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`Operation Last House Call`; Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Split
Aired May 10, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver go their separate ways. Is this marriage terminated?
Then, Bath Salts. And don`t let that harmless name fool you. They`re drugs and they can kill.
Plus, undercover police stings. Are they the solution to sex and drug crimes? Let`s see and let`s get started.
My guests are here with me at the table, and they`re locked and loaded. And I`m going to talk to them in just a second.
But first -- there they are -- a bunch of alleged pedophiles have just been rounded up and removed from the streets in Florida thanks to an operation called Last House Call. I love this. I want to -- I`m going to never forget the name of this operation.
To our knowledge, none of these folks have commented on their individual cases, nor has the law enforcement. They are of course presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Twenty-two men, half of them with criminal records in the past, they were arrested in this week-long sting which Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd oversaw. And he joins me now.
Sheriff, this was initiated online, is that correct? And how did this work?
SHERIFF GRADY JUDD, POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA: Absolutely. Our detectives, which are simply the best in the business, go online through Backpage, Craigslist, and they begin communications with predators who are looking for very young children -- in fact, this operation was between the ages of 9 and 14 -- to have sex with.
JUDD: And that`s where we intercept these predators, before they get to our children.
PINSKY: Sheriff, I guess you have advice for local law enforcement, or even for people communicating with law enforcement. Is there an organization they can get involved with to do these kind of things, or at least to rid their community of these kind of guys?
JUDD: Yes. Internet Crimes Against Children, ICAC, is a nationwide federal program. We encourage every sheriff and every police chief across the nation, if they`re not actively involved with proactively going after these child predators, they need to. And ICAC will help.
The reason we have to do that is if we react to these events, then the child`s already been victimized. But we`re going out, preying on the predators before they can get to our children.
PINSKY: Well, Sheriff, the one thing that really stands out for me in this story is that, you know, I expect these things in big urban areas, or densely-populated areas, but you`re a relatively suburb, in at least area, and here the density of this is really stunning. We think our kids are safe.
I want to point out to my viewers, you think your kids are safe online. This is a prime example of how dense this problem is.
Wouldn`t you say?
JUDD: Well, absolutely. But quite frankly, only one of the people came from our county.
We have gone after these folks and gone after them. These folks came from throughout Florida and four different states to this undercover location.
JUDD: They know no bounds. They`ll go anyplace they can to attack a child. So they`re not from our community, it`s just that I proactively go after them to keep them away from children in our community that may communicate with them without knowing just how dangerous these predators are.
PINSKY: Thank you very much, Sheriff.
All right. Now on to the big news of the last 24 hours. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, are separating.
Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated.
MEREDITH VIEIRA, "THE TODAY SHOW": Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced overnight that they are separating.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": That surprise split making headlines this morning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For decades, this was, indeed, a very popular, powerful, and public couple.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This couple had spent long stretches of time apart.
VIEIRA: A couple months ago, she wrote on her Facebook page she was going through a transition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Together, Saturday, without her wedding ring, just days before the official announcement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s already moved out.
BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": She would still like to perhaps have a career.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe the ultimate example of a political marriage.
JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": A Kennedy and a Republican is like a mixed marriage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It brings to an end one of the most unusual partnerships in American media and politics.
PINSKY: That`s funny, Joy with a mixed marriage.
OK. Well, he says he`s going back into acting, she says she`s at a transitional point in her life. Check out this video that Maria posted on YouTube just a few weeks ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA SHRIVER, FMR. FIRST LADY OF CALIFORNIA: I would like to hear from other people who are in transition. How did you find your transition? Personal, professional, emotional, spiritual, financial? How did you get through it?
What were the three things that enabled you to get through your transition? What did you -- after you transitioned, what do you wish you would have known?
I wrote a book a long time ago, "Ten Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Went Out Into the Real World." Tell me some things you wish you would have known before you transitioned. I think it would help me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Well, in retrospect, the transition sure sounds like she was talking about splitting up with Arnold.
Joining me to discuss this are Ann Lopez. She was married to comedian George Lopez for 17 years, and they are in the process of a divorce. And Kevin Frazier, he is the host of "The Insider."
Kevin, give us what we know so far.
KEVIN FRAZIER, HOST, "THE INSIDER": Well, what we know is that she`s moved out of the house. And the interesting part about this is that we aren`t getting a lot of details, but we are seeing a lot of clues, like that video we just saw from March 28th. Maria didn`t have on her wedding ring.
At the time we thought, no big deal, she doesn`t have on her wedding ring, she`s just going through a tough time. We didn`t look at the clues. And now what`s emerging is there are reports that she`s wanted to get divorced, or at least leave this relationship, for two years now.
I will tell you this -- as a Lakers` season ticket holder, I saw Maria here all the time with the kids. And it was interesting, because you thought, why isn`t she in Sacramento more with Arnold? Why aren`t they together more? But they`ve been living separate lives it looks like for quite some time.
