Dr. Drew warns of Charlie Sheen relapse, slams at-home rehab: 'We have not heard the last of this'

Charlie-SheenImage Credit: Greg Gayne/CBSCharlie Sheen returns to work Tuesday as production resumes on his CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. But even after the most dramatic and public fracture yet in Sheen’s employment on the series, one must ask: Has anything really changed?

Sheen took a month off, and seemingly sobered up, but the initial promise of entering into a bona fide addiction treatment facility was replaced by watching the Super Bowl and sending occasional missives to the media (call it Celebrity Rehab: Home Edition).

Judging by Sheen’s statements, the party has merely been put on hold until the media spotlight finds something else to look at. Though he told an interview program he’s “supremely grateful” that “Viacom showed up” and ordered him to straighten out, most of Sheen’s comments were more along the lines of saying he was “bored out of a tree” when he spent five years sober, boasting that he’s “never been high on the set” and advising fans to “stay away from the crack … unless you can manage it socially, then go for it.”

Below, celebrity addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky takes our Charlie Sheen questions and gives a concerned appraisal of the star’s future.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: At home rehab. Does that work?
That question is more complicated than you might imagine, and I’m going to try to keep it simple. The term “rehab” has been so badly bastardized in the press. Back in the day it meant inpatient hospitalization. Then it started referring to any form of structured chemical dependency treatment, from outpatient programs to inpatient care down in Malibu. No one has ever applied the term “rehab” to a doctor treating a patient … which is what I assume they’re talking about. I’ve never seen it work. I’ve never seen that kind of single one-on-one intervention work for a patient as sick as this. He’s sort of announced he’s controlling his cocaine use and clearly he isn’t. He’s far advanced in his disease. He’s had sustained sobriety, then relapsed, and that category is the most difficult to treat. Is it likely to be successful? No. If I were treating this patient, it would be one to three months in an immersive environment with a group [of people].

His comments: “I’ve never been high in the set … Stay away from the crack unless you can manage it socially.” I’m no addiction specialist, but that’s denial, right?
Yeah, that’s denial. That’s what we call stinking thinking. For the male addict, the workplace is the last place that’s affected. In his case, he’s managed to not have it affect his work. Thank god he’s not an airline pilot — in that case we would have seen it impact his work. When it does impact his work [on Men], then you know he’s on his last legs.

Do you think its appropriate that Sheen is going back to work?
The employer only has so much control to intervene. He’s an independent contractor. I feel bad for them.

So what’s a network and studio to do in this unusual situation?
You’re asking a legal question. I don’t know the answer. I would be more interested in talking to his managers and agents and asking why they don’t use the leverage they have. The employer, they don’t have a lot of power short of canceling the show, and I can understand why they wouldn’t want to do that — many other people are affected by that and would lose their jobs too.

Have you seen anything [in the media coverage of Sheen] that would indicate to you that his behavior is going to change?
What they achieved at home is they detoxed him. We have not heard the last of this. It’s just a question of when it happens again and will he survive.

Read more:
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Charlie Sheen going back to work
Charlie Sheen on ‘The Dan Patrick Show': ‘I’ve never been high on the set’
Charlie Sheen: ‘We’re on forced hiatus’
Charlie Sheen offers to pay ‘Men’ crew

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Comments (79 total) Add your comment
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  • Anna

    I totally agree. We have not seen the last of Charlie. It seems like everyone around him wants him to get sober more than he does, and unless the people around him stop placating him he’ll be in the ground before the year’s out. Charlie…you’ve got KIDS. Be a role model. Grow up.

    • Carlos

      Charlie Sheen will probably end up dead, before he turns 50 years old. This guy seems to have a death wish. What a total waste of life. I truly like Charlie Sheen and I don’t want to see anything happen to him.

      • Anna

        What about him is to like? He’s a drug addict that sees *no* problem with his lifestyle. He has sex with hookers. He abandons his children. He has a mediocre television show. The only reason people still give a crap is because it’s like a train wreck…a massive, bloody, devastating train wreck…you just can’t look away.

      • chase

        @ Anna, dude what are you talking about? He has an addiction to drugs, that’s not a reason to dislike him. “He pays for sex”, It’s better than taking it. He has a mediocre tv show? 2&1/2 men is the funniest thing on tv. Anna, I think people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones…. :-)

    • sarah

      charlie sheen will relapse?! this also just in: the earth is round!

      • dm

        lol – no kidding. totally shocking! Must be slow news day.

  • Redvector

    One day Charlie will not show up for work. They’ll go to his house and find him dead in a pool of his own vomit.

    • Peggy

      I am afraid you are correct. He has to want to stop. No one can make him stay clean and sober.

    • Jerk

      For me to win my pool, they have to find him dead in a pool of someone else’s vomit.

      • Cris

        I SO want to say that your comment truly proved your screen name, but I gotta admit that it made me laugh

      • Shawn

        how would you know?To quote SpinalTap, ” you can’t dust for vomit.”

      • Jerk

        Spinal Tap was in 1984. They’ve made incredible progress in the vomit identification process since then.

      • little bits

        That’s Funny!

  • It’s a fact

    He’s a functional addict – if you want to help him – STOP WATCHING his show. This will give him time to go to rehab and CBS will stop denying him care.

    • dekatr

      A functional addict? What? Had he been, he wouldn’t in the news “ALL’ the time. No one would know anything about his private life. He crossed over that ‘function’ a long time ago. He now is in the ‘dis-functional’ mode. Sad but oh so true.As long as people keep treating him like a functioning addict he will not change.

      • Barbara Wong

        It’s sad to see Charlie spiral into this raving delusional drug addict. Now that CBS is not doing anymore of his show for the rest of the season, I hope he’ll man up and go into a rehab facility for as long as it takes to be clean.
        He is truly gone, he only thinks of himself and his rotten habits. I want him to get well and be a good parent to his kids.

