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Tanoxeric Mom in Court

Aired May 2, 2012 - 21:00   ET


DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here you go.

I have a question. Is that the face of a criminal? I`m not sure criminal is the first word that jumps to my mom. Tan mom is. She`s endangering her child in a tanning booth allegedly.

Believe me, tanning -- I suggest -- is not her only issue. What do you think? Call us at 855-DRDREW5.

Plus, we`re going to talk about why boys go bad? Parents, is it your fault or somebody else`s? Sound off, 1-885-DRDREW5.

Let`s get started.


PINSKY: Well, Nancy`s got tot mom and I`ve got tan mom, I`m just saying. You`ve been seeing her picture all day all over the media.

But I haven`t had a chance to ring in on this tonight, on this child who faces child endangerment charges after police she put her 6-year-old child in a tanning bed. But that`s not what got your attention, nor mine. Take a look at this.


PATRICIA KRENTCIL, MOTHER: I`ve been tanning my whole life, going to the beach, tanning salons, so forth.

REPORTER: It is obvious you tan a lot.

KRENTCIL: Yes, I do, my whole life, though.

REPORTER: Would you say you tan too much?

KRENTCIL: No. I love to tan.


PINSKY: She tans her whole life. So, that explains her appearance. Of course, her whole life tanning. Why didn`t you say so?

Well, everyone is talking about this poor woman`s appearance. Take a look over here. This is her in the interview you saw the other day or just now we just aired.

And here she is, I guess this is a mugshot. This is now a month later. The mugshot looks a little bit more like a human being, not like somebody who`s been walking through flames. The mom herself pleaded not guilty and says her daughter got sun burned outside.

We did reach out for a comment but have not heard back. I personally put a call in.

I`m just saying. There`s a lot I have to say.

So, I want to take your calls. I want to talk about tanning. So, here we go.

We have a problem with parents often thinking, I`m my kid`s best friend, right? So, you know, I will take her to the tanning salon with me. It`s not mommy and me, it`s mommy and mini me. And that`s the problem.

A child is separate. They are autonomous.

Call us at 1-855-DRDREW5.

Now, first up here, I`ve got Michelle Heller with us. She is joining me now. And she believed she might be addicted to tanning.

Now, the way you look right now, Michelle, you don`t look like that -- you don`t look like tan mom. How often, but I saw you getting set up and you look awfully dark.

I want to read something that Snooki said if you can put that up there for me guys, I want to read. Because even Snooki, who is quite a bit -- I mean, obviously, she enjoys a little tan now and then herself. She says -- she told "Extra" that -- you know what? It`s crazy. You`re not supposed the take kids there.

There`s Snooki in all her orange and brown glory.

So, how often do you tan, Michelle?

MICHELLE HELLER, SAYS SHE`S ADDICTED TO TANNING: Well, I tan about twice a week right now.

PINSKY: Right. And have you ever had any health consequences from this?

HELLER: I have. I`ve tanned for about 25 years total. And maybe the first 15 years, I felt like I needed to tan every single day. And then I got some skin cancer and I`ve cut back.

PINSKY: Cut back but not stopped.

HELLER: No. I can`t stop.

PINSKY: I can`t stop. And you said, I felt like I needed to tan every single day. What does that mean? I mean, you had a compulsion to do it or did you go through some sort of irritability and withdrawal if you didn`t do it?

HELLER: Well, your body just feels like you`re not tan, when you look in the mirror, you think that you`re not tan.

PINSKY: When you look into the mirror, right. So, would it be -- do you think it would be reasonable to call this a body dysmorphia of sorts?

HELLER: Maybe.

PINSKY: Maybe.

I want to clarify for viewers. You said you had skin cancers. Do you know what type of skin cancers they were?

HELLER: Yes. I had basal-cell carcinoma on my stomach and my back.

PINSKY: All right. So, you had basal-cell carcinoma. There`s three big categories. Basal-cell, squamous and then melanoma. You look like a relatively young person. So, to have had basal cell already at your age is pretty disturbing, right?

HELLR: Right.

PINSKY: That means you`re at very high risk for occurrences, very high risk for melanoma, very high risk for squamous, which are more serious. Those are ones that can really metastasize and kill you very quickly, and yet you go on tanning.

HELLER: Right.

PINSKY: OK. Let`s take some calls about this.

Jon in California, what`s your question?


PINSKY: Hi, Jon. What do you got?

JON: There have been a disturbance number of parents abusing their children. On your "Loveline," you often recommend to your callers that not to have kids that`s in the best interests of -- to not have kids, in the best interests of their kids.

PINKSY: Jon, let me interrupt you and say what Carolla and I used to say is screw up people having screwed up kids is the source of what`s unraveling our society and creating mental illness and filling our prisons.

And, by the way, later, we`re going to talk about boys and how they end up in prison. That will be at the top of the hour -- bottom of the hour.

So, yes. We worry when parents are not equipped to be parents. And one of the things we see these days is parents insisting on kids being an extension of them, you know -- have your kid joining you in the tanning booth, if that`s what happened here, that`s grotesque. That`s a grotesque version of that, would you say?

