Return to Transcripts main page
Latest Twist in Schwarzenegger Scandal; Abuse of Prescription Meds Reaches Epidemic Proportions
Aired May 19, 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.
The Schwarzenegger scandal. How could a dad with four young children father a kid with the maid? And reckless behavior runs through generations of the Kennedys. Why it`s happening to them and millions of you.
Plus, pills that kill. The abuse of prescription meds is epidemic. We have one mother`s relentless fight that may save your sons and daughters.
So let`s get started.
OK. First off tonight, I have some really sad news for not just me, but all of us.
Jeff Conaway is in a coma. Many of you know him from "Taxi." A lot of you remember him as Kenickie from "Grease."
I was working with him on "Celebrity Rehab." In fact, my daughter came to me when she watched that first program and said she got mad at me because I made Kenickie cry.
He had drug and alcohol addiction. He`s been in and out of sobriety. And I`m deeply saddened to learn that Jeff is hospitalized and in a coma. It`s not looking good, and my thoughts and prayers remain with him and his family.
We`re going to be talking -- oh, it`s very upsetting. It`s very upsetting. And I`m tired of my patients dying of this disease, but here we go.
We`re going to talk about the dangers of prescription pill addiction later in the show.
But first, we`re going to talk about something else, something that everyone seems to be asking about a married man and a dad, Arnold Schwarzenegger. How could he?
Watch this and we`ll talk.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: The latest twist in the Schwarzenegger scandal, he`s got two sons born just days apart.
THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: CNN obtained a copy of the boy`s birth certificate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were pregnant at the same time.
GUTIERREZ: It also lists the father on the birth certificate as being the man that Mildred Baena was married to. The couple separated less than three weeks after this child was born.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: TMZ reports a pregnant Maria Shriver was actually giving Baena gifts and pregnancy device.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maria Shriver hired a divorce attorney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did that even before news of this scandal broke.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, "THE VIEW": Another alleged mistress has come forward. This is the next car wreck we`re going to be watching for a little while.
PINSKY: Well, Maria and Arnold Schwarzenegger met in 1977, they married nine years later. She was one of the -- from one of the most storied political families in America, and he, of course, was destined for success in show business and ultimately in politics.
Now, that was then, and now she`s been publicly humiliated by the news that he fathered a child more than a decade ago with the maid. Now, it`s hard as a father to understand this. I wouldn`t want any child to go through this. Especially, it`s hard to understand what he has so much to lose. Why would he subject his children, all of them, to a lifetime of hurt?
That`s our focus tonight.
We welcome, first of all, Gayle Haggard. Her husband, Pastor Ted Haggard, faced public shame when he admitted to a homosexual affair.
I have Dylan Howard, executive editor of "Star" magazine, and psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser.
I want to start with you, Dylan. What are the facts? What do we know tonight?
DYLAN HOWARD, SR. EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "STAR": We`ve learned details today about what escalated this to this point. There was a nuclear confrontation between Maria Shriver and the woman in question. She confronted her about this alleged affair.
The woman confessed, as I understand it. There were tears. Maria then confronted Arnold Schwarzenegger and said, "Have you been having an affair?" At that point he admitted, and then, of course, the statement came out that they had separated. And then, late on Monday night, his confirmation that he`d fathered this child out of wedlock.
The other developments are that Arnold Schwarzenegger has engaged a high-profile Hollywood attorney to try to salvage what little reputation he has left. At the same time, Maria Shriver has engaged a divorce attorney. And I can also tell you tonight, Drew, that the woman in question, Mildred Baena, who has been identified as the mistress and the mother of this child, has also engaged her lawyers and is fighting her reputation, too.
PINSKY: Is she the one that has gotten Gloria Allred involved?
HOWARD: No. In fact, that`s another development that we broke on RadarOnline, that Gloria Allred -- it doesn`t seem like a Hollywood scandal without Gloria being involved, but another woman has come forward, and Gloria is repping that woman. So, at the very least, there are some legal issues for Arnold Schwarzenegger to come.
PINSKY: Well, let`s look at some tape about who the son apparently is. He`s apparently a cut above your average 13-year-old.
He lives with his mother, the former maid with whom Schwarzenegger reportedly had these relationships. The actor may actually have helped buy the Bakersfield house in which the child lives.
Here`s how a neighbor describes the teen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTY STEELMAN, MILDRED BAENA`S NEIGHBOR: He`s just a really nice kid that, you know, if you had a choice of picking children or somebody that you would like to mentor, or anything like that, he would be the type of child that you would take on immediately and enjoy every minute of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Well, it`s nice to know he`s a good kid.
Stacy, what do you think the effects of all of this is going to be on not just him, but all the other kids? Let`s start with him.
STACY KAISER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I think the effects on him are going to be pretty serious. This boy has been walking around with a particular identity.
He saw himself a certain way. He thought his life was a certain way. And now, suddenly, he finds out, possibly through the media, if not through his mother, that all of his identity, everything he`s thought about who he was and who his father was are wrong.
