The Duncan Roy and Dr. Drew Show

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In a piece on “The Daily BeastDuncan Roy, asks “is Dr. Drew Pinsky a phony”? The short answer is “No”…however this raises a few other questions in my mind.  The most glaring question ‘Is Duncan Roy a narcissist”? – that would be a good one.  Midway through Duncan’s ramblings he states that he has rejected his “sprawling Malibu estate” for a Hollywood apartment, all in the name of his recovery. Imagine the dedication.

Roy is hyper critical of Dr. Drew. Does Dr. Drew deserve it? Maybe.  Maybe not.  What I can say having been in the dope fiend game a long time is that clients will always find something to complain about while in treatment. The arguments that Roy makes regarding his treatment sound like typical addict dissatisfaction to me. More to do with him than with Drew Pinsky.

Much of stabilizing sex addiction and being sexually sober is about victimization. Roy, who is in the movie business, plays the victim as he describes the coercive tactics of the a-moral and valueless producers who put this whole Sex rehab project together. Let me see if I understand this – some guys are trying to assemble a show about sex rehab with porn stars and they are less than virtuous? Huh? Oh, AND this is all happening in Los Angeles? Ok, Duncan Roy, where is the personal responsibility? What did YOU do to get yourself into this?

One of his main complaints about Dr. Drew is that he is an atheist. Roy quips, “more disturbingly, he (Pinsky) does not believe in God, a fundamental prerequisite for any 12 step program”.  First off, Dr. Drew is a professional helper, not a sponsor so why HE would have to believe in God to help people is more out of whack criticism. In other words, you don’t have to wear a bra to sell one, so what Dr. Drew believes or doesn’t believe is really not relevant. Additionally belief in God is NOT required for 12-step participation. In fact quite the opposite. Most people are searching for a belief in something that is “not God” at least not the micro-manipulative being that some imagine God to be.  There is a chapter in the AA big book called “We agnostics”. As far as I understand 12 step tenants, there is no belief in God required. It is a common experience to come into 12 step culture without a belief in God. It shifts into an understanding of not being able to control things. Like the Jesuits say “there is a God, and it’s not you.” Roy never really answers his own question. He indicts himself as a narcissist invested in blame and apparently, he doesn’t listen very well. Maybe his estate is too sprawling and the crashing Pacific drowns out the message Pinsky delivers. We can only assume that the estate is oceanfront.

Someone alerted me to the Duncan Roy piece and I was eager to read it. I thought it was going to be about the controversy of putting treatment on TV. Instead, Roy comes off as a self-pitying, victimized crybaby. Even complaining how he looks on the TV show he signed a contract to appear on (no mention of the armed guard who made him do it).

I have no idea if Drew Pinsky is a phony. I have met him a few times at various rehab events and he seems nice enough to me. I think he is a very well-meaning guy and as a kid, listening to Loveline, I found his absence of judgment to be inspiring. I admire his empathy and insight into knowing how damaging addiction is.  I think he gives really good information and I think he helps people. Does this all need to be seen on Television with porn stars? Maybe it does. Maybe it’s a bait and switch. Maybe Drew Pinsky is trying to give viewers a gossipy front and then filling them with factual information while he has their attention. Maybe I am trying to rationalize my own decision to Produce and be on a TV show about addicts. Maybe there are just no easy answers to any of this.

I was very conflicted about my decision to be on a TV show for a variety of reasons and I am reasonably sure that Drew Pinsky shared my conflict. My show is not as sexy as Drew’s, it is more documentary style and it is shot in the field, it’s not treatment, its crisis management. I hope we give good information and I hope we communicate that there is help. I imagine that is what Drew Pinsky hopes for as well. What I can say is that Sex Rehab is hugely popular which means Dr. Drew is communicating at a macro level. Other than my mother’s bridge group (who loved it by the way), I am not sure anyone saw our show. As usual, I don’t have any answers but I don’t think Drew Pinsky is a phony. I think he is genuinely well-meaning and caught in the vapid stupid culture of Los Angeles and the TV business. I think Duncan Roy is a crybaby and I hope he understands that recovery is all in the serenity prayer: God, Grant me the serenity to accept that things I cannot change (Dr. Drew) and the courage to change the things I can (Duncan Roy).

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