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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this spin-off of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew follows stars who've already gone through 21 days of rehab and are now facing the next phase in their recovery process by living in a group home. Like its predecessor, the show focuses on the consequences of substance abuse and stresses the value of living a clean-and-sober lifestyle -- but it accomplishes that by highlighting some of the celebs' destructive behavior prior, during, and after rehab (especially during early episodes) and includes frequent consumption of and discussion about drugs and alcohol. It could be considered a cautionary tale for older teens, but it's very mature and really isn't meant for kids.
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What's the story?
SOBER HOUSE follows graduates of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew as they take the next step in their journey toward sobriety. After completing 21 days of residential treatment, substance abuse patients like former Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler, Crazy Town rapper Seth "Shifty" Binzer, and former American Idol contestant Nikki McKibbin leave the safety of a highly monitored rehab program and move into an outpatient group home supervised by actress/recovering addict Jennifer Gimenez. For 30 days, they must live by strict house rules, which include finding (and keeping) a job, adhering to curfews, abstaining from sexual activity, and, most importantly, staying away from alcohol and drugs. Meanwhile, Dr. Drew and his staff continue to work with the celebs as they make some tough life-changing choices, recover from relapses, and transition to a clean-and-sober life.
Is it any good?
This voyeuristic series offers an inside look at the different phases of addiction treatment, as well as the various challenges that addicts face on a daily basis in order to live a substance-free lifestyle. Although there are some strong personalities and over-the-top behavior (usually the result of a patient's relapse), the drama really centers on each celebrity's struggles and successes with the recovery process.
Overall, this show could potentially serve as a warning to teens who are -- or have ever been -- tempted to follow the destructive paths of these public figures. But the strong content -- including footage of packets of heroin, syringes, and celebs using and getting sick from drugs and alcohol (most of which is more prominent during the first few episodes) -- isn't meant for kids, with the possible exception of older teens who can understand the context in which all of this damaging behavior is taking place.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the realities of alcohol and drug addiction, as well as the celebrities who struggle publicly with it. Do you think being in the media spotlight makes it harder for someone to become clean and sober? Are media reports about celebrities' addiction problems meant to send a negative message about drug and alcohol abuse, or are they simply gossip? Parents: In an age of celebrity worship and tabloid trash-fests, is it more difficult to raise a well-adjusted, substance-free teen? How does the media both help and hinder your efforts? Families can also discuss the process of coping with addiction. After rehab is over, what efforts do recovering addicts need to make to live a substance-free lifestyle? What if they relapse? How can others support their recovery without enabling or isolating them?