PINSKY: And you`ve treated situations like this, right?
KAISER: I have. I worked with a little boy that had gone through this exact thing. And what I can tell you is, he was really impacted. He didn`t know who to be, how to act, what to say.
And what I think is worse about this case, in particular, is all of this is on the Internet. And that boy is 13 years old. If he has access to a computer, he can read people calling his mother ugly, he can read people talking about his biological father. And it`s going to cause trouble for him in the future.
PINSKY: Oh, the Internet. The bullying on the Internet, this is my favorite disorder of the day. It makes me sick.
Well, Gayle, you were involved in a very public affair. And you`ve seen it through.
Does it make you sad that they`re splitting, the Schwarzenegger?
GAYLE HAGGARD, TED HAGGARD`S WIFE: It does make me sad, although having been the recipient of all kinds of speculation and judgment, when we were trying to make our decisions, my heart really goes out to Maria and to Arnold, because I know that they know things that none of us know. And so I would just encourage Maria to follow her heart in this and not to fall to the default decision that you have to leave.
But, I mean, this is a courageous woman, a gracious woman, and she`s got a big heart. And if she decided to pull this through, I would cheer her on. If she doesn`t feel like she can, I certainly understand.
PINSKY: Remind people of your story, Gayle, because I think you bring up an interesting point.
And Stacy, back me up on this.
That when we deal with these kinds of things out in our clinical world, we, if they want to, encourage people to stay together, and the outcomes can be quite good.
KAISER: Absolutely. I see trust rebuilt. I sometimes relationships are made to be more solid.
To men, the fundamental important thing is, can they be together and can they be happy and a productive couple? And if they can`t, and it`s going to be a place where there`s misery bred, and it`s not a good environment for the kids, then I do think they should separate.
PINSKY: So, Gayle, in a short -- just a minute here, if you could tell us your story and how you got through.
HAGGARD: Well, my story took place in 2006. So here we are almost five years later. And I decided definitely to stay because I wasn`t going to let the unfolding of the negative thing that had been going on in my husband`s life negate all the positive that we built into our lives and the man that I knew. And so I clung to that.
PINSKY: He had one affair.
HAGGARD: My husband had some incidents that took place in his life, and I don`t like to go into any detail. I don`t want to disclose that.
PINSKY: How did you find out?
HAGGARD: He told me. But, actually, he told me as the scandal was breaking. I had no idea before. So I do understand how you can be in a situation like that and not know.
PINSKY: And the betrayal feelings are just overwhelming. I know that`s the big deal in the partner.
HAGGARD: Definitely, it was overwhelming. And I went through the anger. But I wasn`t going to let this rob me of the life that my husband and I had built. I felt it was worth fighting for.
PINSKY: And you told me off the air that he`d been a trauma survivor. May I share that?
PINSKY: And that`s something that`s highly treatable. And you hung in with it. And things are doing pretty good right now, yes?
HAGGARD: Absolutely. I feel as though our marriage has been better every day since the crisis.
PINSKY: I hear this.
Stacy, I`m sure you do as well.
All right. Well, reckless behavior runs in families, as does addiction. We`re going to look at the Kennedys when we come back, and we`re going to talk about the cycle of addictions and breakups and how it`s passed through generations.
PINSKY: We are continuing our conversation on what, as a father, I believe is to be the real story tonight, of course, the children of Arnold and Maria, and including in that his out-of-wedlock son.
Later, we`re going to look at the Kennedy history and see how cycles of family behavioral issues has an impact on many generations.
Gayle Haggard is still here with me and Dylan Howard. Also, psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser.
And we`re joined now by John Connolly, from "Vanity Fair," who has some news about Arnold.
John, what is it you have to tell us?
JOHN CONNOLLY, "VANITY FAIR": I really don`t have as much as people would like to hear. I do know about -- I`ve seen two children who I believe are Arnold`s.
One I`ve seen from not very far away. The other I`ve met. And quite honestly, I`m hoping that this boy is not outed, neither he nor his mother.
What`s happened to this other child is just -- to me borders on being criminal. His life is ruined. How does he face friends and everybody? It`s just horrible.
PINSKY: It`s difficult. Now, here at CNN we cannot confirm what you`re telling us, John. We have no independent knowledge of this. Do you mean --
CONNOLLY: Oh, I`m not identifying anybody, who they are.
PINSKY: No, I understand. But you`re saying they look like him? Is that why you think you`ve seen children that are his?
CONNOLLY: Yes, absolutely. Yes.
CONNOLLY: And with one other child, there`s other information which is much more pointed than that.
PINSKY: Now, here`s my other concern, which is the fact that there are children, to me, Dylan, is like -- again, I always think in terms of addicts and how they behave. It`s like an addict leaving a crack pipe lying around. I mean, that`s not a single outing with the crack pipe.
You know what I`m saying?
HOWARD: No. No.
