Dr. Drew responds to 5th ‘Celebrity Rehab’ death in 2 years

Alums of Celebrity Rehab who have passed away

One of the stories to erupt in the wake of singer Mindy McCready’s death from an apparent suicide is the tragic loss of life for former cast members of Celebrity Rehab. McCready’s passing marks the 5th death in 2 years for those that have sought assistance via the VH1 TV show hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky.

McCready became the third of nine cast members from Season 3 alone to have passed as Alice in Chains‘ Mike Starr and Real World vet Joey Kovar previously lost their battles with addiction in unrelated drug overdoses. Jeff Conaway of Grease fame passed after a lifetime of prescription pill addictions while Rodney King’s death was ruled an accidental drowning although alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and PCP found in his system were contributing factors. Conaway and King both appeared on Season 2.

Late 80’s and early 90’s hit-maker Richard Marx didn’t mince words in regards to his opinion of Dr. Drew via Twitter:


There were a total of 43 cast members for Celebrity Rehab through its 5th and final season. BuzzFeed reached out to Dr. Drew and he offered this official statement:

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.

Mental health issues can be life threatening and need to be treated with the same intensity and resources as any other dangerous potentially life threatening medical condition. Treatment is effective. If someone you know is suffering please be sure he or she gets help and maintains treatment.

In the following emotionally charged clip via VH1 from Season 3, Mindy sings a song she penned while in jail and dedicated it to her fellow cast mates.

Do you agree with Marx’s viewpoint that Dr. Drew, via his work with Celebrity Rehab, is guilty of exploitation?


  • Shannon

    Omg Richard Marx!!! Love him way back when

  • savannah

    Its not as if we’re dealing with your average people here, they are addicts. All of them. Reality is, addicts usually have underlying mental health issues, suffer anxiety and depression along with the fact that most addicts are highly likely to relapse. Yes Dr. Drew made a show about celebrity addicts and probably did capitalize on them, but its not as if Dr. Drew is the reason these people died. As he said, he reached out to Mindy and she was the one who discontinued her treatment. I’m so sick of reading that its his fault these people have died…

    PS, I’m speaking from experience as I have had issues with addiction. Almost 3 years sober but it took a LONG time to get me to this point. People love to find someone to blame in situations like this. But I don’t think its fair.

    • Geniya

      hey you stole the comment i wanted to write

    • Kari

      Congrats on almost 3 years sober!

      • savannah

        Thank you! It’s been a hard road, but I know others have struggled much more. Every day is an accomplishment, and it makes me sad to see those who have lost the battle.

  • Cheermom

    Shame on Richard Marx!

    • ameliaBedelia76

      Richard marx is stating that the addicts that need help are simply be being used to make Dr. Drew $$. Calm down with the shame on you part He isn’t saying anything against mental illness. I wish all the people who “shame on you”people for saying ANYTHING against mental illness, how many of you are volunteering your time mental health facilities? How many of you are simply “tsk tsking” behind your computer and not really doing anything to help but sure know how to say “shame on you” on a message board.

  • ME

    Addiction is a deadly disease and people will die from it even if they seek treatment, no matter who they seek it from. What about the many people who have stayed sober and had their lives saved from Dr. Drew and this show? There’s many of them as well. To even slightly suggest that Dr. Drew is responsible for this deaths is embarrassing to the accuser. You can say he exploits people and maybe he does, but those people make a choice to be on TV. Those people along with Dr. Drew are raising awareness to how serious mental health and addiction issues are. I praise them for that.

  • Shame on Richard Marx. That shows how stupid some people are when it comes to addiction and everything that goes with it. You don’t actually have to die from the drugs itself for it to be the cause of your death. Demons are awful and sometimes some people no matter how hard they try are unable to get ahold of things and recover. She as many are a tortured soul. She may rest in peace now. As far as leaving her children, well she probably thought they would be better off without her in their life. She could not be the mother that she wanted to be to them.

  • Jenn

    Dr. Drew signs his name onto these shows because it pays him good. Look at his role in 16&P and Teen Mom. He preaches to them about his an that and having safe sex but look at how many of them have gotten pregnant again or continue to make the same mistakes over and over.
    I don’t blame Dr. Drew for these deaths, but I don’t think it was his show that helped those who are still alive. These people needs to seek REAL help, not some TV doctor who thinks he can cure everyone.

  • amy

    He hit the nail on the head though with these people being exploited for tv ratings. It’s sad because they are in dire need of help and so desperate for another shot at fame.

    Dr. Drew does the same thing with the Teen Mom cast who he is so lackluster with during interviews.

    • Kristy

      Normally I would agree with the exploitation; however, watching celebrity rehab can be very helpful to people struggling with addiction. They see other addicts in treatment and are inspired to do the same. I’m a recovering alcoholic and watching the show helps me to stay sober. I see myself in some of the people on the show, and by watching, I “go through” a lot of the treatment processes that they are receiving. I also think it’s good that Dr. Drew is bringing awareness to how serious and deadly addiction is.

  • G.E. Phillips

    Are there really people who follow Richard Marx on Twitter?

  • Of course, what Dr. Drew does is explortation of people that desparately need help. Unfortunately, these people expose themselves because they get paid to do so. Dr. Drew gets paid very well and I am against his show that exploits people while the diease controls them. However, it would be unfair to blame him for their unfortunat deaths. At the same time, these addictions should be helped in private. I do not believe that Dr. Drew has helped in the long run. Greed for power and money causes alot of destruction and unhappiness.

  • Sweet Venom

    I’ve never seen the rehab show so I won’t say anything about it. On the Teen Mom reunion shows however, while Dr. Drew does say some pretty insightful things at times, I have noticed that his main priority is getting the girls to cry lol.

    • Jenn

      His advice is awful a lot of the time. He tries to push the couples to get back together every reunion. Even after Maci and Ryan said over and over again they were done he would still sit and tell them that they should get back together for Bentley because that is what is best. The man gives the same advice to someone that anyone with common sense could give. Nothing he has done gives me the sense of him being a “doctor”. He is as much of a “doctor” as Dr. Phil….

  • tab

    dr. drew isn’t a magician and i feel he really did try to help these people and many others. it’s almost impossible to help someone break a habit after years and years of abuse.

    it’s a very sad reality, but many people, celebrities included, die even after treatment because they go back to their addiction.

  • Dr. Drew sucks.

  • banshee

    I’m just catching it on video, but I have heard Dr. Pinsky talk about alcoholism and recovery and I think he knows his stuff. I think the problem is that celebrities have rafts of enablers and Pinsky isn’t responsible for what they do when they leave rehab. A couple seem to have other problems as well. He is dealing with a high-risk population. I think the show can get some people into seeking help.