Former Child Star, Treatment Center Attack Dr. Drew Pinsky Approach

A former child star has taken aim at the tactics used by Dr. Drew Pinsky from VH1’s Celebrity Rehab and the philosophy of the show itself.

Commenting to The Inquisitr, Dr. Damon Raskin, medical director of addiction at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center and former child star, called it “disheartening” that treatment “would be compromised for entertainment purposes.”

“The most important part of treatment is the trust that develops between doctor and patient, and this cannot happen in front of the public on television,” Raskin said, adding that it was “appalling that we as a society can encourage this voyeurism in the name of helping people.”

Raskin continued: “Real rehab is done in private, getting to the real root of addiction with medical and psychological help, and not to treat addicted celebrities as ‘special’ by putting it all out there for the world to see.”

Richard Taite, president of Cliffside and author of Ending Addiction for Good, agreed with his medical director’s assessment.

“It’s truly repugnant that the general public isn’t afforded the opportunity to understand exactly why this type of exploitation is so harmful,” Taite told The Inquisitr. “A few years ago … I saw an episode of Celebrity Rehab and was so bothered by it that I sent out a press release inviting anyone currently on the show to come in to Cliffside Malibu free of charge for real treatment. I knew just from watching one episode that that show was going to end up really harming people.”

Tate and Raskin, a former child star on Eight Is Enough, have pointed to the five deaths that have occurred in the last two years involving former cast members of Celebrity Rehab as proof, and even former pop star Richard Marx has taken aim at Pinsky, comparing his work to that of “Kervorkian.”

Pinsky has steered clear of taking responsibility for the show’s questionable track record, keeping his comments centered on the McCready tragedy.

In an interview with People, Pinsky said McCready “was fearful of stigma and ridicule” and added that “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,” Pinsky added.

The McCready funeral is set for Tuesday, February 25, in McCready’s hometown of Fort Myers, Florida, The Associated Press noted.

Do you believe Dr. Drew Pinsky is using troubled child stars for TV exploitation, or are his efforts well-meaning?

[Image via Helga Esteb /]