PINSKY: I mean, now reckless behavior on top of somebody who`s really doing that kind of thing on a regular basis, maybe.
HOWARD: Yes. I mean, the children in all of this is the interesting thing.
It`s interesting to note that media outlets overseas in Australia and in the U.K. have already published photos of this one alleged child.
PINSKY: The one in Bakersfield.
HOWARD: Yes. But no U.S. media has identified that child because there is a right to privacy, as you can imagine, about these children. But interestingly, I think John has indicated that he believes there`s another two children.
Is that right?
PINSKY: That`s what he`s saying.
HOWARD: Another two children?
PINSKY: That`s yes.
PINSKY: And John, is this someone who`s had reckless behavior, as far as your research has shown, for a long, long time and we`re just seeing the tail of this?
CONNOLLY: Arnold has lived a life that most people would envy if they`re so inclined. He`s done what he`s wanted, when he`s wanted it, and how he`s wanted it. And he really has lived very recklessly, but he`s had Hollywood to protect him.
PINSKY: But I would say, though, I`ve heard him talk many times about how much he values being a father and how important that is to him.
Does that not weigh against some of this?
CONNOLLY: Well, I mean, he`s so Hollywood, and he says things which are not really the way he lives his life.
If you`ll recall, back when he was involved with the inner city program, he was picking on unwed mothers as being a drain on society, when he had produced a child with an unwed mother. She was divorced shortly thereafter they had the child.
I mean, with his vast wealth, he could have made this child`s life so full, so rich, out of the country, and other countries, the mother`s country. And this child would have never been subjected to this. But he didn`t. He just let this child`s mother work for him.
PINSKY: Well, we are talking about the children here.
Gayle, how did your children come through their crisis, and how are they now? How do they go through that? And your thoughts as it pertains to the story of the Schwarzeneggers?
HAGGARD: Well, my husband confessed to our children after he confessed to me. He gathered them all together and he told them that some of the allegations that had been leveled against him were true.
And they were able to voice their feelings. And what I watched was our children pull in close because they loved their dad, they respected their dad. And they watched me for signals.
And I was able to communicate to them, we`re going through a difficult time, this is human nature, we`re people of faith, and we understand that as human beings we mess up. And I said, but what we`re going to do is we`re going to pull together and we`re going to get back up.
And I watched my children one by one rally. Certainly, they had to go through their anger. They were facing all kinds of embarrassment. They, too, were on the Internet. They knew what was being written about their mom and dad, and especially about their dad. But instead of scrutinizing their dad and falling into that deep well of just pitying and feeling like they were the victims, they decided, we`re going to rally around our dad because we believe he is so much more.
And I think that`s what we see with Arnold Schwarzenegger. We can`t forget, even though he`s flawed and he`s messed up, that there`s an awful lot good to remember. And that`s what this family needs to be reminded of is we`re supportive. They`ve got tough decisions to make.
PINSKY: That`s sort of my take, too, Gayle.
But John, you seem a little more disgusted by this situation.
CONNOLLY: Well, what I do know from my source is that over the years, the Schwarzeneggers/Shrivers would have parties and events at their home, and they would allow the people who worked for them to bring their children to these events. I mean, that`s like, let`s go see how daddy lives.
I mean, this poor kid, he winds up going to parties at his father`s house, and he goes home to wherever he was living. I understand it`s a lot of rental apartments. He moved quite frequently until he bought her a house last year.
I mean, why would you do that to a child? Why would you not take your vast wealth and say, let me give this woman and this child a good life? He has got an extraordinary amount of money.
PINSKY: Well, denial is a very powerful phenomenon. Let`s be honest.
But, you know, Gayle, you`re bringing the point out that when people participate in treatment, families can be healed and the cycle of rupture and these sorts of problems can be interrupted.
Let`s take a look at the Kennedy family tree, which has done, obviously, a lot for this country. But they`re an example of what a family in constant crisis brings about in subsequent generations.
Now, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., we have a history of heroin possession there. We have Joseph Patrick Kennedy II. His brother`s girlfriend, paralyzed after a car crash.
David Kennedy died of a drug overdose at age 28. Patricia Kennedy Lawford battled alcohol.
So we`re just going through -- Teddy Kennedy, divorce and battled addiction. William Kennedy Smith, acquitted of sexual assault.
So there`s a lot of chaos, a lot of addiction. Now, addiction is a genetic disorder with a biological basis, so naturally enough, it follows in family. But the real problem is that when people come from broken and disrupted families, they`re very often acting that out again in their young adult lives.
Wouldn`t you agree with that, Stacy?
KAISER: I agree with you 100 percent, that I think that genetic component is critical. But it`s so much to do with upbringing.
I mean, you talked about what you`ve done for your children. And I think good parenting can help in any situation. And I think we`ve seen some of that in the Kennedy family as well.