PINSKY: Well, what I`m not hearing much speculation about is why the separation. There`s rumors about him misbehaving from the past, there`s rumors about her not being -- like you`re saying, living with him while he was pursuing his political career.
What do we think?
FRAZIER: Well, the first thing is that, you know, sure, he wants to go back into the movies and he wants to pursue that. And also, as we`ve heard, she doesn`t know what she`s going to do.
But, Drew, I think the most important thing to take out of all of this is that in the past, there`s been infidelity.
FRAZIER: And we don`t know if they`ve ever fixed that. And then, remember, in a very short time period she lost her mother, her beloved uncle, and then she loses her father. That was in a short time span. So all that happens. It makes you evaluate life.
FRAZIER: And I think that could be what`s going on too.
PINSKY: And calling it a transition is really a euphemism.
Now, Ann, one of the reasons I was excited to have you here is that -- well, no, but you broke up after 17 years. And I`m used to -- the world I work in, people break up usually after shorter marriages, or for very specific reasons that are sort of recalcitrant. Again, that`s in my world.
And so when you hear about a 25-year marriage or a 17-year marriage, that`s not what you think of as a couple that`s likely to break up. So do you have anything to share about your own experience that could shed light on hers?
ANN LOPEZ, MARRIED TO GEORGE LOPEZ FOR 17 YEARS: Well, I think 25 years shouldn`t be looked at as a failure.
PINSKY: Well, that`s true, right.
LOPEZ: You know, they made it 25 years in a very difficult and high- powered industry, which is Hollywood and politics. Plus, they dated 11 years before that. So this is 36 years of a union.
Maria was very young when she started dating Arnold. They waited 11 years before they got married.
It is a transition. It is a transition. I can say in my own life, I lost my mother about three months before my marriage broke up, and it does make you reevaluate a lot of things. And she lost three people, so --
PINSKY: So you think all those losses made her step back and maybe think, am I happy? Is this really working, this relationship? Those kinds of things?
LOPEZ: You know, I don`t think anyone really knows what`s going on behind closed doors.
PINSKY: We don`t right now. That`s why we`re trying to speculate.
LOPEZ: No, but --
PINSKY: And the fact that it`s been 25 years is sort of weird.
LOPEZ: I know. Yes, I think when you have death of your parents, and especially her uncle was like a father, I think it does. I think you start to reevaluate -- you start to see your mortality, and what do I want out of life? What makes me happy? Is this still working for me?
And those are questions that at any time of your life, but especially when you`ve been married that long -- I think maybe the kids are getting older, they`re more independent. A lot of different reasons.
PINSKY: Really interesting, because you`re saying, so, the kids are gone now. She has subjugated her career to him.
FRAZIER: Well, let`s not forget, he`s also out of office now. And she did -- what many people are saying the right thing -- stuck by him while he was in office. This didn`t come out while he was in office, and it could have really hurt either a run, a second run, which he had, that second term, or even just his legacy.
He had enough to deal with in California. He didn`t need that.
I will tell you real quick, Drew, I visited the governor`s office in 2007, and while I was there, I walked around with Maria. And we talked, and I told her I was married for a second time, and she said to me -- when she walked in with Arnold, she said, "He`s one of those people. It`s his second marriage."
And they chuckled.
PINSKY: Was that a warning for Arnold?
FRAZIER: I don`t know!
PINSKY: I wonder what that was.
FRAZIER: To this moment, I haven`t figured that moment out.
PINSKY: Well, we`re going to talk more about it. We`re actually going to talk to a Kennedy family biographer. He is here with us for his take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Trappings of fame, difference in politics, rumors of infidelity, razor-sharp angles in this sad story. But will it get worse? If you`ve ever been divorced, you know the agony of a bitter legal fight.
And later, Bath Salts, a misleading label and a dangerous designer drug sold over the counter. You will not believe the damage it is doing to our kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHRIVER: Like a lot of you, I`m in transition. And people come up to me all the time and go, "What are you doing next? What are you going to do? What did you come up with? Oh, I hope you`re getting time to relax and think and take a break."
It is so stressful to not know what you`re doing next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, are separating.
And we`re talking about it with Ann Lopez. She is in the process of divorcing George Lopez.
We have The Insider`s Kevin Frazier, who`s been giving us details on the breakup.
Joining us now are celebrity divorce attorney Donald Schweitzer and Kennedy family biographer Laurence Leamer. He knows all about the couple`s history.
Maria`s mother was Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
Laurence, why do you think this couple is separating?
LAURENCE LEAMER, KENNEDY BIOGRAPHER: Well, we don`t know, and the secrets of a marriage are secrets forever in those two souls. But as one of your previous guests said, that it`s lasted for 25 years, as it did, and all the achievement they both have managed during these years, I mean, I think one should look at that.
It is a transition when you talk about that. It seems like kind of psychobabble. But the point is Maria`s in her mid-50s, her mother and father both were amazing achievers. They pushed all their daughters, all their children, to do great things.
Her brother Bobby told me when he was a freshman at Yale that his mother would call him every morning and say, "Bobby, get up and seize the day." That`s the way Maria was brought up.
