Many people with addictions can't access rehabilitation services, but if you're a celebrity like Charlie Sheen you can get treatment even if you don't currently have a drinking or drug problem, the New York Daily News reported Feb. 26.
A recent domestic-violence incident led Sheen's wife, Brooke Mueller, to check into treatment, but Sheen entered an inpatient treatment program for what was termed preventative reasons — a move that celebrity gossip sites immediately dubbed “prehab.”
Gawker called prehab “a new celebrity phenomenon” for “non-addicts [who] need 'me' time, too,” but Dennis Lin of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine said it's not an option available to most people with addiction problems.
“Prehab” is “definitely a celebrity thing,” said Lin. “It's definitely not a standard practice in addiction medicine … You don't just go check yourself in unless you relapse and start drinking or abusing drugs again.”
Some experts endorsed Sheen's proactive approach, but others saw it as public-relations damage control. “I understand why Charlie Sheen doesn't want to say, 'I'm back in rehab,' ” said Tina Tessina, a psychotherapist and author of “The Real 13th Step.” “He may feel that something needs to be done. Or he could just be putting on a nice face for the press.”