Thursday, 18 October, 2018

'Dr. Phil' Show Denies Allegations That It Gave Addicts Drugs and Alcohol

Image via Getty Image via Getty
Eugene Bates | 30 December, 2017, 03:54

"The show does not give drugs or alcohol to its guests and any suggestions to the contrary is errant nonsense".

Though representatives from the show deny Herzog's version of events, other guests who have appeared on the show for addiction issues and were interviewed as part of the investigation told similar stories, describing producers standing by as they experienced unsafe withdrawal symptoms or abused drugs. After drinking the entire liter, he was offered a Xanax by a staffer before heading out on stage telling him it would "calm his nerves". (Well, it's possible, but who's got that kind of time?) Suffice it to say, almost every episode has its moments, which is why Dr. Phil-a Donahue-meets-Maury hybrid of scandal, drama and sage wisdom-just spent an entire year as the No. 1-rated syndicated talk show on the air.

According to the report, a mutually beneficial relationship between the "Dr. Phil" show and McGraw's own business interests - namely a digital treatment program available for purchase by treatment facilities - may have contributed to the alleged abuse. Herzog, who was previously a victor on the reality show Survivor, also alleges that he was given Xanax. Todd had to be carried out onto the stage, because he was too drunk to walk.

Family members of guests have alleged that show staffers brought addicts to places where they may be able to access drugs. Representatives for the show are continuing to deny claims that they have done so. Phil McGraw (a.k.a. Dr. Phil) has with these treatment centers, particularly because many guests continue treatment, following their appearances on the show.

A psychologist with the television show Martin Greenberg said that Dr. Phil guests have never been provided alcohol or directed to where to buy drugs. In a statement provided to Stat and the Globe, he said that "addicts are notorious for lying, deflecting and trivializing". "But, if they are at risk when they arrive, then they were at risk before they arrived", said Greenberg.

STAT spoke with Survivor: China victor Todd Herzog, who first appeared on the daytime talk show in 2013, when he was in the midst of battling alcoholism. Guests dealing with addiction are typically helped with referrals to treatment facilities. He also added that he regretted being involved with the talk show at all.

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