JON: Yes, I would. And so, my question is: are there tell-tell signs one should not be a parent when the welfare of the child is actually in jeopardy?

PINSKY: Wow. You are asking a question I am not prepared to answer, Jon. I must tell you -- we live in a free society. I hate the idea of big daddy dictating things.

I`m just saying, my note has always been -- let`s educate ourselves. Let`s be honest about who we are and our capabilities are. And if we`re 20 years old or we`re 19 years old, probably not ready to have a kid. Probably just saying. Playing the odds. I couldn`t have raised a lizard at 19. So, that`s what one of the things we started now with.

And, then, you know, if you`re strung out on drugs and never had a stable relationship, you go to check. That`s another good category to put your list there.

JON: Right.

PINSKY: So, Jon, thank you for calling.

I`m going to take some more. I`ve got Stacy in Washington.

You want to sound off, Stacy? Go right ahead.

STACY, CALLER FROM WASHINGTON: Yes, Dr. Drew. I`d like to say that, clearly, the tan mom has something wrong with her and you can tell just by looking at her picture.


STACY: I think she should be investigated. You know, she claims her daughter got sun burned from being outside. And that seems pretty simple to go back at the weather and look to see was it 85 degrees and sunny in New Jersey a couple of days before.

PINSKY: And, Stacy, look at the daughter, we have a picture of her up. She is fair skinned, redheaded. So, boy, sun for her will be an issue her entire life.

I mean, let`s remember an important message in all this. As a clinician, I want to point out, wear sunscreen all the time, do not overexpose your skin to any U.V. light.

We talked to Michelle earlier, who sis tan-aholic, and one thing I didn`t get a chance to get into with her is, you know, when people do get in that bright light, it does cause chemicals to go off in the brain that is very similar to the chemistry of addiction.

So, when she said she couldn`t stop, there was something to that biology. But at the same token, what she also said and I think what`s really clear, is she`d look in the mirror and didn`t like how she looked. She didn`t feel enough tan.

Sunny, go right ahead, in Pennsylvania -- Sunny.


PINSKY: Yes, ma`am.

SUNNY: I was just wondering, does she have a disconnect? Like you said, she looks in the mirror but doesn`t see how ugly she really looks.

PINSKY: Well, those are strong words, ironic name, Sunny, this evening. But -- it`s not that funny, guys.

SUNNY: I`d also like to say, Dr. Drew, before you say anything, I am a single mom with three beautiful children. I`m only 24 but I do very well and they`re very well-behaved. So I would also just like to say, you have to be very mentally ill to --

PINSKY: To tan like that?

Well, I think that`s what everyone is surmising when they look at the picture here and that something more is wrong than somebody who feels good tanning or is compulsively involved in bronzing her skin. But it`s somebody who really doesn`t see reality when they look in the mirror and that`s really what body dysmorphia is.

And people need to remember, real bona fide body dysmorphia was originally as it was described, and I think most clinician, although we talked about it as body dysmorphia, it was about the face originally, preoccupations about aspects of the face.

Sunny, do you have another question? Or are we on to the next caller?

SUNNY: No. But I do get how people look in the mirror and think they don`t look tan. You know, I think, society kind of gives that. You have to look tan to look beautiful.

PINSKY: There you go. I agree. It looks healthy, so to speak.

But again this chronic exposure to U.V. is dangerous, let`s face it. Skin cancers -- can I put Michelle, my Skyper back here? There you are.

You agree with me this is kind of silly you continue to put yourself in danger by tanning, right?

HELLER: Absolutely. I`ve actually cut back, like I said, I`m only tanning twice a week now. And I`m trying to use like self-tanners and trying to use like a spray tan, I`m trying to wean myself away.

PINSKY: Why not just do the spray tan? They have that these days? It`s do expensive or what`s the problem?

HELLER: Well, it just doesn`t feel the same and my friend has a tanning bed and it`s just easy to go there.

PINSKY: OK. All right. There`s that thing again that the light evokes an arousal, a sort of euphoric recall or euphoric experience in the brain -- the chemicals go off in the brain.

All right. So, I`ve got phone calls coming up. We`re going to keep talking about what you think this mother allegedly did, whether it was something that she should be punished for, did she really take that kid to the tanning salon or is it just somebody who needs our sympathy because she doesn`t see reality in reality`s terms. We`re taking your calls at 1-855- DRDREW5.

Be right back.



REPORTER: You can suntan?


REPORTER: Do you like to suntan?


KRENTCIL: She`s 6 years old. Yes, she does go tanning with mommy, but not in the booth.


PINSKY: So she says, the 6-year-old official`s mom is accused of putting her in a tan bed. But what`s getting under everyone`s skin is tan mom and her appearance.

I`m going to get back to your calls.

Let`s see, I`ve got Chelsea. She`s joining us via Skype, I guess.

So, Chelsea, you`re up there.


PINSKY: Come on in here. You`re not quite on my screen. There`s Michelle again.

There you go.

