In the days before DJ AM was found dead in his SoHo apartment in what is now being reported as a suicide, Dr. Drew Pinsky said he was growing concerned about his friend, who had not reached to him for several months.
“A pernicious quality of the disease of addiction is that it creates motivational disturbances. What he probably thought is, ‘I’m not interested in seeing Drew,’” said Pinsky Tuesday, speaking with Fancast from his Pasadena medical office.
Over the weekend, the board-certified addiction-treatment specialist, and host of MTV’s “Celebrity Rehab,” among other radio and TV programs, told the Associated Press that it was very likely anti-anxiety and sleep medication prescribed to DJ AM (aka Adam Goldstein) following his involvement in a widely publicized plane crash last fall that rekindled his addictive behavior.
“He was a close friend of mine who had one of the most solid recoveries of anyone I’ve ever met,” said Pinsky, elaborating on those earlier comments for Fancast. “He actually taught me a few things about recovery.”
Goldstein, 36, was found dead Friday with a crack pipe and prescription medication nearby. People magazine reported he was found to have eight undigested OxyContin pills in his stomach and a ninth in his mouth, raising the question whether his death was suicide or an accident.
“He wanted to die,” People quotes a source, who says the suicide theory is supported by the pills and other evidence. “He was going unconscious when he took the last one. He didn’t even swallow it.”
However, earlier last week, Goldstein confessed to his handlers that he had indeed relapsed and that he planned to check himself into rehab after finishing a Friday-night deejaying gig in Las Vegas.
Pinsky voiced regret that he wasn’t called in to be more involved with Goldstein’s treatment following the September plane crash, which left him with third-degree burns requiring skin grafts.
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Because he wasn’t given opiate-based pain meds, Pinksy believes Goldstein thought he was being safe and not jeopardizing a recovery from severe crack cocaine addiction and morbid obesity that had spanned a decade.
“He probably thought he wasn’t abusing his medication – ‘It’s no big deal, it’s helping me out, I’m following the directions,’” Pinsky explained. “In his mind, his recovery is solid, he’s not abusing these pills that are helping his anxiety and helping him sleep. But the whole time, he’s building in biology that’s leading him back (into addiction). Then you get some sort of stressor going, you get disturbed thinking – ‘What’s the point, anyway?’ – and then finally an explosion into his drug of choice. And he never would have had that sort of thinking if he wasn’t on those (prescription) drugs.”
Having met Goldstein when he was a guest on his syndicated radio show a decade ago, Pinksy said his friend would have wanted him to explain the peril of prescription meds for people in recovery from drug addiction.
“I know he would want to keep this conversation alive,” Pinsky said. “This couldn’t have been in vane.”