Dr. Drew Pinsky spoke Friday on his HLN show 'Dr. Drew' about the death of 'Grease' star Jeff Conaway. Pinsky treated Conaway on the VH1 show 'Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.'
"Jeff was a severe, severe opiate addict with chronic pain, one of the most serious and dangerous combination of problems you could possibly interact with, and one I see all the time," said Pinsky. He continued, "and we live in a time when opioids and opiate pain medication is so available and so readily passed out that for somebody like Jeff, who was a severe drug addict, he never seemed to be able to get away from it. The pain seemed to keep motivating him back to the opiates and I told him for years that it was going to kill him."
Mike Catherwood, Pinsky's 'Loveline' co-host, also appeared on the program and contributed his own thoughts on the subject of addiction. Catherwood described "pill-popping" as "an American plague."
Pinsky explained, "I just want people to remember opiate addiction is a deadly disease. It kills people all the time. We are dealing with a fatal illness, more likely to kill you than the vast, vast, vast majority of cancers. That is the fact, and I have lost a patient today. And frankly I'm sick of it, I'm tired of it, it makes me angry almost more than anything else."