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Recently I saw yet another celebrity rolled out before the cameras by a CEO of a treatment facility. The client, Mr. (Dennis) Rodman waited patiently in his sunglasses, purple hat and scarf and bright yellow pants, while the CEO discussed treatment procedures at his agency.

I want to throw a hammer through the television when some staff member hauls out any client who may be in the midst of very early recovery or withdrawal even, to give witness to how much their agency is helping him.

This has happened before with whole “shows” aimed at celebrities with drug/alcohol problems. Leave these poor guys alone. And, shame on the CEO of the agency. Instead of being in the spotlight Mr. Rodman should have been left in peace and quiet so his brain, soul, body and spirit could begin to heal. What are these idiots thinking of dragging celebrities out like that? Is business so bad you have to use your clients to sell your agency? Stop it already.

Perhaps Mr. Rodman insisted on setting the record straight with CNN. Agency staff only need remind someone who’s in treatment that’s what publicity releases are for, because if an activity doesn’t move the client’s recovery forward, it’s contraindicated. Period.

Let’s face it, it takes months and even years for a brain that has been bombarded with the poisons of active addiction to repair itself. It takes months and maybe years for the concept of abstinence to be internalized and understood by the recovering addict. Mr. Rodman seemed in no shape to be speaking to the public. And, the interviewer was in no position to act as an addictions counselor. It was just wrong to allow this “interview” to happen.

I like Dennis with his rainbow hair colors, wedding dresses, false eyelashes, athletic ability and quirky sense of humor. And, while I applaud him for his courage and bravery in entering rehab to address his issues, I am appalled at those in my profession who use their clients, sick and asking for help, to further their own agendas. Stop doing this. It serves no useful purpose.

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Liz Barnes

Auburn

Barnes has been a credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselor for more than 25 years.

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