And has she seized the day? She`s in her mid-50s now. Her kids are leaving the house. Her beloved parents have died.
What is she going to do with the rest of her life? That factors into this as well for Arnold.
Arnold`s friends say the one thing they worried about was, how would their friend deal with getting old? Arnold is getting old. What will he do with the rest of his life?
He`s going back to doing films, but kids are not going to go into the movie theaters to see Arnold. What will he do with the rest of his life? What will they do separately? What will they do together?
PINSKY: Well, very interesting. And I just realized my kids are taking off to college and I`m going to make a habit of calling each of them and say, "Seize the day." It seemed to work OK for the Kennedy/Shriver clan.
But Ann, there`s an interesting analogy here for you. I mean, Maria, she gave her career and her youth. You actually gave a kidney to your husband.
LOPEZ: And my career and my youth.
PINSKY: Well, and so, are there things to be learned from you guys, long-term marriages where women really sacrifice a ton, and still go out and want to seize the day on their own?
LOPEZ: Yes. I mean, you know, for me, this has been a big transition.
I`ve been in the George Lopez business for 20 years. I`m going to continue to be in the George Lopez business. But yes, I think now I`m also doing things for myself that I might not have done had this not happened. I`m producing more -- other projects besides just projects for George.
PINSKY: Do you think what`s that Maria`s doing, that she`s going out and seizing the day?
LOPEZ: I think -- yes. I think Maria is going out and seizing the day. All of a sudden you do look at yourself and go, what am I going to do? Not just what I`ve helped my husband do.
PINSKY: And to be fair, we`re all live longer and whatnot.
FRAZIER: This is what her mother did. Her mother started the Special Olympics. And that`s something incredible. And also, I think that you have to remember, she`s worth a lot of money, $125 million, and so she`s not hurting for cash or anything.
PINSKY: Well, that`s what I want to talk to Donald about.
Donald, you`re a divorce attorney. Two questions I have for you in any order.
Is money going to make this messier, or is it just that they have enough money, each of them, that it`s going to make it easier? And are we likely, in your experience, to see separation go to divorce?
DONALD SCHWEITZER, CELEBRITY DIVORCE ATTORNEY: Well, the first question is about the money, and they could afford a divorce. This is a case where she`s not worried about her financial security, which is very common for most women that I come in counter with that are going through a divorce. They`re really fearful about how they`re going to support themselves, particularly when they`re past the age of 50.
In this case, she doesn`t have that worry. But you can see from that tape that she is worried, that she`s exploring.
And the thing I like about what she`s doing is she`s reaching out to others. And I think you know that that`s a good sign.
PINSKY: That is a good sign.
SCHWEITZER: She`s trying to find her way, and she`s saying, somebody help me. Try to figure this out. And that`s a positive thing.
Now, with respect to whether this is going to be a divorce or legal separation, we don`t know that. I think that you know from a lot of the people that you`ve seen in the past that there`s people that separate and get back together. But in this case, what`s really important is that they`ve made a public statement.
They`ve come out and said, hey, we`re having problems. And I think that that`s very, very telling with respect to a Kennedy and a politician, that they`re coming out and making a public statement. So they`re probably far along at this point.
PINSKY: Heading towards divorce?
PINSKY: Well I see separations. I see separations in treatment, people trying to reconcile, trying to get it back together. By the time they make it public, and come to you, that`s sort of when they`re --
LOPEZ: But you can also get outed. I know we got outed. George and I were separated --
PINSKY: Oh. So you think they may have been forced to talk about this?
LOPEZ: Well, they might have been forced.
LOPEZ: We were separated, and someone found out -- one of the tabloids found out we weren`t living together. And then we were forced to make a statement.
PINSKY: And I heard TMZ was going and talking about there being a longer-term separation here.
Laurence, I sort of have a question for you, which is, as you -- you`re the biographer, and I`m going to ask you to look into your crystal ball and look ahead and think about what the biography is going to look like 10 years from now as you write it in retrospect.
Where is Maria going from here?
LEAMER: These are both powerful, ambitious people going through terribly painful times. I expect they will overcome this.
It`s entirely possible that the greatest achievements of their lives are ahead of them. I mean, Maria`s not done the substantive thing she wants to do, she felt her parents wanted her to do. She does not have that yet.
For Arnold, his days as a movie star are over, his days as a bodybuilder are over. There are many good things he can do in the world, and he`s an immensely talented person. He may not have been a great governor, but he`s a great public presence.
PINSKY: Ann, do you have kids, you and George?
LOPEZ: Yes, I do. I have a 15-year-old daughter.
PINSKY: So it`s similar age range for their kids. How did they contend with this, it being so public and all?
LOPEZ: It`s very difficult. It`s very difficult.
PINSKY: You look at it and I see pain in your eyes.
PINSKY: Yes. So it was really bad.
LOPEZ: Well, because kids at school, the read things in magazines and they know things that should be private.
PINSKY: So it`s bad. Yes.
LOPEZ: It`s bad.
