Celebrity addiction specialist Drew Pinsky -- who goes by Dr. Drew -- is taking an online beating for suggesting that the best way to deal with Lindsay Lohan's drug problem is to "pack her car full with illegal substances" and then call the police.
Dr. Drew's Facebook page was quickly lit up with criticism following the publication by Radar of his comments. Framing Lohan would itself be a crime and, critics of Dr. Drew are pointing out, would put her at risk of being beaten or shot by the cops.
"If she were my daughter, I would pack her car full with illegal substances, send her on her way, call the police, and make sure she was arrested," prescribed Dr. Drew. "I would make sure she was not allowed to get out of jail. I would then go to the judge and make sure she was ordered to a minimum of a three year sobriety program."
Dr. Drew, who hosts a celebrity recovery show and gives professional advice, apparently lives in a world where people found with a "car full with illegal substances" are able to ask the judge to be sent to rehab for three years, instead of prison, and not have their request laughed out of court.
Blogger Scott Morgan at the Drug War Chronicle was among the first to lash out at, arguing that "when you sell Beverly Hills addiction therapy as pop-culture entertainment media, you forget that those same rules don't apply in Ohio and any parent taking Dr. Drew's reckless advice is putting their family in the drug war's deadly crossfire."
Dr. Drew's Facebook fans didn't appreciate the suggestion. A sample of the responses:
Dr. Drew, I've had several friends die of addiction. I've also watched friends struggle to get treatment and have their efforts thwarted by the criminal justice system. These have been some of the most difficult experiences of my life, and it pains me to hear that someone of your influence would say something so destructive and misguided. I know how ugly addiction is, and that is why your words break my heart. Just because my medical challenges do not involve illegal substances, I go to the doctor when I'm sick. And because some of the medical challenges of my friends do involve illegal substances, they don't get to go to the doctor - they end up incarcerated. And let me tell you - I've seen with my own eyes that PTSD just makes a bad situation worse.
Dr Drew, you have to do better. Doctors are supposed to do no harm. You should be advocating for drug law reform and harm reduction, not horrific police tactics and coercive treatment.
Dr. Drew, you should do a little research about how our criminal justice system treats addicts before you suggest to their families to have them arrested. Only 11% of prisoners with addiction problems get treatment in prison. Besides, prison can be more damaging to a person than an addiction....Prison is not the right solution for addiction.
Did you really endorse planing evidence on drug users to get them arrested? You're a fucking quack.
Ryan Grim is the author of This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America