So, what did you want to say about this issue?

PRICE: First of all, I`m concerned why her daughter is even in the salon room with the mom. It kind of makes me concerned about the tanning salon owner. I mean, why is he letting this 5-year-old, 6-year-old go into the tanning bedroom in the first place?

PINSKY: Are you worried that her eyes could have been perhaps damaged by the U.V.?

PRICE: Exactly. I remember when I used to go to the tanning salon, there were signs only the tanner was allowed in the room. I`m not sure why someone would allow a child especially to go into the room with her.

PINSKY: And you said you used to tan. Why did you stop?

PRICE: I used to tan, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma at age 23.


OK. Let`s talk to people about that disease, because that is a very serious illness. Was it caught before it penetrated?

PRICE: It had spread to two lymph node basins on opposite sides of my body so I am stage 3 melanoma.

PINSKY: Oh, my goodness. That is so scary. How old are you now?

PRICE: I`m 25.

PINSKY: What is your message out there who insist on going out in the sun?

PRICE: Melanoma is much more than just skin cancer. It can kill you. It`s not always just a mole a doctor can remove, it can go to your organs and it`s quick and sometimes you don`t even realize that you have melanoma in your organs until a scan shows it.


PRICE: You look healthy. You usually feel healthy.

PINSKY: It`s very serious. Especially in southern parts of the country like California, whatnot, you have to be very, very vigilant about sun exposure and sun screen and that sort of thing. Thank you for Skyping in.


PINSKY: By the way, the tanning booths are implicated in this process as well.

Squamous cell, another serious cancer can also develop and spread very quickly.

Let`s go to phones.

Michelle in Michigan. Go right ahead, Michelle.

MICHELLE, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN: I was just wondering -- there used to be an old myth that somebody stayed in the tanning room too long or went too frequently, and her inside will burn from it. Is that possible?

PINSKY: No, only if they get melanoma and squamous cancer, and then the cancer eats the organs, which is what happens rather quickly, and that`s what our Skyper was just talking about.

No, I mean, obviously, if you stay long enough -- and, by the way, tan mom looks like if she stayed in much longer, she might cook her organs. But that`s not in fact what happens.

I think I`ve got Kim --

MICHELLE: Yes, she looks like she was dipped in chocolate.

PINSKY: Yes, she really does. She`s chocolate mom. It`s a little pejorative.

Kim in New York, go ahead, Kim.

KIM, CALLER FROM NEW YORK: Yes. There might be some type of evidence in order for the police to bring up charges against her for child endangerment?


KIM: And I also wonder if the tanning salon had cameras set up inside or outside and there would be proof and documentation the little girl was actually with her.

PINSKY: I am certain that the police are all over that. And whether there`s cameras or not, I don`t know as of yet.

I think I`ve got Kathleen (ph) out there.

Kathleen, are you on the phone? Kathleen in West Palm Beach.


PINSKY: There you go. What`s your take?

KATHLEEN: Yes. I just wanted to say that this woman seriously needs some guidance in parenting. If the allegations are true, they need to look into taking all her children.

PINSKY: Kathleen, how about just the fact that those of us who engage in whatever the behavior is, we may be setting behavioral examples for our kids that aren`t so good -- so, by tanning to this point or by having body image issues that pre-occupy us.

Here`s the big liability with that body image stuff. You`re not available to be a parent. You`re too preoccupied with your own stuff to really be emotionally available the way you need to be. Do you have kids?

KATHLEEN: No, I don`t. I have worked with kids and they are very impressionable. A lot of people get addicted to tanning. And when you`re very young, you feel that`s normal, that becomes your normal and you know, becoming skin cancer.

PINSKY: Yes, there will. Then there`s no mom -- by the way, this tan mom has two or three other kids, something like that.

Nicole in New Jersey, you said you saw a child and mom in the tanning booth together?

NICOLE, CALLER FROM NEW JERSEY: Yes. I actually went to that tanning salon before. I have seen her in there with those children and she used to leave the kids out in the waiting area. I never saw her bring the kids with her in the actual tanning room.

PINSKY: Well, let me ask this. You saw a mom or this mom?

NICOLE: I saw that particular mom.

PINSKY: This --

NICOLE: I`ve seen her. I`ve been to that tanning salon that she goes to and I have seen her with her two children, the boy and the girl, and they have always waited for her outside in the waiting area.

PINSKY: OK. I want to make sure I get you, because you`re the first person I`ve spoken to that is a direct relationship or been a direct witness.

NICOLE: I`m from the same town that she lives in and I`ve been to that same tanning salon.

PINSKY: OK. Did she hook like this? Like she had been dipped in --

NICOLE: No, God forbid. That`s scary looking.

PINSKY: Someone in the salon have spoken up to her if she walked in look like that.

Show that picture again of her. Come on now.

NICOLE: I don`t know. I mean, I`m going back a few years ago. So I haven`t seen her in a while. When I had seen her, she didn`t look like that, no.

PINSKY: OK. And you say, for the record, she left her kids out in the waiting area?

