I’m telling you what it seems like to me.
If the Situation is going to continue to be a part of Jersey Shore, a show that’s essentially about partying, what steps will he have to take to make sure his health isn't put in danger again?
Honestly, he needs to be as boring as hell. Personally, I would like to see him going to two meetings a day and not party at all. I would like to see him in sober living and NOT in the house they normally shoot in.
Frankly, the fact that he’s going into production at all this summer gravely concerns me. He needs to focus and he needs quiet and I think he needs at least a year to himself to work on his recovery. I have to be honest, I think it’s a terrible idea he’s going into production so soon.
Snooki is pregnant and now, the Situation is in recovery. Do you think it will be a good thing for the show to end on a note where two of the main characters have actually matured to the point where they AREN'T partying like crazy?
Well, I can only hope that’s where things end up – that they realize their potential and they grow up and act like adults. I’d love to see the show take that direction.
That being said, I don’t know that’s necessarily what we’re going to see. But I can tell you this: If The Situation doesn’t take his recovery seriously, if he doesn’t focus on it and make it his number one priority, he will relapse.
And if I see Snooki drinking or smoking or doing anything along those lines, I’m going call the authorities myself!
Jersey Shore airs Thursdays at 10 pm ET/PT on MTV.
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