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Dr. Drew Pinsky trying to avoid hospital flap

24

August

It's a bad time to be under Dr. Drew Pinsky's care these days, even with another round of Celebrity Rehab on the way to VH1.

The media-savvy doc has been distancing himself from his position of co-director of the Aurora Las Encinas Hospital's chemical dependency unit after two patients died of drug-related overdoses, another patient hanged himself and a 14-year-old female patient was raped by a 16-year-old patient, the L.A. Times reports. That's not a very good track record at all, and Pinsky seems to know it.

Drdrewpinsky The Times reports that Pinsky said Las Encinas was "not my hospital" and called it a "bizarre misconception" that his name has been brought up in connection with the cases. Problem is, his bio was on the hospital's Web site with a big, fat photo trumpeting his involvment with the unit, which Drew said he didn't know about. That's since been taken down, the Times says.

"I had no direct knowledge and no direct participation in the recent care of the patients in question," Pinsky said. "Patient confidentiality laws prevent me from discussing these or any other patients who may have been admitted to the facility."

Investigations found that 28-year-old Jeffery Hearn died in April of an overdose from drugs that were smuggled in by friends, the paper says, while a day later, 23-year-old Alex Clyburn was found to be given too many medications while already suffering from an OD of OxyContin and Xanax, leading him to apparently pass out and choke on his own vomit. A hospital worker was found to have falsified reports that said Clyburn was being monitored and was fired.

In August, Timur Otus, a 43-year-old bipolar patient, hanged himself at NASH House, a treatment unit on hospital grounds. A day later the teenage girl was raped while the alleged perpetrator's probation officer slept in a nearby room.

Bad things can happen at any rehab center, but the big difference with Las Encinas (besides the alarming frequency) is Pinsky's involvement. The facility caters to wealthier individuals, the paper says, offering perks like a tennis court, swimming pool, a high-def TV and a treatment center with concierge service. All this for only $840 per night (with a roommate -- $1,400 a night for a private room).

Pinsky's Celebrity Rehab is shot at Pasadena Recovery Center, not far from the hospital.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:58am]

    

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