PINSKY: Of course, yes. But, again, my note is that for -- what Gayle represented is that treatment works. And not only does everybody come through and they`re OK, and they had to look at their own contribution to what the identified person has done, also they may have reduced the risk of this cycle going on in your kids.
PINSKY: Dylan --
HOWARD: It`s completely staggering. I mean, you talk about the children, these children, if what John said is true -- and that`s a staggering development -- if what is true --
PINSKY: Hold on. Radar didn`t know this or "Star" didn`t know this?
HOWARD: I mean, his womanizing ways have long been speculated.
PINSKY: Well, that`s what I was sort of asking John about, but he didn`t really say that.
Is there evidence of that?
HOWARD: Long speculated. I mean, just before -- when he ran for governor, he was alleged to have groped a number of women. His womanizing ways are the stuff of legend, before Tiger Woods, before Jesse James.
But these kids are going to have to deal with more revelations. History tells you, a scandal like this, we`re just at the tip of the iceberg.
PINSKY: And John, you agree with that?
CONNOLLY: Oh, absolutely. In 2001, I wrote the "Premiere" magazine piece that first exposed him for how he was treating women and the women in his life, and the girlfriends and the cheating. And just his not very nice treatment of Maria. This is a long, longstanding pattern of behavior with this man.
HOWARD: He was said to have a huge grip over Maria.
PINSKY: Well, clearly.
HOWARD: He had the power in that relationship.
PINSKY: I mean, this has been going on for a long time. And again, you have to wonder what her family of origin issues were being acted out there.
I hope they can heal from this.
Gayle, you`re a great example of the fact that treatment does work. Thank you for joining me. I appreciate it.
HAGGARD: Thank you.
PINSKY: Dylan, thank you.
Stacy, of course, we`ll see you back soon.
And John, thank you. It`s interesting stuff. We`ll be looking more for -- is this going to be published in "Vanity Fair" soon?
CONNOLLY: No. This was published in "Premiere" magazine, most of this. And we`ll see where the rest of it goes.
PINSKY: Thank you for joining us.
And again, HLN cannot confirm the existence of other children alleged to be fathered by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Now, infidelity is an issue that hits home for millions of you guys. I`ll be taking your comments and questions about cheating, lying and living with heartbreak when we come back.
PINSKY: OK. Now let`s get right to your comments about cheating.
Rebecca in Washington.
REBECCA, WASHINGTON: My dad cheated for years without anyone knowing. When I was 17, I found out he had another daughter that he had kept a secret. I`m 38 now and still have trust and intimacy issues.
PINSKY: Makes sense.
Kelly in Florida.
What do you have to say?
KELLY, FLORIDA: Hey, Dr. Drew.
My father`s infidelity caused me a lot of issues in my personal life, especially because I was always looking for someone to just love me and be there due to his abandonment. I don`t feel like I have a normal father/daughter relationship and I almost feel like I don`t have a father.
Laura in California.
What`s on your mind?
LAURA, CALIFORNIA: Dr. Drew, my dad cheated on my mom their entire marriage. As an adult, I made a conscious decision to forgive him. At first, I chose to look at our relationship more as a friendship, but our relationship strengthened over time. He`s subsequently deceased now, but overall I`m very glad that I made peace with him.
Stephanie in Arizona, let`s go.
STEPHANIE, ARIZONA: I grew up in a home where my dad was a cheater. My parents were always fighting. Today, though, I have a great marriage, but I can`t help feeling that my husband may stray. I still feel the volatile presence in my parent`s marriage in my own.
Listen, you guys, actually, I`m getting sad hearing these calls, because it`s all women, and it`s all women having had profound effects by their father`s treatment of the mother and the marriage.
Gentlemen, if you love your daughters, think about what you`re doing. Who you are as a man is the model for what your daughter is going to look for in a man in the world. And if you`re a cheating, unavailable idiot, that`s what your daughter is going to go for.
It`s very painful for them. Stop it. Think about that. I don`t understand why those guys don`t think about that when they`re getting into this.
But look, another point, we`re talking a lot about -- we were talking with Gayle about treatment and how this works. Please, guys, if you come from those kinds of backgrounds, avail yourself to some mental health services. A little bit can go a long way.
Now I want to two to Michelle. Her question is, "I suspect my dad of cheating. More cheating. My mother will never flat-out say what the problem is and it`s hurting me. Is there anything I can do?"
It really depends on the age of this person. I don`t see her age there.
The fact is, if she`s an adult, it`s sort of none of your business. If you`re a child, you`ve got to step up and say -- and this is not the child`s job -- but if they know that their behavior is hurting you, perhaps it can get their attention and get them to focus on their relationship.
Here`s a Facebook question. It says, "This isn`t a joke, but what do you call a husband who has sex with someone else and then doesn`t feel bad about it at all?"
Honestly, what I call that? I call that a sociopath. I call that somebody who doesn`t have feelings and doesn`t realize the consequences of their actions.
