An Addict in the Family: Prostitution? Dr. Stork

Steps Away from Prostitution?

"C.J.'s not in denial about being a drug addict," Joani says. "C.J. is in denial about what it is she's doing to acquire these drugs: prostitution. She doesn't have a job. She doesn't have any money. I think most of us can assume what it is that she's doing to acquire and maintain a drug habit. In the four nights that I was with C.J., she spent the night with three different men. There's a man in C.J.'s life. She describes him as a friend, although when I picked her up at his house, she was in bed with him."

"He's not just a drug dealer for me. He's a very good friend of mine also," C.J. explains to Joani in the car.

[AD]"She also has a quadriplegic friend who she parties with," Joani says.

"He lays in his bed all day and smokes a lot of crack," C.J. says.

"There was a time when C.J. relayed a story about an older man who was going to give her Xanax bars," Joani says.

"He said, ‘Well, I was thinking maybe we could do a trade.' And I said, ‘What do you mean?' And he said, ‘Well, you know, like, get your panties off,'" C.J. explains.

"She got the Xanax. You can pretty much do the math," Joani says.

After the taped piece ends, C.J. asks Dr. Phil, "Do you know the story on that?"

"No, not really," he says, sitting back with his arms folded. "If there's something you want to say in general, you can, but I don't want to hear a story, no. I'm not interested in a story because I know the truth, I know the facts. The facts are you're taking drugs. I don't really care where you're getting them. Do you want to say that you're not prostituting yourself?"

"I have never had sex with anybody for drugs. Never," C.J. says.

"But you were with three different men on four different nights."

"Right."

"And you came away with drugs."

"Um…"

"That's a yes or no," Dr. Phil says.

"No. No." C.J. relays the story of how she acquired Xanax without prostituting herself. After the man propositioned her, she told him she needed to deliver the pills to her mother. He gave her the pills with the expectation that she would return, but after C.J. left, she called him and told him she wouldn't be trading sex for drugs.

"So, you've refuted that fully and completely. OK. So?" Dr. Phil asks.

"So …"

[AD]"So, what's your point? So, I'm so relieved. So, you're not a drug addict. You're not putting your life in danger every day. You're not killing these people from the inside out, and we're not going to find you in a body bag because you shut down your respiration from an overdose. Is that the ‘so'?" he asks.

"The so is I did not have sex with that guy for those Xanax bars and, Dr. Phil, I don't mean this disrespectfully, but you can beat me up all you want, but obviously, I've beat myself up enough," she says.

"Listen, don't play the victim with me, lady. Don't play the victim with me. You've got to own what you're doing," Dr. Phil says.

Dr. Phil introduces Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and co-host of the show The Doctors.

"She says, ‘I don't take street drugs. I take prescription drugs because I know what's in them,'" Dr. Phil explains to Dr. Stork. "Now, she's getting them from some guy's hand. She's not getting them from a licensed pharmacist, prescribed by a physician. Can she know what's in those drugs?"

"Absolutely not, but it's not safe either way," Dr. Stork says.

"Of course it's not safe either way, but the truth is, there are a lot of counterfeit drugs on the street, and they're not mixed with precision, and you don't know what's in them. So, you don't really know what you're getting," Dr. Phil tells her. "They could be stamped, they could be labeled " and even if they are prescription drugs, is it still dangerous?" he asks Dr. Stork.

"Yes," he says. "Almost every single night in the E.R., I see someone come in, oftentimes from prescription drug abuse, an overdose where they stopped breathing, and we pray to God we get to the E.R. in time before they're dead."

"I mean, I'm a drug addict, you know. But I've seen his prescription bottle, but that doesn't mean that it's still safe," C.J. says.

[AD]"So, there's a fair chance you don't know what the hell you're talking about, and you don't know what you're taking. You don't know how this drug interacts with this drug, and isn't it true that you often can't remember what you took when?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yeah, that's true," she says.

"So, you don't know if it's the eighth tablet or the twentieth tablet. You don't really know with precision."

"That's why I'm sitting here, saying I'm a drug addict, and I need help," C.J. says.

Arlene and David's 20-year-old son, Jeffrey, died from an accidental overdose of several painkillers and anti-anxiety medications one week before actor Heath Ledger died from the same thing. David found his son in bed, dead. 

"I am so sorry for your loss," Dr. Phil tells them. "One thing you'll never hear me say is I know how you feel, because if you don't walk in that room and pull back those covers, you just can't possibly know."

"We just want to bring awareness to anyone who's watching and listening to this program that it just blindsided us. We had no way of knowing. There were no symptoms, other than probably a month before that he was just tired, and it just blindsided us," Arlene says. "As Dr. Phil has said, they can get it wherever. He was a good boy. He worked, had a job, was a good student. He was in college, had future plans. You know, our society, we all want to escape all the stresses."

"David, what do you think about what you've heard me say to these parents? What would you give for a second chance to do what I'm telling them?" Dr. Phil asks.

"If I had that option, I would be going down the same road you've been given," he tells Paula and Jim. "I'd take the same steps. But that wasn't the plan, and that wasn't the option I got. I was completely blindsided. We didn't know until the day I walked into my son's room."


[AD]Dr. Phil introduces former guest Tecoa, also known as one of the heroin twins. She is celebrating one year of sobriety after treatment at La Hacienda. She tells C.J., "I know exactly what you're feeling. I've been there, and I'm here to tell you, you don't have to live that way anymore. You don't." 

La Hacienda has offered to treat C.J., if she's willing to leave for rehab immediately. "Are you willing to do this?" Dr. Phil asks her.

"Oh, yeah. If I don't take it, I'll probably end up dead or in jail, probably dead first, so, yeah, let's go right now," she says.