NICOLE: Yes. I never saw her children in the room with her as she was tanning. They always waited outside.

I don`t know what type of bed makes you that color. But I also used a manage a tanning salon for 5 1/2 years. And if you slept in a tanning bed, you wouldn`t look like that. I don`t know what else she has on her face.

PINSKY: It`s something. I think -- again, she`s not perceiving things normally. That`s sort of body dysmorphia. I`ve got 15 seconds, Nicole, how is the community responding to all this attention?

NICOLE: I don`t know. I don`t live in that town anymore. I still talk to people up there. The people I spoke with, too, also said they have seen her kids in the waiting area. That they never saw her bring her kids in the room itself.

PINSKY: OK. All right.

NICOLE: So, the owner says that --

PINSKY: OK. I`ve got to go. I`m sorry, got go to break, Nicole.

Thank you for that call. And I`ve got a call on the line after the break, who wants to know who can get -- how you can get that tan. We heard someone say it`s not possible.

Well, we`ll talk more about that.


PINSKY: We`re back and we`re taking your calls on this -- shall we call her tanorexic mom? She`s my own tot mom. She`s tan mom. I like that. I want to follow on the heels of Nancy.

She`s accused of putting her 6-year-old daughter in a tanning bed. She denies it. We heard from someone who lives in that community, says she never saw any evidence she brought the kids in the tanning, nor that she was as dark as that at the tanning salon when she saw her in that tanning salon.

The girl apparently claims -- the mom at least claims the girl was sunburn playing outside. But all anyone can talk about is the tan, the tan mom. There she is in that incredible appearance.

Tanya in Pennsylvania. I believe you got something to ask about this or say about it?


PINSKY: Hi, Tanya.

TANYA: I was wondering, is it even possible for someone to get that tan? She looks like she applied shoe polish or something. It`s unbelievable.

PINSKY: It is so funny you said that. I said that exact thing. It`s like a crazy brown or tan shoe polish. That`s --

TANYA: I laughed so hard when I saw her on the news this morning, oh my gosh.

PINSKY: This is -- we`re laughing about who -- I mean, we shouldn`t be laughing. This woman must have some sort of dysmorphia to think that`s OK. This poor child who has got to live with that. I mean, there`s got to be more going on than this story tells us so far.


PINSKY: It`s kind of a shame really when you get down to it.

It`s nice to see in some of the follow up pictures in court she doesn`t look quite that tan.

Do we have other callers up there?

There you go. There`s Pam in Montana. What`s up there, Pam?

PAM, CALLER FROM MONTANA: Hi, Dr. Drew. I`m really glad to hear other people are as appalled as I am at this. Maybe the person who squealed on her is a blessing because I think there`s a much bigger problem than having --

PINSKY: Well, there might be.

PAM: -- that beautiful little girl in a tanning booth.

PINSKY: Yes, there might be that. I mean, again, you worry -- it looks like -- feels like there`s something more going on here. I want to remind people, it`s an opportunity for all of us to think about: (a), why somebody becomes compulsively involved in these tanning booths.

Again, when you get in front of those U.V. lights, chemicals in your head are released. There`s actually a light therapy for depression for people who have seasonal affect disorder and people get that same kind of a little bit of rush you get from eating or drugs sometimes. It`s not really an addiction but it helps fuel that compulsion is really then about this dysmorphia, the needing to look a certain way when you look in the mirror.

And I think that`s telling us something. That`s what we`re all kind of responding to here, about her mental health.

Joann, are you there? In Pennsylvania.


PINSKY: Hi, Joann.

JOANN: Dr. Drew, I`m just wondering if it`s even possible for somebody that`s Caucasian to even get that dark. I have a sister that goes tanning.

PINSKY: Just what we were asking. I know, I know.

JOANN: Well, I have a sister that goes tanning every single day as long as I can remember and she`s never -- she does not get that dark. I have biracial children that don`t get that dark.

PINSKY: You`re right. We had Nicole, who lives in that town in New Jersey, who had seen this woman at that very salon who said she wasn`t that dark at the time and that she herself had seen this woman -- I`m sorry, she herself, Nicole, owns a tanning salon and she didn`t believe tanning salons could ever render somebody like that. So, there may be some kind of funky makeup or something going on here that --

JOANN: To make it look more dramatic.

PINSKY: I guess so. Still to me is a dysmorphia, so I`m saying. It`s something that concerns me.

So, next, I want to change gears entirely. We`ll talk to Lisa Bloom about the fact she -- she`s written a book. I`ll get that book out here in a second.

Are we programming boys to fail? Are we failing boys?

Give us your questions, 1-855-DRDREW5. Be right back.


PINSKY: The cover of the book said Lisa Bloom always gives it to us straight. Her new book is "Swagger." More people are jailed in this country than ever before, and 93 percent of them are male twice as many boys drop out of school as girls. The statistics go on and on.

And Lisa Bloom now joins us. As I said, she is the author of this new book. It`s called "Swagger." It`s a book that looks at why boys in our society are failing in such large numbers. What`s the theory?

LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: Well, there`s a lot going on. One of the big problems is education. Boys are suspended, disciplined, and expelled at four times the rate of girls, even as young as pre-school. So many girls - - many boys get the message. Very young, three or four years old, I`m not really welcome in school.

I`m not appreciated in school. I don`t like school. I don`t want to go back. Boys don`t read nearly as much as girls do. So, girls outperform boys in reading in every grade, in every state in this country. Fifty states.

PINSKY: So -- well, are you blaming (ph) the blame on the educational system or the parents?

BLOOM: Well, it`s not really about blame. What I talk about are the four cultural forces that are hammering boys, our failing school, our terrible economy right now where young men, in particular, have very high unemployment rates, thug culture.

A lot of media messages that encourage boys to be violent, to attack women, to beat up gay men, certainly, to be emotionally numb. And the fourth one is mass incarceration where we incarcerate four times as many boys today as we did when I was a girl. Are they four times worse? Certainly not.

But we`ve criminalized the whole class of behavior. So, those are the four cultural forces. I`m doing it just as quickly as I can. Of course, there`s a whole book about it. The second half of the book is what parents can do to protect their son, because no parent wants that kind of future for their son.

PINSKY: All right. Let me hold off in a solution until we take a few calls. Maybe they can sort of put a little shine a little light on what more the problem is. Whitney in Montana. Go right ahead, Whitney.

WHITNEY, MONTANA: Hi. Yes. Honestly, I`m kind of putting in on the parents here. That puts a lot of pressure on me, but I kind of knew what I was getting into when I had kids.


WHITNEY: I`m not saying that the media and the school system, they don`t need improvement and a change because they do. But, in reality, we`re the ones that have them from the very beginning as parents or mothers even to raise them in a certain light and to put them in the right direction and help them if we can.

PINSKY: Whitney, I want to interrupt you and ask, are you a mother?

WHITNEY: Yes, I am. I have three kids.

PINSKY: Two kids. And how old are you?

WHITNEY: Three kids. I`m 25.

PINSKY: You forgot about one?


PINSKY: Forgot about the boy, no doubt.


PINSKY: So, how many sons are you raising?

WHITNEY: I have two boys and one girl.

PINSKY: And what ages are they?

WHITNEY: My daughter is four. My oldest son is almost three and my youngest is six months.

PINSKY: Lisa and I are smiling knowingly because we have young adult late teen children, and you`re getting into it here. But there`s a chance to make things different in that population.

BLOOM: Yes. Look, absolutely. I have a son and a daughter. And I wrote a book last year about girls. It`s only fair that I wrote a book this year about boys. What I found was that our culture gives very different messages to boys and to girls.

For example, a lot of boys that I interviewed said, reading is for girls. And I thought where the heck does that message come from? Where many times it comes from us, as parents, because who do our kids see reading at home? Women.


BLOOM: Well, generally, though, mom reads twice as much as dad.

PINSKY: But here`s where I think it comes from. They are hearing it. they`re noticing that the girls pick up the reading and read more effectively young. Therefore, they get the message reading is not for me.

BLOOM: Right.

PINSKY: And then, there isn`t anything for them. And there`s no educational process to help them kick in later.

BLOOM: One of the things I talked about the book is that boys have to be reading effectively by fourth grade. If they`re not, they`re going to do poorly in all subjects, and they`re highly likely to drop out of high school, be unemployed, and have all of these terrible problems that young men are facing right now.

It`s absolutely critical that boys read by the fourth grade. In the book, I show parents how to do that, but role modeling that reading is a pleasure, taking out a book after dinner is critically important.

PINSKY: That`s kind to be hard now with so many -- the boys, they`re growing up into adults to be now parents who have been affected by this drought of education.

BLOOM: Right.

PINSKY: They don`t know what that is.

BLOOM: So, you nailed it. It is so important for fathers to be good role models for their sons and not -- you know, that`s such a general statement. What does that mean? It means, take your son to a cultural event, take him to a book event or political rally or bookstore, but show him that you love reading. Literacy is one of the most important things you can give your son.

PINSKY: All right. There`s a Facebook comment. Jacqueline says, "I think fathers have failed their son. Single mothers are all too common, and they don`t have a positive male role model to look up to."

So, they`re not laying the problem at the foot of the single mom. They`re saying that dads need to step up more, but again, these dads are products of this system that you`re complaining about. They don`t know any -- they haven`t been educated. They may not appreciate these things that you`re asking them to teach their sons.

BLOOM: Look, if you are a father who has abandoned your kid or you don`t spend that much time with him, it`s never too late to come back into your child`s life, that`s the good news. And when you come back, children get so many benefits.

Their academic achievement soars, their emotional health soars. It`s never too late for dads to come back to engage with their kids and, you know, Facebook comment is absolutely right, critically important.

PINSKY: Let`s go to Caderia, is that how you pronounce your name there, my dear? Caderia?