I certainly don`t call that a good husband. If it`s somebody who has no empathy and no feelings, that`s not necessarily a situation that will respond to treatment. So, although I`ve been emphasizing people getting through these things, that`s a bad situation.
I have got one more question from Deanna (ph). Her question is, "What can you do about an ex-husband brainwashing the children to believe divorce was your fault?"
Let me just say this -- that in a divorce, using the children as a pawn in any of the battles that are under way is wrong and destructive for the children. So cut it out.
All right. I just want to remind people that prescription pill addiction -- I`m losing another patient tonight.. Actor Jeff Conaway is in a coma, and I am sick and tired of this. And I don`t want your loved ones to suffer that way.
We`re going to talk about the nationwide epidemic that is destroying families when we come back.
PINSKY: Tonight, a prescription for death. The epidemic of addiction to pharmaceuticals. We`ve got one mother`s story of agonizing loss and her crusade for a solution and another mom`s desperate attempt to save her own daughter while there`s still time. And later, Botox hoax. That`s what`s everyone`s asking as a parent`s story unravels. Did she make it up?
Does this mean she never really Botoxed her 8-year-old. If so, should we feel relieved or further disgusted? What`s going on with parents using their kids for fame. First Balloon Boy and now this.
Every day, that means every day, more than 4000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 abuse legal and illegal drugs for the first time. Think about that. The first time. That doesn`t mean all the users. That means they`re just getting started today and every day and these stats represent real people. Jennifer Reynolds is one of them and she is someone`s daughter. Here is her tragic story and how it began.
PINSKY: Jennifer Reynolds was a bright young student and All-American cheerleader and a beloved friend. During her freshman year in high school she met people who introduced her to drugs. Her grades plummeted and by the age of 16 she dropped out. Over the next 13 years Jennifer descended into the merciless grip of opiate addiction, heroin and prescription painkillers.
Her family waged an anguishing battle to save their daughter`s life. They lost that fight when Jennifer died at the age of 29. A mixture of drugs was found in her bottle. But, the end of that battle was the beginning of a new one for Jennifer`s mom, Sharon, her grief turned to resolve and she launched a relentless campaign to prevent this from happening to other families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Jennifer`s mom, Sharon, is with me now and, Sharon, I -- I`d like you to take me back to that night, you got that knock on the door that every parent just -- the nightmare that any parent would do anything to avoid.
SHARON BLAIR: Right.
PINSKY: What happened?
BLAIR: The Sheriff came to my house about 1 o`clock in the morning and I knew that it was something really bad and so I asked the Sheriff if this was about Jennifer and he said yes and I asked him if it was bad and he said yes and I said, "Is it very bad?" and he said yes and I said, "Is she dead?" and he said yes. So, that`s what happened.
PINSKY: And then you had to go -- there was further agony for you, had to actually go identify her and all that?
BLAIR: I requested that. I wanted to make sure that we had the right person because it was just really hard for me to hear that and, so, I asked the Sheriff if I could go to the Coroner`s office and identify her body. So, I went down the next morning.
PINSKY: By yourself?
BLAIR: .my husband went with me and they showed me her body and that was really difficult.
PINSKY: That must just haunt you to this day. I mean, I -- I get kind of a sick feeling. Was that you? You felt sick?
BLAIR: Oh yes, I fell down on my knees when I saw her and, you know, it was really hard. She -- she was laying on a table and she had a white sheet up here to her neck and -- and then I knew that it was final and all the fighting to save her was over.
PINSKY: To what lengths had you gone?
BLAIR: A lot. I had filed Marchman Act Petitions in the State of Florida. I had went in front of judges. I had talked to police officers. I had met Governor Jeb Bush at the time. I spoke with him personally. I worked with counselors every time she would go in for detox. I would let them know that she is a runner, she can`t endure the detox. You know, she -- she needs to stay long enough to get through the detox and begin a treatment plan and, I just kept hitting brick walls. I mean, it was just a difficult, difficult situation for almost 13 years.
PINSKY: What were the brick walls?
BLAIR: Jennifer leaving. She would, you know, the addiction was so strong that she would leave, she would bolt.
PINSKY: And -- and this is one of the frustration of dealing with addicts is we have no -- I tell people at home, they understand this. In - - in pretty much every state in the country, I guess Kentucky being, perhaps, an exception, you are allowed to -- you are within your rights to use drugs until you die.
BLAIR: That`s correct.
PINSKY: And, you are within your rights to leave a treatment program when they tell you that you are going to die if you leave. You can just go.
BLAIR: That`s correct.
PINSKY: You can`t say I`m going to go and kill myself but you can go and die of addiction. It`s crazy, right?
PINSKY: And I understand you`re doing something to combat this.
BLAIR: Yes. In Florida I`m working to improve the Marchman Act Law to make amendments and improvements to that bill so that it will strengthen it and so that kids don`t fall through the cracks. Jennifer was one of those that fell through the cracks. I filed five Marchman Act Petitions in the State of Florida to get help for Jennifer and four out of five times it did not produce any type of treatment whatsoever. She just fell through the cracks. So, that`s my goal in Florida. In Indiana, they don`t have a bill at all so we`ve introduced a bill, which I`ve drafted, and it`s now Senate Bill 22.