PINSKY: So, if the kids -- Donald, the kids have trouble with this?
SCHWEITZER: Every time.
SCHWEITZER: Every divorce I`ve seen, kids are impacted. And that was my first thought, is what about these kids? Because we know that Arnold has made statements about being a father, and we hope that he`s always been a good father. And how are they going to handle the joint custody?
PINSKY: You`ve met the kids, haven`t you?
PINSKY: They`re great kids.
FRAZIER: They are great kids. And it`s interesting, because there are Internet reports saying that she was miserable. Now, I`m not confirming these reports, but there are reports that say --
PINSKY: Why? Why was she miserable?
FRAZIER: And the kids were saying move on.
FRAZIER: You know what? Because she wasn`t able to be who she is. Remember who her good, good friend is. It`s Oprah Winfrey. And she looks at Oprah and all the things she`s doing on the network. Remember, she walked away from "Dateline," all these things that she was doing.
SCHWEITZER: But let me say this though. When kids say, "Mom, I want you to move on," that means something pretty bad is happening in the household, because --
FRAZIER: Well, that`s what I`m wondering.
SCHWEITZER: -- most kids want to be with both parents.
FRAZIER: No matter what.
SCHWEITZER: And even if they`ve been imperfect.
FRAZIER: Yes, they want them to get along above everything.
SCHWEITZER: But in this situation, that wasn`t a family that was always together. They were used to the separation.
PINSKY: All right. Kevin, let me put you on the line with this, on the record.
PINSKY: Is it marital infidelity that we`re talking about here likely? That`s the rumors you here.
FRAZIER: You hear the rumors, but remember this -- in this day and age --
PINSKY: Does anybody have any substance coming out?
FRAZIER: -- nobody has anything of substance. The two people who know what actually happened are Arnold and Maria.
SCHWEITZER: Yes, but he was the governor of California. He was under a microscope for four years. I have a feeling that TMZ would have come out with something by this time. Am I wrong?
PINSKY: Unless this is a festering --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don`t know if they can get in the governor`s mansion. It`s tough.
PINSKY: Unless this is a festering wound from years ago. And remember, Maria Shriver`s a great politician in her own right. I mean, she really got him elected.
LOPEZ: She understands that from her own family background.
LOPEZ: I think one of the things that, in a celebrity marriage and a political marriage, is time. Time becomes your greatest commodity. And everyone wants a piece of you.
And you don`t have enough time, and your family does sometimes suffer. It`s a very difficult give and take.
FRAZIER: I think time and timing.
FRAZIER: Once again, like you said, master politician. I think she waited.
PINSKY: I agree.
So, what I`ve learned from this is I`m going to tell my kids to seize the day. I suggest we all tell our kids that, because clearly it works in the Kennedy/Shriver clan.
I want to thank my panel.
Thank you Laurence.
Thank you, Donald.
Kevin, Ann, thank you so much for joining us and talking about this. It`s an interesting conversation and we can only speculate. Let`s be fair. And we really don`t know what`s going on.
Now, when we come back --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Have you been through a painful divorce? If so, you know the heart-wrenching agony, the bitter legal disputes, even the infidelity.
I am taking your calls straight ahead.
And later, the label says "Bath Salts," but this is more like a bathtub concoction to get high similar to meth, and it`s legal in some states.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Welcome back.
Now, many of you have reacted to our discussion about Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver and their separation, so let`s get to the phones.
Harold in Illinois.
What`s going on there, Harold?
HAROLD, ILLINOIS: How you doing, Dr. Drew?
PINSKY: Good, buddy.
HAROLD: I was looking into the Schwarzenegger and Shriver situation, and I was thinking, why does everyone always -- when you hear the word "separation," everyone thinks of divorce. And I had a question of, do you think sometimes it`s good for couples to be separated for a while before they go through a divorce?
PINSKY: Yes, absolutely. It can be a good thing.
The problem is, people separate and then don`t do anything. If they`re separating and working on something, particularly getting professional help, yes, absolutely, things can lead toward reconciliation.
And if you were listening a few minutes ago, we talked to a divorce attorney who made it clear that it doesn`t have to lead to divorce. So, certainly we are all hoping in this case that it does not, but again, the fact that it`s public and so public, he believes that it could be the writing on the wall that suggests they`re moving towards divorce.
I`ve got another caller, and this is Greg in Michigan. What`s
Greg, what`s going on there?
GREG, MICHIGAN: Hi, Dr. Drew.
Why do you think people have such a difficult time defining what love really is? Maybe if they knew what it was, relationships would last longer.
PINSKY: Well, a great point. I think that`s such a good point, I`m actually writing a book about it. I didn`t know this question was coming.
But it`s not so much love, let me say, because love is a very difficult thing to find, but intimacy. The ability to tolerate closeness with another human being and co-create and share and resonate with each other`s emotions these days is a very threatening place to enter, because our families are so destroyed, we don`t have great models for that. Or if we do have families that aren`t destroyed, the kinds of intimacies we maintain aren`t necessarily healthy, then we translate those unhealthy templates to our adult lives.