CADERIA, VIRGINIA: Yes. I`m calling to see like how come the minority as far as African-American boy rates dropping like being (ph) incarcerated compared to Caucasian or Hispanic rate of young boys? How come (INAUDIBLE) going and the Black boys are like steadily incarcerated or dropping out of schools, what is the issue between those boundaries?

PINSKY: Right. You bring up a really critical issue. And I notice you used the word "thug life" in the beginning. Was that directed at this issue she`s bringing up?

BLOOM: I couldn`t exactly hear --

PINSKY: She`s saying why are African-American men seemingly the ones that are getting the lion`s share of this problem or disproportionately represented in the prisons, the ones they`re dropping out, having the difficulties. Why?

BLOOM: Yes. I have a whole chapter about that, about the mass incarceration of our boys, and it overwhelmingly we`re talking about African-American and Latinos, because we criminalized a whole new class of behavior and because drug sweeps, for example, overwhelmingly happen in minority neighborhoods.

You know, there`s a program going on right now in New York City, specifically, targeted at African-American and Latino boys. This is the kind of thing that generation go feminists like me would have been screaming out about. You know, what about women of color?

Well, I`m not complaining, because the statistics are that African- American and Latino boys are suffering disproportionately in education, in prison, and our economy, and they need the extra help, so let`s give it to them.

PINSKY: I want to remind people we`re taking your calls at 1-855- 3737395. That`s 855-DrDrew 5. Joining us now on the phone is author, Crystal McCrary. Crystal, when you talk about thug culture, we`re not really talking about something specifically aimed at minorities, though, right? Or are we?

VOICE OF CRYSTAL MCCRARY, AUTHOR, "INSPIRATION": Right. Well, first of all, congratulations on your book, Miss Bloom.

BLOOM: Thank you.

MCCRARY: It is so needed because our boys are suffering. And you`re right --

BLOOM: That`s right.

MCCRARY: -- the point about African-American boys suffering in a more disproportion rate in terms of incarceration rates. But to your specific question, Dr. Drew, regarding are we talking about minorities and this. I mean, listen, in the African-American community, there`s always sort of a heightened sensitivity particularly around our boys in terms of what the perceptions are.

But in terms of thug life, that term that`s sort of been used so frequently, I can`t say that it necessarily refers more to the Latino or African-American community, but what I can say about thug life/sort of this hip-hop culture, it is pervasive across racial lines.

BLOOM: Absolutely.

PINSKY: That`s what I said, Stephanie. I said, what about "house of pain" and what about, you know --

BLOOM: Yes. Well, let me talk about that, because we`ve already had some arguments behind the scenes today here at HLN. Here are the statistics. Of the most popular rap music in the last decade, two-thirds advocates rape, gun violence, illegal drug use or beating up gay men. That`s the majority of the most popular rap, not even just the gangster rap subgenre which is all felonies all the time.

PINSKY: Well, let`s be clear. All races are listening to that --


BLOOM: Boys love this music far more than girls. White boys, Black boys, Latino boys, Asian boys, they love this music. And most of them are listening to it with headphones on, so the parents aren`t listening to the lyrics. And in the book, I show a lot of these lyrics, which you as parents, are going to be appalled by when you see it.

You got to call them on it. You got to talk about it. That is critically important that parents know the music and speak out for your values. Tell them you don`t approve of any of this, you don`t like it, and you don`t want them to model that behavior.

PINSKY: I want to take Stephanie`s call in Texas real quick. I only got about a minute here, Stephanie. What do you got?


PINSKY: Hi, Stephanie.

STEPHANIE: I`m raising a nine-year-old boy, and I want to know what can I help -- how can I help him be more successful at school because he seems to struggle.


PINSKY: Well, that`s a huge question.

BLOOM: OK. First of all, of course, you got to know your boy. You got to know exactly what the problem is. Is it a reading problem? Is it a reading disability that a lot of boys have and they cover that because of this swagger culture, they don`t want to ask for help. So, you got to find out exactly what the problem is.

One-on-one tutoring is very, very effective to help boys with an academic problem. Yes, it can be expensive, but you can probably get a high school kid down the block to do it for $5 or $10 an hour. One-on-one target help is very important. Maybe you or a family member who`s good at that subject can help your kid.

But, the most important thing to do is get on it right away before it festers, gets worse, and expands to all other subjects before your son starts to think I hate school and ends up dropping out of school. You don`t want that outcome.

PINSKY: There you go, Stephanie. And there you go, Lisa. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

BLOOM: Thank you for your kind endorsement on the front of my book.

PINSKY: I gave endorsement -- there it is. There it is.

BLOOM: I really appreciate that.

PINSKY: And this is -- I`ve been looking forward to this, but we`ve been talking about it for quite some time. It is called "Swagger." It`s not just about the problem, it`s about solutions. And something that we can all learn a bit from. And if you don`t have a model from wish (ph) to pull, it could be in this book.

Next, now, we`re going to take anything you want coming up. What do you want to talk to me about? I don`t care. Call in, 1-855-DrDrew5. Back with more of your questions in a sort of potpourri after the break.


