Dr. Drew was probably a cokehead, in the ’80s


Of course I’m annoyed by the usual hemorrhoids-masquerading-as-celebrities, your Heidi Montags, your Spencer Pratts, your Tila Tequilas, your random mistresses/hookers/junkies. But few fake celebrities piss me off more than Dr. Drew. Probably because I used to like him, back when he and Adam Corrola did Loveline on MTV. After the first few years, Dr. Drew began believing his own hype, I think. Or he began seeing himself as the psychological savior to Hollywood, or maybe he just wanted more money. Whatever it was, Dr. Drew took a nasty turn and became very sanctimonious, hypocritical, unprofessional, and nasty. Just my opinion. Now I can’t even sit through one of his interviews without being disgusted.

Anyway, Life & Style has an interesting story about Dr. Drew, who is currently running Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Apparently, Dr. Drew might have been a cokehead in the eighties:

To millions of viewers who tune into VH1 reality series Celebrity Rehab and Sober House, David “Dr. Drew” Pinsky is one of Hollywood’s most powerful weapons against drug and alcohol addiction. But now, in exclusive interviews with Life & Style, two former colleagues at KROQ — the LA radio station that gave Drew, 51, his big break on the program Loveline — have come forward to talk about the doc’s past. They say Drew knows firsthand what it’s like to fall under the spell of illegal drugs — because he was once a frequent cocaine user himself.

In 1982, Drew hadn’t even finished medical school when he met KROQ DJ Jim Trenton at a party. “I asked him to do this segment with me called Ask a Surgeon,” Trenton tells Life & Style. “Listeners could call in and get answers to their romance and medical questions.” The segment was such a hit, it soon evolved into Loveline — which remains on the air to this day.

While they spent their days helping listeners with their love, sex and health-related problems, Drew and Jim spent many of their nights partying away. Often, Trenton says, that included cocaine use.

“He used to say to me, ‘Jim, I love cocaine,’” Trenton notes. “He’d say that a lot — that he loved coke.” In fact, Trenton adds, Drew “did coke with a lot of different people, including myself, on numerous occasions.”

Joanna Swylde, who worked as an intern at KROQ at the time and partied with Drew and Trenton, confirms Trenton’s claims. She tells Life & Style they even used to snort lines of cocaine off album covers in the control room at work. “We would do it during the breaks on the show,” Swylde recalls.

Although Drew used coke, “I don’t think he was addicted to it,” Trenton tells Life & Style. “He used it recreationally.

“I would say by the mid to late ’80s, he had quit,” Trenton says. “We all stopped doing it.”

[From Life & Style]

Hmm… he did it “recreationally” you say, but he wasn’t an addict? If Dr. Drew was treating himself, he would say that he was an addict, plain and simple, and that he needed to get to Celebrity Rehab right away to work on all of his problems, all while the camera is rolling. But, whatever. I was a child in the eighties, but from what I hear, everyone was doing coke. Which is the point I’d like Dr. Drew to acknowledge – some people do drugs recreationally without ever becoming “addicts”. Some people do drugs and are able to stop without some Dr. Drew-approved rehabilitation. Some people are cokeheads for a decade and then just stop, and become sanctimonious hypocrites, doling out advice that they never took themselves.

Dr. Drew in LA on January 10, 2010. Credit: WENN.


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49 Responses to “Dr. Drew was probably a cokehead, in the ’80s”

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  1. Firestarter says:

    So what if he did coke? It isn’t like he is doing it now.

  2. WTF?!? says:

    So he knows of whence he speaks, how is that even remotely a bad thing? At least he isn’t a hypocrite; he quit within a few years, and long before he started working as a rehab specialist.

  3. trishy says:

    ok, before you take this story as gospel, let’s consider the source. Jim “Poorman” Trenton is a shady character at best. he and Dr. Drew founded the original Loveline and he was left in the dust because he’s childish and not as funny as he thinks he is. he is also a shameless self-promoter and I wouldn’t put it past him to exaggerate Drew’s coke usage (yeah, Drew probably did some lines in the 80s) to get himself some press. he used to be a fixture in Southern California radio; now he’s washed up and bitter on public access TV.

  4. Sumodo says:

    In in the 1980s, doing coke was like serving drinks. Been there, done that. Dr. Drew knows firsthand what coke does to you? Excellent.

  5. Annabelle says:

    If anything, this helps him understand the position of a user and help them more. I don’t see him as sanctimonious at all

  6. MsTriste says:

    In 1980, my ballet teacher gave me my first snort when I was 16. That’s how common it was back then.