PINSKY: How did she get her hands on all these pills?
BLAIR: She started out going to Rave clubs when she was 15, almost 16, and she started experimenting with drugs and that`s when it began. But that`s the illicit drugs.
PINSKY: Was she getting prescription drugs also?
BLAIR: Well, Jennifer had scoliosis, severe scoliosis.
PINSKY: I -- I`m going to stop you. I -- she could have had some sort of horrible wound. She still should only be getting opiates for a few days with the degree of addiction that she had. So, you say she`d go in and complain of back pain and be prescribed.
BLAIR: For that reason.
PINSKY: This is how my patients die every day. This is how they die every day. I have one dying today of this exact phenomenon and it kills me. I`m sick of it and it must sicken you to know that -- couldn`t you call those doctors and get -- get in the way of that or did you try?
BLAIR: I did. I did. I did call the doctor. I did call the doctor and I told him that he was prescribing medication and Jennifer was addicted to it and if he didn`t stop prescribing the medication that I was going to sue him. So, she went to a different doctor. There are Pain Management doctors all over Florida that write prescriptions like candy and so she found a different doctor to prescribe medication.
PINSKY: Well, ok, that is where Sharon`s daughter died was in Florida. In that particular state, prescription drugs kill five times as many people as illegal drugs. Take a look at this clip from a story reported by CNN Correspondent Amber Lyon.
AMBER LYON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: We decided to shoot this story in South Florida because this is the pain clinic capital of America. Pill users from not only Florida but all over the East Coast drive down here to get their medications and just to show you how bad the problem is all you need to do is pick up a copy of the local newspaper, flip it over, and you`ll find 14 pages of pain clinic ads. There are hundreds of them in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
We are out in front of one of the clinics in Broward County. The outside is covered in mirrors. It doesn`t even have a sign on the front with a name and you can see there is a line of people waiting to get in.
They told me I would have to pay $350 just to see a doctor but the volume of patients, some of these clinics are pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. Has your mom seen your arm?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
LYON: What does she say to that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes her -- she`s heartbroken about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Jennifer -- I mean Sharon, how do you react to that story?
BLAIR: Well, the track marks, that`s always very hard for me to see, that people can get to that place where they`re shooting up.
PINSKY: But how about having track marks and going to see a doctor and still being prescribed an opiate. That to me is outlandish. I can`t even get my head around it.
BLAIR: I`m so angry about it. It makes me so angry that I`m doing something to change it.
PINSKY: The Jennifer Act. Tell us quickly about that.
BLAIR: Ok, the Jennifer Act is basically involuntary treatment for anyone, an adult or a teenager, who has a drug addiction problem that refuses to go to treatment.
PINSKY: Would this be a federal law or just .
PINSKY: You`re going to get state by state.
BLAIR: And then I want to go federal after I get it passed in Indiana and Florida.
PINSKY: All right, now, listen, do you know a person dying the slow death of addiction. Our next guest does. It is her daughter and she is desperate to save her child, feels helpless in doing so for the very reasons we`re talking about and believes that the Jennifer Act could make a difference for her so she`s up next.
PINSKY: We are talking about prescription pill abuse, something that kills my patient almost every damn day. Sharon Blair`s 29-year-old daughter, Jennifer, died from an accidental overdose just two years ago. Joining us now is Cathy and her 14-year-old daughter, Kenessa. Kenessa, apparently, is addicted to prescription pills and Cathy`s afraid she`s going to be one of these statistics if she`s not allowed, somehow, to commit her daughter to treatment.
So, Cathy, my understanding is your daughter just got out of some form of treatment. Tell me about that.
CATHY MAHAN: Kenessa was Baker-Acted for the third time.
PINSKY: Which is a 72-hour old, basically.
MAHAN: A 72-hour hold, correct. The first time they did keep her for up to six days. After 72 hours it becomes voluntary. So, she would have been able to check herself out at any time.
PINSKY: So she did?
MAHAN: No, she really didn`t quite understand that she could do that. So, she stayed there the six days. The second time she was Baker-Acted she was there, I believe, five days. And, this third time, she was there the 72 hours.
PINSKY: And when you leave, do you feel like you have received anything?
KENESSA: Not really, it`s like the same thing every time.
PINSKY: Which is what?
KENESSA: Just -- you go and you do groups, which you just basically talk about anything. They don`t really talk about drug abuse. It`s a treatment center for basically any -- anything.
PINSKY: So it`s a psychiatric hospital for adolescents.
PINSKY: Not-- with no specific chemical dependency component. Would you be willing to do chemical dependency treatment if that were available?
KENESSA: I`m willing to do whatever it takes.
PINSKY: Really? So you`ve asked for help from these facilities and they don`t give you referrals?