So, stay tuned. It`s complicated. I`m writing a book about this, but I agree with you. Focusing on relationships and intimacy is something we all need to do. It`s where happiness really comes from.
I`ve got something from Facebook here. This is Brianna (ph), and she writes, "Do you think emotional abuse is grounds for a divorce?"
Categorically, any kind of abuse, from my opinion, is grounds for a divorce. I always -- I`m an eternal optimist for relationships. I think it`s reasonable to get an evaluation if you have resources where you can get access to professional interventions. But if there is a pattern of abuse, you`ve got to get out.
Crystal is also on Facebook. She wants to know, "After getting divorced, how soon is too soon to start getting into the dating scene again?"
Well, you know, I`m not sure that there`s a number for that, my dear. I suspect most people will say it`s important to finish mourning the loss of something really substantial in your life. So I would think on the order of six months, but certainly there`s no harm in going out and hanging out with people.
Again, other relationships, closeness with other people is what helps us regulate our emotions, feel good. We`re healthier. You don`t have to get romantically involved and go formally dating, but give it a good six months.
Last question here is Rick. He asked, "What do you see are the biggest warning signs that a marriage is in trouble?"
These -- again, people have tried to define this for years -- disdain, abuse, breakdown in communication, an unwillingness to work it out. Those are all signs that things are in really big trouble.
When we come back, a drug that can kill you. You really need to watch this piece that`s coming up. And it can kill your kids. They can buy it easily in many states, even over the Internet.
What you better know about something called Bath Salts. That`s right, that`s the name, Bath Salts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): The water is coming. The mighty Mississippi swelling past its banks in a deadly tear through the country`s heartland. How will survivors cope?
Designer drugs wreaking havoc on our children. Over-the-counter and under the radar and out of control. This stuff is bad, folks. You`re going to meet an addicted young man so paranoid from this stuff, he now sleeps with a knife.
And later, a massive school drug bust. Is it overkill or should we use any means necessary to eradicate drugs in our schools?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): We`re going to get to those stories in just a minute, but first, let me talk quickly about the devastating floods down south. The Mississippi River is cresting to levels not seen in more than 70 years. Hundreds of homes in Memphis, Tennessee, are submerged. Just take a look at some of these images sent to us from viewers. Yes, again, it`s really sad. According to health officials, the other issue is the filthy water poses a health threat.
The cleanup may take weeks, may take longer, and more flooding is headed for other cities. I want to just quickly take a moment to say two things. One is, people always, and boy, down in the south particularly, we`ve had to see them manifest such resiliency in dealing with these horrible disasters and reach out, there`s help available, always realize that other people are the solution. Do not isolate in times like this.
And the other thing to remember is, let`s be thankful for when our public services do function normally. They`re not perfect, and the fact is, we can`t hold them to perfection, and unfortunately, I think a lot of the people telling this story insist that this is an outrage, that there is a breach. These are not perfect. We`ve got to prepare for that and realize that and really work on digging out and dealing with the consequences.
All right. There`s a new drug -- you`ve got to listen to this story. There`s a new drug -- I`m really worried about it. We`re beginning to hear a lot about it. It`s turned up in over 25 states. It is called bath salts. You heard me right, bath salts. And it`s not the balls or the things you pour into your bath, it is a drug. It`s banned in some states, yet, still legal in others. New Jersey just took action to outlaw them. Now, before we go any further, I need you to watch this tape about bath salts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): These bath salts aren`t what you pour into the tub. They`re designer drugs, stimulants made for snorting or smoking. They produce a high similar to that of crack or meth, euphoria and sexual arousal. They can generate hallucinations, paranoia, and psychotic episodes. And consider this, bath salts are sold in a convenience store, gas station, and online. In other words, they are readily available.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): All right. Here`s what I want you to know about the bath salts, the chemicals in here. It`s related to MDMA, which is ecstasy, except, basically, it`s like methamphetamine on crack. It`s methamphetamine that quickly pushes people into the methamphetamine psychosis, yet, in spite of all these unpleasant side effects, the power of the drug to repeat the behavior of doing it again is so profound that in spite everything unpleasant, you`re driven to do it again and get further into these horrible side effects.
Here`s a bath salt user. His name is Corey. He`s a father and a husband, and his mom, Diane. They wrote to us seeking help for Corey. Chemical dependency counselor, Shelly Sprague from "Celebrity Rehab" also joins me. OK, mom, I want to start with you. How do you see Corey behave on these chemicals that we call bath salts?
DIANE SIMPSON, WORRIED THAT SON USES "BATH SALTS": He`s just paranoid. Just paranoid. Just constantly looking over his shoulder, thinks people are against him all the time or people are talking about him. He`s told me that when he`s at work, he thinks people will be talking behind his back. Mostly, you`ll get more from my daughter-in-law when you speak with her. He`s just -- he`s just not Corey. He`s just not Corey.
