AceShowbiz - Some former guests on "Dr. Phil" accuse the show of exploiting addict guests by providing them with drugs and alcohol. It was said that all of that was done in an attempt to boost ratings of the show, which was hosted by former licensed psychologist Phil McGraw.
Todd Herzog, a former "Survivor: China" winner, appeared on "Dr. Phil" to discuss his alcoholism. He detailed to the health news publication STAT and Boston Globe that he found a bottle of vodka in his dressing room. After drinking the vodka, he was allegedly given Xanax to "calm his nerves." That led him to be totally wasted by the time he was about to go on the stage to the point he needed to be physically carried to his chair.
"You know, I get that it's a television show and that they want to show the pain that I'm in," said Herzog, who blew a .263 when Dr. Phil breathalyzed him in the episode. "However, what would have happened if I died there? You know, that's horrifying."
Marianne Smith, a family member of another guest identified as Jordan, added that "Dr. Phil" staffers advised her to go to Skid Row to buy heroin. Smith told STAT that there was no medical supervision for her niece in case of withdrawal. "We never had anyone. It was just the three of us girls the entire time."
Joel King-Parrish claimed that a "Dr. Phil" staffer went with her and her pregnant daughter Kaitlin, who was battling her heroin addict, to Skid Row. King-Parrish said that the show filmed the trip.
While Dr. Phil didn't respond to the claims, Martin Greenberg, a psychologist who serves as the show's director of professional affairs, denied the claims. In response to Herzog's allegation, Greenberg said, "We do not do that with this guest or any other," adding that the claims were "absolutely, unequivocally untrue." He continued saying that Herzog was "medically supervised the entire time he was involved with tapings of 'Dr. Phil'."
"These people volunteer to come on. They beg to come on. And he tries to treat them with respect … and to give them the opportunity to get help if they want to do that. It's not a complicated formula," he went on saying.
As for Smith's allegation, Greenberg responded, "We could go on and talk about Jordan L. or ten others. Same reality. All had medical supervision." Greenberg further said that STAT "cherry-picked" claims, saying, "Few people contact us just to let us know how well things are going. The fact you can 'cherry pick' three, or thirty, or three hundred guests for that matter, who seek to blame others for their plight or struggle in life, is not the least bit surprising."