Less than 24 hours after the news first broke that country singer Mindy McCready chose to take her own life one month after the father of her second child opted to do the same thing, a man who at one point tried to treat her demons on national television is speaking out for the first time.
In a statement, Dr. Drew Pinsky, who had McCready on board “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” the same season as Mike Starr and Joey Kovar (who are also now dead following incidents of drug abuse), issued his sorrow at what transpired while also explaining the sort of contact he had with the singer since the show ended:
“I am deeply saddened by this awful news. My heart goes out to Mindy’s family and children. She is a lovely woman who will be missed by many. Although I have not treated her for a few years, I had reached out to her recently upon hearing about the apparent suicide of her boyfriend and father of her younger children. She was devastated. Although she was fearful of stigma and ridicule she agreed with me that she needed to make her health and safety a priority. Unfortunately it seems that Mindy did not sustain her treatment.”
McCready is the fifth former “Celebrity Rehab” cast member to pass away following the show (and fourth whose passing is directly tied to drug use), and this of course has raised questions about whether or not trying to treat patients on television does more harm than good. Ultimately, you can be cynical about it and say that Pinsky’s show is exploitative; but at the same time, he and VH1 offered many of these patients chances to get help with the incentive of fame and a sum of cash, and if that gets them into treatment when nothing else can, isn’t that still a positive over no treatment at all? You also have to put this in perspective to the number of recovering addicts who face similar struggles away from reality TV. There have been some success stories of this program, including actor Tom Sizemore, who has gone on to do a variety of film and TV roles.
Regardless of how you feel about “Celebrity Rehab,” there is no question that this news is unbelievably tragic, and that these series are rather uncomfortable to watch given the deep sorrow now surrounding them.