He scares me because he gets violent. He yells. You know, and I have my grand babies around there, you know? He`ll put a knife down in the couch or wherever he may be resting at the time, you know, and God forbid one of his children, you know, get up in the middle of the night and stick their hand down in the couch. I`m very concerned, you know, because it starts --
PINSKY: Corey? Yes, Corey. Thank you, mom, for that description.
DIANE SIMPSON: You`re welcome.
PINSKY: It`s chilling enough. Corey, thank you for joining us and having the courage to step up and talk about this. How did you find out about these things, the bath salts?
COREY SIMPSON, GETS HIGH ON BATH SALTS: They`re sold in tobacco shops, and I`m a cigarette smoker. So when I go in, you know, I look around the shops, you know, what`s this? Figured I`d try it out, and that`s how I came upon it.
PINSKY: How long have you been using it?
COREY SIMPSON: Probably since Christmas of last year.
PINSKY: And it sounds like the high, at least, the side effects are rather unpleasant. Why do you keep going?
COREY SIMPSON: Because at fist, when you first do it, it`s nothing -- afterwards, it`s the high. It`s like the first high that you`re always chasing, to look for again, but it`s not until -- see, it`s funny, because it`s not until I get home is when the side effects kick in.
PINSKY: Are you aware that this -- are you aware that you`re having paranoia from the salts when you`re in that paranoid state or does it just seem like everyone`s out to get you and that`s that?
COREY SIMPSON: Oh, no, I know it`s from this. I definitely know it`s from this, but when I don`t use I for a while and I`m still hearing stuff, you know, that kind of bothers me, that when I mention something about it, they`re just saying, oh, well, you`re on it again, or, you know, it`s the side effects, you know. And I`ve done my research on it, and yes, some could be permanent, some could not be. But, for going a while without using and it I`m still hearing stuff, I question myself whether, you know, either if I`m going crazy or just nobody wants to believe me.
PINSKY: When you say you`re hearing stuff, you mean your complaints about your family -- from your family about your paranoid behavior?
COREY SIMPSON: No, like, I hear people walking outside of my house, I could hear people shouting, you know, I always think, you know, bringing my wife into it, I always think she`s going to the opposite end of the house talking to somebody because she would never ever do that.
PINSKY: OK. So, you`re having auditory hallucinations, we call that, when you`re actually hearing voices and they may be persecutory. Corey, you`re doing something -- Shelly, when you hear him talking about this, this is typical about we see from methamphetamine, but you have to use methamphetamine for a long while before you get those kind of toxic side effects.
SHELLY SPRAGUE, COUNSELOR, "CELEBRITY REHAB": Yes, absolutely. You know, and that it`s not, that it`s not remitting after he`s, you know, stopped for a period -- I don`t know how long he had stopped, but for a period of days and weeks, if those symptoms aren`t subsiding, you know, I don`t know exactly what`s going on there, but --
PINSKY: But the amphetamine does the same thing. Methamphetamine psychosis, which is what he`s describing here, a stimulant psychosis, which is paranoid delusions, preoccupations about family, friends, co-workers, hearing voices, even seeing things, but, you know, it`s also the stimulative of the drug of violence, and people will become violent in response to these paranoid delusions.
PINSKY: What I found interesting what he said, he sounds like he was describing crack when he said that desire to do it again, to chase the high. That`s how crack users describe crack.
PINSKY: So, it is methamphetamine on crack.
SPRAGUE: I mean, essentially, from what we`re seeing and all of the symptomology that we`re seeing from the reports is that it is amphetamine. It is the drug that we have been warning people against for years and years and years, and it is now in the corner store. It is around the corner. It is in, I`m sure, in schools. And there`s no regulation and no one knows what to do about it at this particular point, but exceedingly dangerous, clearly.
PINSKY: Mom, I want to ask you, before we take a break here, hat other drugs has Corey been doing?
DIANE SIMPSON: Well, it started off where he would smoke, you know, he smoked pot. He would take my -- I`m on medication. I take Xanax, and that would disappear. Percocet, Darvocet, whatever, you know, was around that was available, I guess, you know, to him at the time. You know, these -- you know, I know he`s not the only one. I mean, there are other friends out there that get them, you know, the kids do it.
They just do it, but my fear is now that this has gotten to the point where he`s gotten these feelings of paranoia, hearing voices, thinking there`s somebody in the next room, here, there, wherever, it worries me, because it does say that it can do permanent damage, you know? He has two young children, you know? It scares me.
PINSKY: I totally understand. I will tell you, generally, the stimulant psychosis do remit, but they can be with them for quite a little while after they use, and every time they use, the clock resets. Corey is staying with us.
Next on DR. DREW, we`re going to have Corey`s wife who`s going to join us, and Shelley will stay here with me as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Yes, the designer drug threat is real, but so is the solution. If you have a loved one who is struggling, stay with us.