MAHAN: I`ve had Kenessa with therapists, psychiatrists. There`s a program called DATA which is strictly drugs. DATA tells me that they can`t check Kenessa in because she has been diagnosed with traits of borderline personality disorder.
PINSKY: Which is at 14, a lot of 14-year-olds appear borderline (INAUDIBLE).
PINSKY: And why -- what -- all my patients function like borderlines when they`re using drugs. I mean, that`s part of the addiction process.
MAHAN: Well, they go hand in hand.
MAHAN: And, one doctor says, well, we think the drug abuse is primary and the mental illness is secondary.
PINSKY: Boy, there`s a real easy way to determine that. Did your father have addiction? Is there a genetic history of addiction?
MAHAN: Not that I`m aware of. I mean, her father hasn`t even been in the picture since she was .
PINSKY: So we don`t even know.
PINSKY: We don`t know that biology. I mean, because if you can figure that out, if there`s a genetic heritage of addiction, that pretty much cinches it that addiction is your primary issues.
PINSKY: Sharon, do you have any take on this?
BLAIR: I agree.
PINSKY: Yes. And anything that you can offer to Cathy?
BLAIR: Well, just don`t give up and keep -- keep trying. I mean, if you go to one doctor and they -- they`re not helping you, just go to another doctor but continue treatment because substance treatment is very important. If substance abuse is the problem then substance abuse -- addiction issues need to be treated by a professional.
BLAIR: So, don`t give up. Just keep going to different places and don`t -- don`t give up because addiction.
PINSKY: It kills, right?
BLAIR: .. is progressive.
PINSKY: Aren`t we -- I mean, I`m afraid for Kenessa`s survival. Are you not?
BLAIR: I am, sitting here next to her.
MAHAN: That`s my biggest fear. Each time Kenessa has taken these mass dosages of these drugs it`s gotten progressively worse.
PINSKY: Where does she get them?
MAHAN: The main source is school. I`ve kept my daughter, now, out of school since March of this year.
PINSKY: Do you buy them from your friends?
KENESSA: I don`t buy them.
PINSKY: How do you get them?
MAHAN: She`s been -- she`ll steal them from Wal-Mart. The main drug I would love to bring up is this Coricidin, cough and cold pill, also known as Triple Cs, also known as Skittleing. Robo-tripping also.
KENESSA: That`s Robitussin.
PINSKY: But it`s the same chemical.
MAHAN: Same chemical. Yes. It`s the DXM. It causes -- in mass dosages it causes an extreme hallucination, extreme high. It causes the children to feel numb in and out. One time, in one of the Baker Act situations when she was in the emergency room they were administering an IV and my daughter looked at me and said, "Oh, God, that feels good," and I almost fell on the floor.
PINSKY: This must be very desperate for you, I mean you`re getting chills just talking about it.
MAHAN: Yes. It -- it`s been rough, it`s been rough.
PINSKY: How do you deal with this?
MAHAN: Great friends. Great family.
PINSKY: Do you go to Al-Anon?
MAHAN: I haven`t -- I haven`t started Al-Anon.
PINSKY: Do you go to Al-Anon?
BLAIR: No, but I recommend it.
BLAIR: I -- I did not go through that type of support for myself and after Jennifer passed away I realized that I really needed to. I was so busy trying to save her life that that was the focus, was Jennifer and getting help for Jennifer.
MAHAN: Right, it consumes your.
PINSKY: But it`s a dance. It`s a dance that has to stop and the only way it stops is with a program like a 12-step program like Al-Anon. You have to do that. If you`re not part of the solution you`re part of the problem. So, be part of the solution.
BLAIR: I -- I would just like to ask why you`re using the drugs. I mean, what -- what -- what`s going on in your mind that makes you want to do that?
KENESSA: Well, it -- it`s not like I want to do the drugs because I do want to quit but it`s like the depression and I reach out with drugs to cope with -- instead of coping with healthy ways.
PINSKY: And you`ve been taught healthier ways.
KENESSA: I`ve been taught healthier ways and.
PINSKY: Is it depression. People have got to be careful. Sometimes it will be called emotional dysregulation. You just feel awful in your own skin. You can call it depression. You can call it a lot of things. You just can`t tolerate all of these negative feelings flying around.
PINSKY: Yes, that`s usually why most people use. Where did that come from?
KENESSA: I don`t even know. I mean, everything`s fine at home and I have A`s and B`s in school. I mean, nothing`s a problem. I just have these feelings.
PINSKY: Are you afraid you`re going to die?
KENESSA: I`m not afraid.
PINSKY: Do you understand that you could?
PINSKY: But you`re not fearful that might happen?
PINSKY: Doesn`t it seem like there`s sort of a disconnect there, that if you really believed it could happen, you`d be somewhat fearful of it?
KENESSA: I`m just like, it doesn`t bother me. If it happens, it happens.
PINSKY: Mom, that must hurt.
