Pregnant and Abusing Drugs: The Ultimatum

January 28, 2014
Dr. Phil continues his intervention with 18-year-old Sara, who is seven months pregnant and admits to smoking cigarettes and marijuana daily and using cocaine and heroin. She says she’s not addicted and that her 20-year-old sister, Sadie, who is also abusing drugs, is a bad influence on her. When Dr. Phil presses Sara for answers, she confesses that she and her sister used cocaine the night before the show. How does she explain her choices? Does she realize the effect her drug use could have on her unborn child? Dr. Phil shows Sara shocking video of babies who were born addicted — will it make an impact? Then, Dr. Charles Sophy, director of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, and Areva Martin, attorney and child advocate, have words of warning for the expectant mom. Will they serve as a wake-up call before she loses her baby — or ends up behind bars? Dr. Phil issues the siblings an ultimatum: Will they choose treatment — or jail?

Catch up on what you missed in Part 1.







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SaraSadie, Sara's sisterRalph and Kristin, Sara and Sadie's parentsKeith, Sadie's boyfriendDr. Charles Sophy, County of Los Angeles DCFSAreva Martin, attorney and child advocateBen Levenson, Origins Recovery CentersVelvet Mangen, Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women

Who Will Raise the Baby?

“I’m having a boy. He’s due April 25,” Sara says. “I definitely feel like my life is straightened out enough that if I were to get a job, I could raise this child on my own. I feel like I would do everything I could possibly do to give my baby a different life than my mom and my dad gave me.”

“I believe Sara is completely clueless about what it is to be a parent,” says Sara’s mother, Kristin.

“Sara is delusional. Sara has no job, no education. She has absolutely no concept of what is involved in child-raising,” says Kristin’s husband, Ralph.

“I’m terrified for that baby boy,” Kristin says. “What scares me the most about Sara raising a baby is that unless she gets her temper under control, I truly believe that baby may be abused by her. She’s been abusing it in utero — why wouldn’t she after he was born?”
 
“I actually just enrolled myself in anger management counseling. It starts the 27th of January, so no, I don’t feel like I need help,” Sara says.
 
“Kristin and I have discussed the possibility of us raising this child,” Ralph says.

“The idea of my mom raising my baby makes me feel very angry. It’s just not going to happen. I’m raising my child, and that is how it’s going to be,” Sara says.

Dr. Phil asks Sara about what she was doing the night before the show. “You could blood test me right now. I have no alcohol in my system.”

Former criminal prosecutor and child advocate Areva Martin paints a dark picture for Sara. “Do you want to have your baby on the floor of a jail, and someone take the baby away, even before you can touch, coddle or name that child?”

Dr. Charles Sophy, director of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, weighs in. And, Sara sees a shocking video. Will it scare her straight?

Sara learns that her parents may not be chosen to have custody of her child. “That’s not your choice — that’s going to be the government’s choice.”

The Ultimatum

Dr. Phil offers Sara and Sadie an opportunity of treatment and recovery in separate dual-diagnosis treatment centers.
 
Ben Levenson, co-founder and CEO of Origins Recovery Centers, tells Sara that Hannah’s House in South Padre Island, Texas, is ready to help her with medical supervision and detoxification for her and her baby.

“Will you take that help?” Dr. Phil asks Sara.

She hesitates. “I don’t really want to go to Texas,” Sara says.

Dr. Phil delivers Sara an ultimatum. “I’m just going to turn this over to the police.”

While Sara thinks about Dr. Phil’s ultimatum of treatment in Texas or being reported to the authorities, Dr. Phil introduces Velvet Mangan, owner of Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women in Orange County, California.

Velvet addresses Sadie and tells her they’d love to welcome her and help her recover from her addiction and anxiety. When asked how long treatment will be, Velvet tells Sadie 90 days minimum, up to a year.

Sadie balks at the idea. “The fact that this is so embarrassing, so public, I’m really not going to do anything ever again, but I don’t want to be away from my frickin’ life for a year. It’s not necessary,” she says. “I don’t understand why it has to be so drastic.”

“You have a drastic addiction,” Velvet tells her.

Dr. Phil tells Sadie the length of her stay will be determined by her and the staff together. “This isn’t an incarceration. You can leave after two days if you want to. But I’m not going to chase you. I’m offering you a gift.”

“Why can’t it be close to the people I love?” Sadie asks.

“Because the one I’m offering you is here, and I don’t want you close to the people that you love,” Dr. Phil tells her.
 
“What if this whole experience is enough to be, like, ‘I’m done. I don’t want to do this’?” she asks.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years, and I know two things: One, this whole experience is not enough, and two, I’m not going to talk you into it,” Dr. Phil tells her. “I’m offering you a gift, and if you choose not to take it — look, Keith is not going to let you come home. You’re sure not going back there. You’ll have to find a place. And listen, look at me, you don’t have to do this. It’s OK with me.”

“I’ll do it. I don’t care,” Sadie says.

Sara makes her decision. “If you don’t like it, then you can leave, but do know, if you leave, I am calling the police and reporting you.”