And speaking of drugs, how about a high school drug bust "21 Jump Street" style. Undercover cops take down 28 students allegedly for pot. Is it overkill or is it keeping your kids away from drugs?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): We`ve been discussing a new drug, which is legal in some states. It`s called bath salts, and I really wanted to do this story as a cautionary tale and a warning. Both because we`re starting to see this drug now, it`s getting distributed, it`s been reported in at least 25 states. Young people are getting access to this drug easily, and what I need you to know, as a physician, it`s worse -- it`s like methamphetamine and crack put together.
The worst of both put together. So, I am very, deeply concerned about this. And we`re digging into a story about a young man who`s been struck by this drug. So, you can see the potential manifestations. I hope not, but if this should show up in your household, you`ll know the signs. The drug, we don`t even -- it`s so new. We really don`t even know what`s in these bath salts. The drug that keeps coming up is methylenedioxypyrovalerone, that`s mouthful, also called MDPV. It`s a relative of MDMA.
And if you remember, it took the legislative system a while to get its teeth into MDMA and illegalize that. So, this is not going to happen overnight. You may want to consult your local legislators to push them to take some action and make this thing illegal so it`s not sitting on the corner -- excuse me -- on the counter at the corner gas station, head shop, whatever it might be. Your kids are seeing this stuff.
And as you heard with Corey Simpson`s story, who we`re going to keep talking to in a second, he was looking around a head shop and found this and tried it, and now, he`s hooked on it. And the power of this drug to do it again and repeat it is overwhelming. So, even though, he`s getting into paranoia and unpleasant side effects, he`s still doing it.
Now, Corey Simpson, as I said, is still here with me. He uses this substance. Corey`s wife, Krystal, also joins us. Krystal, thank you so much for joining us. What has this been like for you and what have you seen?
KRYSTAL SIMPSON, WIFE WITH PARANOID, DRUG-ADDICTED HUSBAND: It`s been hell, pretty much. When he does it, he gets paranoid. He walks around the house, you know, thinking that people are outside. At three o`clock in the morning, he thought his dad was outside with the police, and I kept telling him no, no, nobody`s outside, go look. It`s horrible. He doesn`t sleep. He doesn`t eat. And it worries me.
PINSKY: Are you afraid for your children?
KRYSTAL SIMPSON: No. I`m not. I`m just -- I`m not afraid for them. I`m not afraid for me. I`m afraid for him. I, honestly, don`t think he`d hurt us.
PINSKY: Why -- well, when people are paranoid, they do it accidentally sometimes. They think you`re something you`re not, but, let me just -- so, it is a real concern. You need to know that. But my big question for you is, why hasn`t Corey received treatment? Why hasn`t he gotten medical care?
KRYSTAL SIMPSON: I honestly don`t know. Like, he`s -- he`s been saying for a while now that he needs help, he needs help, you know, but with today`s society, like he ended up losing his job because of this, and he got it back, which, you know, we are grateful for, but it`s pretty much just a money issue that we have to pay bills, we just had our second baby, so he just really wasn`t able to go --
PINSKY: Cory, how about treatment? What do you think? I mean, come on.
COREY SIMPSON: Oh, yes. I`ve volunteered to go for treatment, but what I told my parents and along with my wife, if I tell them what`s going on and what`s happening to me, they would commit me and diagnose me as a paranoid schizophrenic for hearing stuff. And at the time --
PINSKY: Well, no. No, no, Corey, Corey. Corey, I`m going to stop you right there, because -- and Shelley, you`ll back me up on this in just a second. We see -- Shelley and I admit people to hospital and have for years with exactly what you have. We don`t put them on lock units. We don`t diagnose them with anything other than a stimulant psychosis, and we treat them for their stimulant addiction. Shelley, back me up.
SPRAGUE: I mean, the bottom line is if you have some symptoms, it doesn`t necessarily mean that -- and, you know, there`s no point in locking anybody up --
PINSKY: Well, that`s paranoid, too. That`s also part of the paranoia.
SPRAGUE: Exactly. So, that`s part of the psychosis. The bottom line is we don`t lock people up for that. We treat them, and we give them medicine so that they are less paranoid and then they get better, and they stop using drugs, hopefully, and they go on to live productive lives. I just want you, guys, to be informed of the situation. Nobody`s going to lock you up or put you anywhere that you don`t want to be.
PINSKY: And also, you know, Shelly, he`s going to lose his job anyway because of his addictive disorder.
SPRAGUE: Absolutely. And that`s always one of the things that people don`t want to do. They don`t want to go get treatment because they have this and this and this and this. Well, all those this and this and this, the kids, the job, the money, the house, everything is going.
PINSKY: With the addiction.
SPRAGUE: It`s all going. So, you could just cut it now.
SPRAGUE: Go get treatment, so you can hang on to what you have at this point, but you really need to understand, all that stuff is going. If you don`t get addiction treatment, all that stuff is going.
PINSKY: Listen, I want to emphasize that again directly to my viewers that may have someone in their home or their loved one that has something similar to this. Addiction is progressive. And so, to put spurious concerns ahead of treatment because you`re fearful of loss as a result of treatment, I promise you, those things you`re fearful of losing are going because of the addictive disease in short order. It`s going to happen.