  7. Hellen says:

    Guess what? Everyone was a cokehead in the 80s.

    Not news. …yawn…

  8. Kiki says:

    What better person to counsel drug-abusers than one who has used drugs? As long as he’s clean now.

  9. gg says:

    I love Drew Pinsky and have learned a great deal from him that I’d never have been able to understand were it not for his shows. I think he is doing a tremendous service by showing people what addiction is really like.

  10. bo says:

    I thought he was sanctimonious even on Loveline. I respect that his job has got to be aggravating to do, even his fake TV job. But just because he looks like Clooney doesn’t mean I have to like him.

    I don’t like how it’s gotten cute to talk about how common drugs were in the 80s. Yeah coke was less demonized, but people were still abusing it and losing friends to it. Coke’s always been coke, so the 80′s doesn’t get a pass.

  11. snowball says:

    @Hellen: “Guess what? Everyone was a cokehead in the 80s.”

    Really? I wasn’t.

    Dr. Drew ticks me off because he has this repulsive habit of calling out people he doesn’t know or treat. LiLo may need help, but this creep yapping about her in public is stupid.

  12. Shannon says:

    Not surprising, everybody did coke in the 80′s. If you had the money for it, you were snorting it regularly. If you didn’t have the money for it, well, there was always crack too.

  13. ! says:

    Is just about everyone missing the point on this one? Dude was a recreational user, but somehow insists that there is no such thing. To him, anyone that uses is an addict, when clearly, that isn’t always the case.

    I’m not saying its a huge deal, but I *am* saying he’s a giant twat.

  14. juiceinla says:

    I adore Dr. Drew too. Especially after this last season with that destructive, monstrous psychotic little twit, Kari miss teen USA whatever…

    If he did coke (BIG IF, given the sources) then I agree with everyone from Firestarter to GG.

    I also think its a mistake to admit it, because the people you are trying to help now need to believe you have a strength they do not, and they need to respect you.

    People seeking therapy need to hold their therapists on a pedestal – and NOT know anything about the therapist that detracts from the position. If a drug addict can find an excuse not to trust their therapist (such as being able to yell at Dr. Drew “YOU DID IT SO CAN I”) then the addict will use it to relapse, etc..

    it sucks that this story came out and the people spewing it are total assholes who will cause more harm to patients than Dr. Drew.

  15. KE says:

    Who *didn’t* do coke in the 80s?

  16. girl says:

    This “everyone did coke in the 80′s” stuff sounds weird. It was still destructive and no, not everyone did it. Lots of people but not even close to everyone.

    That said, it would be one thing if he was forthcoming with that information in the “he knows what he is talking about when he counsels addicts”. I don’t think he is.

    I find him smarmy also. I watched the opening of the show this time and he refers to DJ AM as a close personal friend. I’m sorry. Maybe he knew him but it kinda sounds like BS to me.

  17. Actually, if you’re in recovery you don’t want to put your therapist/sponsor on a pedastal. That puts the motivation for recovery on someone outside yourself. If they disappoint you, your reason for staying sober goes out the window. Ex: Therapist cancels a session? Go shoot up. You have to want it for yourself.

    As far as Dr. Drew having done coke, it would help him understand what his patients go through. The reason 12 Step programs have the measure of success that they do is because it’s recovering alcoholics/addicts/gamblers/etc helping each other. They can truly understand what the addict has been through in a way that non-addicts simply cannot.

    I’ll be sober 3 years next month (God willing) so I’m not just talking out my ass on this.

  18. Watcher says:

    I loathe this guy. I’m guessing he’s still doing coke.

    Why do I loathe him? Because he smears all problems with the addiction label. He has an agenda and it is not altruistic.

  19. juiceinla says:

    dread pirate, we are almost making the same point, except that its text book pysch 101 that a therapist must keep a professional distance and that includes keeping their personal life out completely off limits to patients, for the reason that whether a patient knows it or not, the patient does need a strong level of reverent respect for their therapist in order to rely on the therapist.

  20. UrbanRube says:

    He’s just plain lucky he didn’t inherit a predisposition to addiction, that’s all.

  21. crash2GO2 says:

    Does he really believe that no one can use any drug and quit on their own? ANY drug? Or just some drugs? Some drugs have far greater addiction potential than others. That’s just common sense.

  22. lucy2 says:

    I guess the question is – has he ever been asked if he’s used drugs, and if so, did he acknowledge or deny it? If he acknowledged it and uses that experience to help others, I see no problem. Aren’t many D&A counselors former addicts themselves? If he was asked and denied it, and if he did, then there’s a problem.