PINSKY: Welcome back. I`m taking your calls right now. You can call in at 1-855-DrDrew5. I`m happy to talk about any topic, relationships, health, sex addiction, whatever it is, tanning, tan mom. Carrie in Iowa, what`s your question?


PINSKY: Hi, Carrie.

CARRIE: I lost my virginity when I was only seven years old. Now, I`m 37. I`m in an open marriage, self-diagnosed as a love addict.


CARRIE: Currently, I have a sexual obsession with my former therapist, which he initially nurtured. And no therapist that I`ve talked to seems to know how to handle this or understand how profound this early sexual experience had on me.

PINSKY: All right. Carrie, no, no, no. There are -- I don`t know where you are in Iowa, but there are armies of people out there specifically trained to deal with this. You said you lost your virginity at seven. No. You were the victim of sexual violence, sexual abuse. And sexual abuse in childhood can lead to sexual addictions, sexual obsessions, and love addiction, and it sounds like you have both.

I recommend a website to you, it`s,, something I refer to all the time where there are professionals there, referrals, people that specifically are trained in this area. There are resources at that website. This is not a minor issue. Those people that say that sex addiction doesn`t exist, live in Carrie`s shoes for five minutes.

It`s devastation when you`ve been through things like this. It`s trauma. You need somebody who has very extensive experience in managing your trauma, dealing with trauma, and sexual addiction. Go to that website. Check that out. Melissa in Michigan. You go. What`s up, Melissa?

MELISSA, MICHIGAN: Yes. I went from being diagnosed with bipolar to general anxiety to PTSD --


MELISSA: And went from being basically hypersexual and meeting my husband. And now, that I`m medicated on Cymbalta, I have absolutely no sex drive whatsoever.


MELISSA: And I was wondering if you can give me some advice.

PINSKY: All right. So, Cymbalta is a dual-agent deal class. It has a serotonin re-up taking component to it, a serotonin re-uptake medication, SSRI so called, will absolutely shut down sexuality, all phases of the sexual cycle, where there libido, arousal, drive, some of the post-phase, post -- you know when things are (INAUDIBLE).

Any of that can be affected by these SSRI kinds of medication. Cymbalta can definitely do that. It is critically important you talk to your doctor about that. I think it`s probably about changing medication in your case.

If this is something that`s reasonable given your other rather serious conditions, I mean, is it worth the risk of tapering down some of these medications and trying something different in order to maintain the closeness in your relationship, because the last thing you need when you`re dealing with these kinds of psychiatric problems is to have your relationship ruptured for a reason a side effect of a medication.

I`ve been saying this for years that whether it`s Prozac, Zoloft, these various medications that are in that SSRI classes, excellent medication, potentially life saving medication, but this side effect, right when you need your partner the most, can really interfere with those intimacies. Talk to your doctor about that.

Mariah, Maria in Georgia, go right ahead. Maria? Maria, I hear you out there. Maria? I think we`re about to hear what`s going on in their kitchen. Keith in California, what`s going on, Keith.

KEITH, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. Thank you so much for taking my call.

PINSKY: It`s my pleasure.

KEITH: I`m really surprised.

PINSKY: My pleasure.

KEITH: What`s going on with me is I had a really heavy addiction and alcohol, same thing, problem, and I`m actually on methadone, a fairly low dose.

PINSKY: How much?

KEITH: Thirty milligrams or 31.

PINSKY: Lowish. Still no fun getting off of that, I`ll tell you what. OK?

KEITH: No. I can`t find a place. I`ve also prescribed Klonopin that I`ve been taking for like 10 years.

PINSKY: Oh my goodness, Keith. Well, do you have other psychiatric problems in addition to your addiction?

KEITH: Yes. I`ve been diagnosed with a few things.

PINSKY: OK. A few things. Great. Fantastic. Well, the reason I asked that is, what are the risks of you coming off all this stuff or should you just stay where you are, and you know it`s -- here`s the thing.

There are different ways of approaching addictions. Some people these days say that harm avoidance is the best way to go, to give people like you, Keith, low levels medication, such as the opiates, methadone, such as the benzodiazepine so you don`t die of your addictive process or you don`t things, the behaviors don`t emerge that are so distractive associated with addiction and that end up with people in prison or whatnot.

Maybe this is the lesser of evils. All I will say if there is a potential for there to be abstinence and sobriety, which I can`t judge just talking to you on the phone, you certainly hope for that for people to return to a flourishing life. What I always challenge my peers on is, strangely enough, we always demand to complete abstinence for our peers, for other physicians, and yet, our patients not so much.

It certainly better if it`s possible. So, it`s something to talk to your doctor about. Yes, it`s a little expensive, I understand, to get treatment, but you can always put your butt in a 12-step meeting, take the cotton out of your ears, put the cotton in your mouth, ask for help getting through that withdrawal, and there are a lot of people there ready to help you any day of the week.

Go ahead, Bonnie.


PINSKY: Hey, Bonnie.

BONNIE: My granddaughter is currently in juvenile camp. She is a drug addict.

PINSKY: How old is she?

BONNIE: She is 17.