  • Lucy

    I hate all this…it’s like all of you and Dr. Drew want him to relapse.

    • Trip

      No, it’s more like people want him to get a clue, face that he really does have a problem, and go to real rehab.

      • K_Sull

        I actually want him to relapse.

    • sarah

      ^ this. dude must be surrounded by enablers. it’s not like he’ll see these comments, but he really should know he’s not fooling anyone except maybe himself.

      • Sam

        Yep. Michael Jackson, anyone? Except for the hookers…

  • Brian K

    I think Charlie Sheen is going through a midlife crisis – freaking out about nearing 50 even if he doesn’t realize that’s what he’s doing – and it will pass. Hopefully before he offs himself accidentally.

    • Carlos

      I hope Charlie doesn’t contract AIDS/SIDA due to his bad behavior and using drugs and have multipal sex partners.

  • ***

    Unlike Dr. Drew’s celebrity rehab which is just like real rehab, right? He even let Tom Sizemore and Heidi Fleiss be together when they had a history of domestic violence and co-dependent drug addiction. What a hypocrite. He’s probably just pissed that Charlie didn’t come on his show.

    • Dgently

      Totally agree, Thu. I’m not a shrink, but I can NOT imagine any therapuetic setting that would have allowed Tom and Heidi in the same treatment group.

  • nykolus

    what??? no… i don’t believe it!!!

  • DUH

    the man was in treatment for like a week he’s been have issues with this for years.

  • Molly

    I had a brother who did drugs in the70’s almost died. Now his mind
    is gone and he just wanders around
    homeless and you can’t take him in
    or I would have many years ago but he is not able to think, act, normal. You oould never leave him alone and he can’t work. So sad
    one day my mom put him on a bus to
    California and I saw him only once after that. Drugs do so much damage to your brain and body.
    My heart breaks for my brother everyday. Back then there wasn’t much help for them.
    Charlie Sheen is very lucky they have come so far in helping drug addicts now. Hope he gets the help he needs. My brother didn’t.

    • pk

      My condolences about your brother Molly.

      • Molly

        thank you pk

  • MarjorieM

    His “managers and agents” don’t want to blow the whistle on him because they’re on the gravy train. When it comes right down to it the only thing they care about is their next paycheck.

    • dekatr

      It’s sad when $ becomes the key note. Instead of a human being’s welfare. I understand how this effects ‘all’ the others paycheck. Just one thing no one will get a paycheck if he dies. At home rehab is crazy thinking on so many levels.I personally don’t think he brings that much to the show. It’s ‘all’ the other characters that really make that show. ‘Alan’ the house keeper, the mother, and the half man are what make this show truly funny. I’ve often thought this show would be fine, or better without ‘Charlie’. He would be nothing without the rest of the actors.At least they can act. Charlie isn’t acting, he plays himself just a toned down version on the show. Frankly I am getting tired of him on and off the screen. Get rid of him and do a show with all the other character’s . Like Allen moving to his own place.Charlie would not be involved or needed in a spin off from the tired ‘Two and a half men’ show.

  • Chloe2

    I love Charlie but he needs more than “in home rehab”. Listening to his comments lately, he is so in denial he has a problem. And his arrogance is astounding. It’s too bad “tough love” from his family, who obviously love him, won’t work since he is a grown man. It’s all so sad. He is going to be dead within the next few years.

    • dekatr

      Whats to love? He’s a burned out drug addict. Who doesn’t deserve the good money he is paid. Did it ever occur to anyone that is half the problem.If you give a drug addict money and no recourse for their unexceptable behavior guess what? They will not change.They don’t have to. Cause money talks and b*ll sh*t walks.

  • burgerdroid

    Charlie sheen a relapse risk? HOly Cow! NO WAY! Technically, he would have to be in recovery to relapse but since he’s always engaging in addictive behavior I would say he’s not technically in recovery.
    I also take offense to St. Marty chastising people for talking about his drug addicted son. The guy publicizes his own heinous behavior and has the moral compass of a pile of excrement. I also take huge offense to comparing addiction to cancer. Most people who have cancer do not have behaviors that would lead to developing cancer. People who have cancer suffer and die not through their life choices, but because their bodies are being decimated by disease and chemo.
    Maybe Martin Sheen should take a good hard look at the way he indulges his child and probably turned a blind eye to the kid’s behavior his whole life. Gives the guy enough excuses to hang himself. I hear Charlies on an adults only vacation with a couple of porn stars and Brooke Muller. We’ll see who comes back alive. 80/1 that Charlie is the sole survivor

    • anikitty

      Cigar? cigarette?

    • mom

      I’m sure Martin Sheen is very upset about his son. Who wouldn’t be? As offensive as Charlie’s behavior is, keep in mind it is the drugs doing the talking. Ever heard of chemo-brain? Cancer patients have to fight the side affects, which can cause depression (as if having cancer weren’t depressing enough). I hope and pray Charlie recognizes that he needs to be here for his children, if nothing else. They did not ask to be born, he is obligated to provide for them, not only monetarily, but personally.

  • Abe Froman

    Charlie a relapse risk? Really? I don’t think you need to graduate medical school to figure that out.

    • MCB

      Agree, I was thinking, “no s**t Sherlock.”

  • Caramia

    I don’t think he cares that he will probably be dead at a young age. Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse and that whole attitude. Which is fine. If that’s who you are and what you want, go for it. But for God’s sake, QUIT GETTING MARRIED AND HAVING KIDS!

    • agp

      Well, I think the “pretty corpse” thing is not an option any longer, have you seen this guy? Tired.

  • Sigmagrrl

    *affect, not effect. Get a better copy editor!!!

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