    I think he’s knowledgeable and could do a lot of good for a lot of people, but I really, really dislike his habit of not only diagnosing people he’s never met, but doing so publicly. Extremely unprofessional.

  23. padiddle says:

    So many people defending him, I don’t get it!
    He exploits people in dire need of help, by putting their toughest moments on tv, and before you all cry “well they agreed to be on the show” I would like to point out that a lot of you would not like to be held accountable to things you agreed to when you were drunk/high/an addict/otherwise predisposed.
    He is a scummy, scummy person who exploits his patients and celebrities that AREN’T even his PATIENTS for his own personal gain and monetary rewards.
    He totally creeps me out!

  24. Anastasia says:

    I don’t get the Dr. Drew hate. I don’t have any particular feelings about him, I just don’t get the hatred.

    Most intervention counselors/addiction specialists have lived through their own drug use and it gives them insight others don’t have.

    Big deal. And I’ve never heard him say you can’t use any drug recreationally, that any time you use a drug you’re an addict.

  25. Carena says:

    Most drug addiction counselors that I have met in my life are former drug users. It is hard, thankless work and doesn’t pay very well. Most people don’t get into it just because they think it will be a good job, they do it because someone helped them and they want to help others.

    But then most drug addiction counselors aren’t big TV celebrities so who knows what is happening with this guy.

  26. sara says:

    Sorry, but 12-step programs are spectacularly unsuccessful, and having a former user as a counselor does not make that person qualified to provide care to addicts. The research shows that most people do manage to kick an addiction on their own without obsolete, cultlike sloganeering and a truly destructive attitude that one is helpless. You overcome addictions with a sense of personal empowerment, not helplessness and the misguided, inaccurate, now discredited disease model of addiction. I have a PhD in this field, folks, and most of you have fallen for the 12-step propaganda. It works only about 5% of the time, and those for whom it fails are generally lost to investigation. AA itself refuses to provide hard data on success rates because the AA approach is not successful and makes many types of abusers more, not less, subject to relapse.

  27. Linda says:

    Dr. Drew should never had let Mindy McCready have a seizure let alone film it. He should have tapered her off anti-anxiety medicine with supervision. He truly disgusts me and is all about the ratings.

  28. SamSam says:

    Well, as someone who has followed Dr. Drews work from Loveline through this newest season of Celeb Rehab, I have to say that he is not sanctimonious at all and I believe he really truly helps some of the people that go through the facilities on the shows. If you have watched his shows, you’ll know that Dr. Drew has stated that using whatever amounts, does not make you an addict. It is the consequences from using that make you an addict (losing jobs/children, legal problems, health issues etc…). I enjoy watching him help celebrities, because he helps to show people that drug addictions are tearing up lives horribly and honestly, and it makes people feel less alone, whether it be the addicts themselves, or their families. He gets down and taps into a lot of things that have caused various addictions. There are some truly terrifying stories from some of these people (Duncan Roy, for one, from Sex Rehab).

    The greatest thing about him? Yeah, he has shows and helps celebrities, but when he’s not filming, he’s doing work with lower income patients as well, he’s treating others and helping them to get their lives on track. He’s not just some money grubber. He’s helping awareness for all sorts of problems that inflict our society from drug to sex addiction and how traumas in childhood can affect people for so long into their lives.

    Edit: The counselors, Shelly and the gentleman (I forget his name at the moment) are both recovering addicts. On the newest season of Celeb Rehab, Shelly admitted to selling her body and doing “what had to be done” to get the drugs she needed when doing an intake on Heidi Fleiss. Having people around you that are in recovery is incredibly therapeutic.

  29. deejayspicerack says:

    apples and oranges… doing some lines in the 80′s as opposed to doing porn to support your massive pill habit? he should be up front about what he’s done in the past, but i think most of us can all tell the difference between using and needing..

  30. annie says:

    I never used coke in my life and yes, I’ve had the chance

  31. gg says:

    I totally agree with Dread Pirate. How can somebody treat you wholly if they have not been an addict themselves? The patient already has a good example of somebody who has kicked (or is still kicking) his addiction, and so they would know they could do it too.

    The chick that he worked with on Sex Addiction was a sex addict. Only another addict can could really get inside the head of an addict because they’ve been there.

  32. girl says:

    I don’t understand the “only a former drug addict can really help you”. I know most of my OB/GYNs have been men. A therapist doesn’t have to have had all of the problems she helps with in order to be a good counselor.

    All of our life experiences are different. People use for different reasons. If one has to wait for a perfect “fit”, they may never get help.

  33. GatsbyGal says:

    Seriously, anyone who was anyone in the 80s did coke. I’m not shocked by this. I actually like Dr. Drew.

