An Evening with Dr. Drew Pinsky at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara
Sponsored by New Noise Santa Barbara
The dimly lit theatre seemed to come alive when Dr. Drew Pinsky, noted doctor and host of “Love Lines” and “Celebrity Rehab” took the stage. The rousing applause of the audience made him blush and he stood patiently waiting for it to fade, which seemed to take forever. Dr. Drew is known for his medical work and his ability to sincerely and thoughtfully help people with their problems and confront their inner demons, and for this the audience was enamored with him and wanted to hear what he had to say. Author of “Cracked” and “The Mirror Effect”, his new book dealing with celebrity immorality and its effects on society, stood on the stage, smiling out at the fully packed house. With witty repose and humorous candor, he offered his philosophies on disease and addiction, telling all that there was a growing epidemic that needs to be addressed.
For more than 25 years, Dr. Drew has been working to help the individual, to support, give hope and nurture those that would be left by the side of the road. Through his career, the good doctor found that treatment of the disease that is addiction requires not just counseling, but consistent support and a self-discipline that must be taught, sometimes one day at a time. People often think that addiction can be cured, in actuality, it can only be coped with, and it is an illness that can stay with a person indefinitely. Addiction is also not confined to the substance abuser, but to everyone they connect with, and so on and so on, it can be vicious and rampant, but it can be stopped and managed with the best medicine there is, compassion.
Dr. Drew asked for the lights to be raised and addressed everyone, some with direct eye contact. He announced that there would be question and answer moments. We could “ask anything” and if some wanted, he could address some issues after the show. The doctor was in the house and in charge, giving some clarity to confusion. People took advantage of this by openly asking questions, exposing their secrets, often coming to tears. Dr. Drew, as if reaching from across the theatre spoke kindly, but firmly, to each and every person as if in private council, showing a mercy that lifted everyone in the house.
Dr. Drew covered the concepts of physical and psychological addiction as biological; it attacks the body and the mind. He stated that the need for a “fix” can be torment, and without a caring and supportive group, it can overcome the strongest of people. Whether it is drugs, alcohol, food or sex, addictions start with key factors that are often missed or even unknown, even to the addict, until counseling and therapy root out the cause and begin the treatment process. Dr. Drew approached the edge of the stage and looked out at the audience and stated “Only by following the patient through the treatment process, from start to maturity, can the healing process begin”. It was at that moment that there was a rouse of applause, and one would know there were people with some experience in the audience, from both sides of the fence.
The audience wanted more and more of his words of wisdom, information and knowledge that could prove as road markers to a path of enlightenment and healing. Everyone in the audience had questions, and he tried to address all of them, giving us a way to defend ourselves in the war against self-destructive behavior. Issues like abandonment, sexual abuse, trauma and a gambit of other “Key Causes” were covered, and issues that affected everyone, some that can be coped with, and some that could not. Looking around I saw people that were nodding, some seemed shocked at what they heard, some were teary eyed, and either in compassion or concern and questioned to themselves, “Do I have his in my life?” I am sure that some thought this. Dr. Drew is trying to make us all change our perception of addictive nature, disease and treatment, everyone walked away from this event with the knowledge that we can each overcome our problems and together we can heal.
“Masking trauma does not work, if somebody has an active addiction and is exposed to opiates or situations of abuse, their lives are in danger. The reason people do this to themselves is the sense of despair and hopelessness, they want out, it is up to all of us to bring them back IN”- Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew Pinsky is service Director of the Chemical dependency Program / residential Treatment Center at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, California. His latest book “The Mirror Effect – how Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America” written with Dr. S. Mark Young, published by Harper Press, is available in your local bookstore.