Outlay of cash momentarily.
This, from CNN.
Mindy McCready is the fifth former cast member of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” to die in the past two years.
Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr and former “Real World” cast member Joey Kovar also appeared on the show’s third season. Starr died in March 2011 at 44, while Kovar, 29, died in August 2012.
“Grease” actor Jeff Conaway, 60, who appeared on the show’s first season, died of pneumonia in May 2011. However, the doctor who treated him for drug addiction for years told CNN it was his dependence on prescription painkillers that eventually cost him his life.
Authorities said that Season 2 cast member Rodney King’s death in June 2012 was the result of accidental drowning, but the alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and PCP found in the 47-year-old’s system were contributing factors.
Dr. Drew Pinsky, who hosts his own program on HLN, CNN's sister network, spoke to CNN’s Don Lemon on Sunday night about the many “Celebrity Rehab” deaths and losing McCready.
“One of my hopes was, in bringing ‘Celebrity Rehab’ out, was to teach people how dangerous addiction was,” Pinsky told Lemon. “If I was doing a show on cancer, there would not be much surprise when my cancer patient died. In fact, we’d celebrate a few years of good quality life. People don’t understand that addiction has virtually the same prognosis. If you have other mental health issues on top of that, it’s so much worse. This was not an addiction death, interestingly. This was related to - had her boyfriend not died, I don’t think there’s any way we’d be in this position right now.”
A month ago, David Wilson, the father of McCready’s two sons, apparently took his own life. He too was found dead on the porch.
“There’s a cautionary tale here about the stigma of mental illness and the way in which the public attack celebrities who take care of themselves,” Pinsky said. McCready "became so fearful of the stigma and the way people were responding to her being hospitalized that she actually checked herself out prematurely. … She is a lovely woman, we have lost her, and it didn’t have to go down like this.”
While it is, apparently and sadly, true that the stigma of mental illness remains an obstacle to offering a hand up and out of the darkness, I honestly can't see how the exploitation of those who are in the midst of demon struggling does a single thing to put a dent in that stigma...producing a commerically profitable program that puts a harsh light not only on the struggle, but the soul doing the struggling, and rationalizing the production by wrapping it it the shroud of "raising awareness" is, at best, cynical and, at worst, additional victimization....and Drew Pinsky's comment that the goal was to "teach people how dangerous addiction was" is, at best, lame justification and, at worst, egregiously disingenous.
Something along the lines of trying to sound noble by offering classes on how you should try to avoid, if at all possible, being eaten by a grizzly bear.
Clearly the stimga lives although a case could be made that, at least, society has come a long way from the days of strait jackets and electro shock treatment.
If, though, the stigma is still so much a part of our attitude fabric that it played a part in Mindy McCready leaving treatment too soon, playing a part in the process of the last decision she ever made, then, obviously, there's still a lot of work to be done in erasing that stigma.
And, in turn, hopefully, providing other options for the next Mindy McCready when it comes time to make life or death decisions.
Slimy coated freak shows for profit cyncially disguised as public service/"reality" shows, though, are ultimately doing more fueling than dousing.
Fair being fair, though, Drew Pinksy was right about one thing.
"...it didn't have to go down like this..."
But whatever light that might have been available at the end of Mindy McCready's long, dark tunnel wasn't going be provided by the glow of high wattage bulbs illuminating a television soundstage.