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VH1’s Sober House: The Real Work Begins

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VH1’s addiction recovery program Sober House has added a new interesting character to its roster of celebrity addicts trying to stay clean. This week’s episode welcomed actor and comedian Andy Dick whose very public struggle with substance abuse led to jail time and has put his career in jeopardy. Dick, 42, showed up at the Sober House in Pasadena, Ca. with a renewed commitment to recovery after nine previous attempts at rehab. Dick said his family – including a 20-year-old son – is fed up with his drinking. In an interview on the show, Dick said he has to get clean “because I’m going to die.” He called his stint at the Sober House “my last stop.”
Dr. Drew Pinsky, addiction medicine specialist who is involved with the show, called Dick’s addiction “severe.” Within the first day of being in the house during episode four, Dick admitted his issues have damaged his career and said the beer has been his downfall. He said he had four days of sobriety when he showed up on the set. Though it’s early on in the season, Dick seems genuinely sincere about getting his life back. The house manager, Jennifer Gimenez, said she was immediately impressed with his attitude.

Celebrity Addicts Juggle Sobriety and Their Freedom

The show’s program is based on the premise that when rehab ends, the real work begins. Recovering addicts move into the house and continue their recovery, but without the safety net of a traditional rehab program. Although there are rules, chores, and curfews, patients in the program are free to come and go. And some do, putting themselves in risky situations that jeopardize their recovery. This year’s lineup includes: Adler; Dick; Seth “Shifty” Binzer who co-founded the music group Crazy Town in 1995; adult film actress Mary Carey; Rodney King, who rose to fame after being beaten by L.A. cops in 1991; Nikki McKibben, third-place finisher on American Idol’s first season; and former supermodel Amber Smith.
The season began Jan. 15 and has had a few interesting twists already. Former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler has already been jailed and subsequently welcomed back into the house after relapsing twice on heroin. His behavior became verbally and physically abusive toward Gimenez and others, and the decision was made to call 911. After jail, Adler spent a few days in a hospital drying out. It was there that he met Dick. When Dick realized that Adler was working with Dr. Pinsky, Dick said he asked if the doctor might be willing to help him too.

Celebrity or Not, the Same Lessons Apply

The show chronicles the very real ups and downs of addiction and the struggle many faces in their quest for recovery. Just because the participants in the show have had varying degrees of fame, their struggles have been very much the same as so many everyday people. Not every person addicted to drugs gets the opportunity to work with a top addiction specialist in a posh setting while the TV cameras are rolling, but the lessons to be learned are much the same. Every addict needs to find constructive ways to live their life on new terms while trying to avoid the bad influences and risky situations that could jeopardize their sobriety.

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