So, Corey, I`m going to get you some help. It`s a complicated issue, but when we get off the air, I`m going to talk with you, and we`re going to find something local for you. I guarantee you. There`s good service as where you are. This is a common -- this kind of problem is common, however, what`s new and the reason we`re doing the story is this whole issue of bath salts.
It`s, to me, this is a terribly scary and cautionary tale you`re telling us. Mom -- excuse me, Krystal, any last words, anything you want to tell for people that might be listening or watching?
KRYSTAL SIMPSON: Stay away from it. Don`t do it. It`s not worth the money, you know, that you spend on it, and it`s not worth frying your brain cells from it.
PINSKY: And Corey, I want to go back to you. Yes. And Corey, I know you`re in pain, dude, and I know this is a very miserable time for you. I know about the shame and guilt that goes with addiction. You haven`t necessarily fried any brain cells. Very often this stuff resolves nearly completely if not completely and there`s good treatment out there and don`t let those paranoid preoccupations that people are going to lock you up prevent you from getting the help you need, OK?
COREY SIMPSON: OK. Thank you.
PINSKY: All right. Buddy, we`ll talk to you in a few minutes. Shelly, thank you for joining me.
SPRAGUE: Thank you.
PINSKY: And we`re going to talk -- yes. Always good to see you, of course.
We`re going to talk about some undercover officers posing as students going back to school, and they bust a bunch of kids for allegedly selling pot. It`s like a real-life sort of "21 Jump Street" operation. They called it operation D-minus, and that is next.
JOY BEHAR, HOST OF "JOY BHEAR SHOW": Hey, Drew. Motley Crue`s Nikki Sixx joins me tonight, and you may have talked about his past on your show, but my interview will be a lot different. Why? Because I don`t judge. That`s why. OK? Check it out.
PINSKY: Well, Joy, I will certainly check it out, but I have two things to say to you, how dare you, and how dare you! Nikki`s my friend. You be good to him.
OK. We`re keeping drug counselor Shelly Sprague with us for this next story. 28 Palm Beach County High School students were caught by surprise when they were arrested in a drug sting in Florida. The nine-month investigation was called operation D-minus. Undercover officers posed as students befriended the kids and allegedly bought pot from them. The suspects in the case, of course, need not be said, are innocent until proven guilty, but watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM KELLY, POLICE CHIEF: Marijuana is a very debilitating drug. The THC content in marijuana these days with the improved growing method is much stronger than many years ago.
BILL MALONE, PALM BEACH CO. SUPERINTENDENT: I doubt that I would live long enough to see the time when it`s not necessary, but we`re going to keep doing it as long as we need to to get drugs out of the schools.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Well, I actually agree with these guys. Though, I`m always cast as the narc, I`m not a narc. I`m not interested in telling anybody how to live their life, but I`m interested in the health of young people, and this kind of thing is a good idea, don`t you think, Shelly?
SPRAGUE: I do. I think that keeping drugs out of schools at these formative ages are important and pushing the age of exposure to college age and above, I think, is important. I think that --
PINSKY: And there`s a lot of misinformation about pot out there. There`s this weird cultural energy around the drug, and people are unwilling to accept the fact that it`s addictive. It`s a different pot than it was 25 years ago.
SPRAGUE: It`s absolutely different. There`s withdrawal syndromes involved with it. And I just think people have so much misinformation. I consistently hear people undereducated about what`s going on in the drug cultures of today, and, you know, keeping up with the bath salts, keeping up with marijuana, keeping up with all of these changes, legislation changes. I mean, it`s a full-time job.
PINSKY: Shelly, thank you. It`s always good to see you here. Appreciate it.
And I want to just emphasize the fact that cannabis, according to the American Science of Addiction Medicine, not just me, and Shelly and I see this all the time, is addictive. It`s one of the more common things we treat these days. It has a rather severe withdrawal syndrome associated with it, and the addictive process is always the same with cannabis.
It`s somebody who uses it just a couple of times and then has this, oh, my God experience, it`s the greatest thing ever, and then, preoccupies and uses every day thereafter. Somewhere out there, months or years later, it stops working so well. They start getting irritable, paranoid, and not so high anymore. They use a lot more to try to bring the high back, and that`s when they get into very serious trouble with the drug and switch to something else, like what worries me, is bath salts.
Tonight was a really interesting night. Please take note about the bath salts. They`re out there. If you or someone you love is getting exposed to substances, get help. The sad thing about Corey`s story is that he is -- this is a treatable thing. Completely treatable. And he needn`t be walking around in the dangerous condition he is in now.
I also want to say that our hopes and wishes are out there for Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger. We do hope that they find their way through this, even though, it`s very concerning that they may not.
I want to thank you all for watching and be sure to be here tomorrow when we talk about a controversial issue. It`s called a wet house. It`s a place where alcoholics can go, literally, to drink themselves to death. I`ve got some questions for those guys. I`m not sure if they`re a hospice or if they`re treatment center or if they know what they are, but you don`t want to miss this. I will see you then.