  34. Kylie says:

    Let see 1980? That was so 20 years ago!

    And good for him if he did.
    At least he knows what he is talking about and he can relate better to people he is treating.

    No big story here.

  35. mouth.like.a.sailor says:

    i get why some people are saying he’s exploiting these people who are at their worst on camera and blah blah blah but i personally think of it this way- these “celebrity” addicts, although they are addicts, live a different kind of reality. dennis rodman this season is the perfect example-he is never going to hit the same kind of lows that normal drug addicts or alcoholics hit because all his people and his money and wealth and fame cushion him from that…sort of like charlie sheen…but anyway, being on display for the whole world to see on camera being forced into a rehab, having to sleep in little twin size beds in rooms with people you don’t know, having to go to group meetings and participate and talk with other people and actually reveal things about yourself…these things are very humiliating and embaressing to these “celebrity addicts” and may be one of the most effective ways to get through to them. their humiliation has to be of the public nature, as is their fame and their highs and their celebrity. and although it might be humiliating for the people that chose to do the actual work that is needed to “get better” it’s truly worth it. i know from experience, at my worst i would have given literally ANYTHING to have my life and my self back. being brought to your humble knees is one of the first steps.

  36. GatsbyGal says:

    @Kylie – “Let see 1980? That was so 20 years ago!”

    More like 30 years ago!

  37. Doug Shea says:

    Drew Pinsky rules. Even old people love this guy! Like me for instance….

  38. grrrl_75 says:

    No one forces those “celebrities” to go on the show – except their agent because there’s nothing else lined up. They’re addicted to the camera first and foremost. They could’ve easily had gone to a non-televised treatment program, but they would’ve had to pay rather than get paid.

  39. C-DUB says:

    Aren’t most drug counselors recovering addicts? It takes someone who has actually been through it help you out of it. I still love Dr. Drew.

  40. gg says:

    @ girl – For this kind of psychotherapy, hell yes, they do need to be addicts themselves. This is a very complicated thing to sort out people’s heads. And a gynecologist is hardly the same as an addiction counselor. LOL :lol:
    Thank God!

    ITA with C-DUB.

  41. Cindy Kennedy says:

    Everyone did coke in the 80s. What’s the big deal.

  42. trashaddict says:

    Why do people keep posting that “everyone” did coke in the 80s when many of us have already posted that we didn’t? You didn’t have to be ahead of your time to realize that snorting coke led to stupid behaviors and bad shit. Burns me to hear about or see young people snorting or smoking now, why the hell do they start something they already know is ultimately going to fuck them up.

  43. Firestarter says:

    @Trashaddict “why the hell do they start something they already know is ultimately going to fuck them up.

    Same reason people smoke cigarettes, drive drunk, pop pills. Because they want to and don’t think of the consequences to themselves or others.

  44. Kevin says:

    I don’t think the AA program is very successful, but from personal experience I know that the AAA program works wonderfully.

  45. Firestarter says:

    Hahahaha! Kevin! AAA is great!

  46. ally coop says:

    I believe Dr.Drew may have been a drug user.If you think about it, most drug councellors etc.. are recovered addicts. They know of what they speak.
    His co-stars {if they tell the “truth”] are all recovered addicts.Again, you can’t speak of what you don’t know. Books will only show the technical side of drug abuse. Keep on going Dr. Drew I enjoy all your Rehab shows.

  47. Jax says:

    I like Dr. Drew I think this article was written by someone who Dr. Drew has hit a nerve with (my guess a person battling their own addictions) I have dealt with my own demons in my past and although I have never turned to drugs or alcohol I have battled severe depression and several suicide attempts. After a lot of therapy and a great support system I am doing really well now. I also come from a drug and alcoholic family and have seen how much pain these addictions have caused. A lot of what Dr. Drew says helps me take a good look at my own self and my own weaknesses which help make me stronger. I think when someone is that hateful against someone who is trying to help others, it is usually one of two things, they have no idea what they are going through or they are angry because that person has touched upon their own weaknesses and insecurities.

  48. John says:

    Dr. Drew is an alarmist with his own personal agenda. This was demonstrated during the Whitney Houston tragedy. He better have a good lawyer if her test results are negative to alcohol & drug interaction.

    • mickey says:

      sometimes what Dr. Drew says is questionable, especially when he categorizes people, their drug problems, and their lifestyles. however, i’ve been listening to him for almost 15 years now, and he’s mostly right. and it’s good enough to know that when he’s wrong, he’s usually trying to err on caution, and I’m totally fine with that.