BONNIE: How do I learn to trust her when she comes home.

PINSKY: Bonnie, how old are you?

BONNIE: I`m 69. I`m her grandmother legal guardian.

PINSKY: Oh, boy. Where`s the mom?

BONNIE: Roaming the streets.

PINSKY: Is she an addict?


PINSKY: Yes. That genetic component. There`s a genetic element in addiction. You`re talking about something very difficult, getting a 17- year-old to engage in treatment is exceedingly difficult, but you didn`t ask me how to treat her, you ask me how do I trust her? You don`t. You do not. Addiction -- a symptom of addiction is lying and distorting.

That is a symptom of their disease. They can`t help it. It`s a feature of the condition. What I always tell research on addiction is so spurious, because they believe what the patient is telling them. It`s never the case. She`s lying, don`t trust her. Great adequate structure. It`s not her fault. Go to Al-Anon, get your own sponsor, don`t make any decisions with your granddaughter without talking to your sponsor.

More calls coming up, including one from a woman whose husband is addicted to pornography. That`s right. Pornography addiction. And if you have a question, I`m taking your call right now live at 855-DrDrew5. Call in. Porn addiction, here we go. Stay tuned.


PINSKY: Welcome back. We are taking your calls. And, last night, one of our guests was a mom who works in porn to support her kids. And I was surprised that many of you supported her lifestyle, and I`m going to take a call in a minute from a woman who says porn is destroying her marriage. That will be in just a second.

First, a quick reminder, it`s the national day to prevent teen pregnancy today. If you want to more about that, check my Twitter @DrDrew. And I`ve been working with the national campaign to prevent teen and unwanted pregnancy for sometime.

We`ve got a program called "16 and Pregnant," which had exactly the desired effect we had hoped for, which is the first year that program aired on MTV, there was a dramatic and sudden drop-off in teen pregnancy rates in this country. And I believe now we`re at the lowest rate since 1948.

Though, we are still doing very poorly in amongst other industrialized nations. I think it`s 2,000 teen girls in the United States get pregnant each and every day. So, just a reminder to raise awareness about that as well.

So, first, let`s go out to North Carolina and talk to Nancy about this porn addiction and how it`s destroying your marriage. Nancy, what`s going on?

NANCY, NORTH CAROLINA: Hi there, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: Hi, Nancy.

NANCY: I love you, I love you, I love you. God bless you.

PINSKY: My goodness. God bless you.

NANCY: Can you hear me?

PINSKY: I hear you, and I`m grateful. Thank you, Nancy. It`s very kind.

NANCY: Dr. Drew, I watched your show yesterday. And I want to talk about the not so glamorous side of porn and addiction.


NANCY: You talk about it often, but my husband has been addicted to porn for 25 years.


NANCY: It has resulted in a divorce -- we re-divorce since re- married, and it`s been three years and it continues.


NANCY: But I don`t want to be (INAUDIBLE) anymore. I need him to acknowledge openly and honestly that that`s what it is. And I want to help me because I don`t want to feel less than anymore. At 47, I`m at the height of my sexuality.


NANCY: He`s 60. Where do we go from here? Please, please, please help me.

PINSKY: Well, it`s a very -- let me just -- I`m going to try Nancy to kind of piece this together a little bit. Has he had treatment for the sexual addiction?

NANCY: Never. He just recently after 25 years, Dr. Drew, just openly acknowledged it.

PINSKY: OK. Well, that`s good. I referred everyone to a website earlier. I`m going to refer you again. It`s There`s tons of resources there and therapist referrals in that group that I trust. I worked for that group for a long time where you can get help. It really -- could you afford couples` counseling? It really would be something very important at this stage of the game to help heal this.

NANCY: Absolutely, yes.

PINSKY: Now, that he`s willing to take a look at this, you need to get in a professional environment and really hash this ting out and see what`s going on -- get this evaluated properly. Your husband, believe me, he doesn`t feel good about this. It`s an addiction. He`s suffering. He`s caused you pain. He doesn`t like that. He`s ashamed of it. It makes him feel awful.

What we need to do is sort of build you up in certain ways that you cannot enable him quite so much any longer, and then, also encourage him, though, you can`t force him, encourage him to take care of himself.

And really, I think that`s only going to happen in a professional environment. You can try that website and see if there are referrals there, but you want to talk to a therapist that has experience in dealing with this issue. Nancy, thank you.

I`m going to try to quickly go to Cindy. Cindy, I`ve got very limited time. What do you got.

CINDY: Hi. I just have a question.

PINSKY: Quick.

CINDY: I have a son that is going through drug rehabilitation.


CINDY: He is a teenager.


CINDY: And I`m finding that there is really no program after they get home. I mean, I know there is an --

PINSKY: That`s a terrible problem. Treatment takes six to 12 months. You got to get some sort of aftercare plan, often including some degree of structure or living environment form (ph) depending how bad his addiction was. Make sure there`s a therapist in your area that he hooks up with, and the treatment center should help you with that.

Thank you all for all your calls tonight. Thank you for watching. I will see you next time.