Rehab Nation

There’s been an interesting trend lately to turn any adverse publicity into an opportunity to absolve oneself from responsibility by entering into a rehab program. Historically that was limited to drug or alcohol use, but lately rehab has been a “cure-all” for public relations disasters such as rants about ethnicity (Gibson) or sexual-orientation (the guy from “Grey’s Anatomy”). Of course there is still the usual parade of Hollywood stars going to rehab for the classic reasons. The funny thing is that those rehab centers such as WonderLand look better than the nicest spas and let the stars go out running around during the course of their stay (Lohan). The fix is more directed towards the rehabilitation of the image of the star, evangelist, or sports player rather than fixing the actual problem. Maybe after the next Super Bowl they’ll say “I’m going to Wonderland!” instead of Disneyland.

The fact that there are real people in need of rehab in this nation is not so surprising though. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are pushed on television at an amazing rate that would even embarrass the old-school playground pusher. These drug advertisements are occasionally interrupted by news programs or soap operas (should be called “drug operas” these days). It seems to be a massive economy that helps supports other economies such as rehab hospitals and state prisons (privatized in many states now). The most absurd one I’ve seen is the sleep aid that was offering free samples to get you started, “Just ask your doctor”. The “pusher-man” in action once again. Not sure what the answer is, but maybe to quote old Nancy about the war on the “other” drugs, “Just say no”, because the rehab route is only available to the very rich or very well-insured.

2 thoughts on “Rehab Nation”

ann minks
February 12, 2007 at 2:49 pm

I’ve often found society’s gullibility laughable. The “sheep” mentality is rampant and self responsibility is almost non existent. For years, our children have been exposed to all the commercials saying “can’t sleep, take a pill”, “stomach hurts, take a pill”, “head hurts, take a pill”, and my favorite…”leg restless, take a pill”. Then we, as parents allow a government policy preaching to our children “Don’t do drugs!”. Are we kidding? No wonder our children believe little of what we tell them any longer.

John C.
February 13, 2007 at 9:43 pm

This makes it difficult to find reliable information in mainstream news magazines, since most of them are bloated with such advertisements. TIME magazine isn’t going to write a critical piece on Pfizer, if TIME is making a killing off of Pfizer’s advertisment dollar. The drug markups can also be partly attributed to how the companies have to pay millions in advertisment fees to these media outlets. Another piece of the puzzle is that these companies often court high profile doctors at universities and pay them a fee to present about the company’s drugs at their conferences. The conferences are attended by the medical community who then turn around and push to the patient.