MAHAN: It`s -- you have no -- every day I wonder am I going to go in my room and find my daughter dead. So, yes.
PINSKY: That doesn`t feel very good, Kenessa, either does it?
PINSKY: You don`t want to do that to your mom.
KENESSA: I want to quit but there`s like nothing that`s helping me.
PINSKY: Do you go to 12-step meetings?
KENESSA: 12-step meetings?
PINSKY: See, that`s bizarre to me that -- that you don`t know what that is. That`s how.
MAHAN: It hasn`t even been introduced to us. It started with outpatient therapy. Her therapist was a wonderful person but she couldn`t reach to Kenessa because the drugs were such an issue. She wasn`t able to deal with the drugs. She was there more for the mental.
PINSKY: For the mental health. You haven`t had addiction treatment yet. Are you on pills right now?
KENESSA: I`m on prescription medication that I take.
PINSKY: Are you on any addictive medicine right now.
MAHAN: She`s on Zoloft and Adderall -- I`m sorry, Zoloft and Risperdal.
PINSKY: Ok. That`s fine. I understand you hoard that and take it in big doses to get high or whatever.
KENESSA: Well, I only did that once. I mean, it`s not like an everyday thing and I have been taking it the right way.
PINSKY: Do you feel better?
KENESSA: It doesn`t affect me.
PINSKY: Not in a good way. Do you tell your doctors that?
KENESSA: I tell them that. I told them that I do not like my medication, that I want to be put on something else and all they did was make it so where I don`t have to take it all at night I just take some in the mornings and some at night.
PINSKY: Well, there`s -- there`s even a bigger problem here is that, you know, if I could get my hands on Kenessa it would be like a six-month inpatient highly structured and no insurance company is really -- at least not in this state, you can`t get that covered. So, you end up trying to cover that out of pocket which is prohibitively expensive, I know. So, we have to find some intermediate kind of thing for you, we have to cobble something together for her and 12-step has got to be part of it, other teen support groups. We`ve got to -- maybe we`ll talk afterwards, ways you can put pieces together. But, Kenessa, unfortunately, you might die if this doesn`t get taken care of. That`s the probability.
Ok. Well, thank you Kathy, Sharon. Thank you Kenessa. I`ll talk to you after the break. Be right back.
PINSKY: All right. Now here is an update on a story we did earlier this week. Remember that mom who injected her 8-year-old daughter with Botox. Well, tonight, she admits the story, she alleges, at least, was a hoax. She says she was paid $200 and coached by the British Newspaper, The Sun. Good Morning America talked to both the mother and the daughter last week. The mom said she used Botox because the child complained about wrinkles.
BRITNEY CAMPBELL: I do it but it hurts sometimes but I get used to it.
KERRY CAMPBELL: We talked about it. She didn`t exactly ask me about it but I know that she was complaining about her face having wrinkles and things like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Viewers then flooded Child Protective Services with calls which led to an investigation. Little Britney was taken from her mother, which is really traumatic for the kid. I mean, the mom -- Sheena Upton, apparently, TMZ uncovered the fraud and here`s what the mom, Sheena Upton, had to say about it.
"I, Sheena Upton, was solicited by a company in the United Kingdom to play the role of Kerry Campbell in the United Kingdom newspaper, The Sun. The Sun`s story was called, "I Give My 8-Year-Old Daughter Botox." I was provided with the story, instructions, and a script to follow for a recorded interview for a paid fee. I received $200 for that story. I realize now that at the time I made a bad decision to accept the role in the story for The Sun and I regret my participation."
No kidding. ABC then responded with a statement of their own. They said, "We are vigorously investigating her most recent statement and the rapidly shifting story. Good Morning America has repeatedly questioned Upton, members of her family and other sources who, again and again, stood by the Botox story. Good Morning America is solely interested in getting to the truth and will share with our audience any new information that we find."
According to Radar Online, the British reporter who broke the story in March claims she witnessed Sheena Upton inject her daughter with something from a bottle that had a Botox label on it. Now, we asked The Sun for a response and have not received one but a representative from The Sun told TMZ that the paper "strongly denies any suggestion it solicited or knowingly published a false story regarding Kerry Campbell and her daughter." According to Upton`s declaration, her daughter had a full medical exam in the presence of a social worker. She says tests determined the girl did not receive any type of Botox or other injections, though I`ve got to tell you days after the fact it`s hard to tell that somebody had injections. I mean, Botox, you could see the frozen muscles but she could have put saline in or anything else. Child welfare officials returned Upton`s daughter to her after receiving this medical report.
Well, at least there is that small consolation that mother and child were reunited. But, mom, whether you were injecting Botox or not. Really? Has it come to this? Is this really what we`re doing with our kids? We`re injecting with Botox. We`re using them for reality hooks for newspaper stories. Disgusting.
All right. Tomorrow, how young is too young for Facebook. Should children even be on it at all? That`s a question I want to address tomorrow and I will see you then.