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28.
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Nov
25.
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Will Smith,Jennifer & Shelly Sprague

REHAB” Graduation BONUS SCENE


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Nov
19.
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Jennifer Gimenez On The Season Finale Of Rehab With Dr. Drew: Grateful

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Rehab With Dr Drew
Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who has battled demons on her own, who’s incredibly proud of this season’s group of patients and explains

 

During graduation, we saw Dr. Drew sending off each patient, did the rest of you get to says a few words to the patients too?

At the end of treatment there’s usually some kind of goodbye, not usually so formal like this one, usually you get a coin for accomplishing the whole program, but we all got to say something to a patient. We were told who we were going to talk about and it was really nice. When I watched them walk into the graduation, I got really teary-eyed, because I’ve experienced something with each one of them, and to watch them look so different from when they came in just left me awestruck. It was very emotional to see that they all came through, including Drewbee. They came in so broken and shattered and now they just have that light in their eyes, that’s the beauty of doing this, for me, being able to be a part of this team means being able to see the hope come back into their eyes. I was told to address Cinnamon, and then I also addressed the whole group, too, because I watched them all kick and scream when they got here, but now they have hope and a glimpse of reality and sobriety. They all got the chance to go into sober living after this show, that was what was so great about this season, they all got the opportunity to go into sober living and still to this day, most of them are in a sober living house and being treated and taken care of by Dr. Sharp and Dr. Drew. I still talk to all of them in some way, whether via phone or text or whatever, and I can see that they’re all still trying.

There was a lot of talk of relapse before they finished treatment, Eric worried that he might, and Jasmen said she worried for Deanna which turned into a big issue between the two of them. Is that common, to think of relapse before you’re even done with rehab? Or is it just a way to address your fears?

I think it’s just part of the reality. Deanna and Jasmen were very close up until the last two days or so, and their last day was an explosion. I was predicting that there would be an explosion mid-way through with them, and the fact that it happened the last day was kind of a miracle, that’s what happens when you get really close. You just never know. They’re all going through different emotions and situations. I think Jasmen was talking to her in a very healthy way and addressing her fears for Deanna, and Deanna realized eventually that it wasn’t about Jasmen, it was about her and her addiction.

Who do you keep in touch with the most?

I keep in touch with Eric and Deanna and Jasmen and Heather, we’re in contact often, but I really have spoken to all of them at some point after the fact, and I know that they’re all doing well, and that five of the eight of them were in sober living as of two weeks ago. They know that if they need any guidance they can pick up the phone and I’m here for them. I’ve learned so much from them and from this experience, and I’ve learned so much about human beings and love and patience and compassion, but I also learned so much on a treatment level. I’m eternally grateful for this season, more so than ever before, because I’m much more trained to work in treatment and to understand this disease. I felt like I was able to handle things differently this season. People ask me why I got back each season, and it’s because I always feel like I have more to offer. The thing I realize about this show is that our purpose is to help people or help people feel something, and if that happens, we’re making a difference and I get to be part of that, and it’s an honor.

I remember the first time I watched the ending of Sober House, I got teary, and I remember somebody asked me how I feel and I said “I feel really sad,” and they were like “Are you sure it’s not proud?” I was afraid to say I was proud, and watching this episode was bittersweet too, it was a proud moment. And this season I also think I proved I could be an action hero without weapons! I’m just so grateful that people welcome the show into their houses, and me too, whether they like me or not, week after week.

How does the show help you, as far as your own treatment and recovery goes?

It helps me immensely. There’s always something happening in the facility that’s meant to be therapeutic for the patients, there’s so much you don’t see, but it’s therapeutic for me too. It just reminds me that I’m only an arm’s length away from my next drink, and this process gives me hope and keeps me sane. I’m so passionate about helping those who need to be helped because I’m constanty reminded of how far down the scale I was. We say that if the show has helped one person, that’s really all that matters, and I can tell you that because of this show, I am still sober.


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Nov
13.
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Jennifer Gimenez Talks Rehab With Dr. Drew Episode 10: The Disease Was Telling Him To Leave

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Jennifer Gimenez Rehab With Dr. Drew

Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who has battled demons on her own, discusses her Drewbee’s sudden departure from rehab and having to chase him (in flip flops) through Pasadena.

You were running all over Pasadena, it looked like, to find Drewbee this week.

I want to tell you what happened during that chase, because you guys didn’t get to see all of it. The thing was, Drewbee really didn’t want the cameras around him anymore, you don’t see a lot of closeups on Drewbee in the last couple of episodes because he was already detaching ever since the night in the alley, . Dr. Drew describes it so wonderfully, he says that what happens is that people withdraw and their disease is so much more powerful and his head injuries make it even deeper for him and his choice to not want to stay there. When his family comes, he has all this guilt and desire to not want to live, and we’re really just here trying to get them to live. To show them that there is hope. When they disconnect like that, the risks are so high at that point.

So I was there with the group and all of a sudden Drewbee just wasn’t there. He dropped the mic and just walked out. He walked so fast and there were no cameras around him at that moment and I ran after him like “Drewbee, what are you doing?” As he walked out, everyone thought I walked out with him, but he was a few steps ahead of me, and he walked up to a tree and I just said “Please, let me just get a hold of Dr. Sharp, and whatever you do, please don’t run north, that’s a bad area,” and he just took off. We were running, I was running after him through the streets and the cameras were chasing me, but he was jumping walls and I was trying to jump with him, and he jumped into two backyards, and before i ran into the second backyard, I was like “What am I doing? I’m going to get eaten by dogs!” and I realized the best thing for me to do was go back and regroup with production and see what we can do. We needed to find him and everyone jumped into their vans — our fear was that Drewbee was going to go down the wrong block and something terrible would happen. I jumped into a van with one of the executive producers and Will got in his van and we were frantically looking for him. I mean, he just wanted drugs. Finally, I see Drewbee and I jumped out, still out of breath from running, and I said to the producer “Don’t ever underestimate me again!” I’m an addict. I knew where I would run if I was him. So I just went out there and tried to talk to him and say “If you’re gonna leave, lets just get back to the center safely so you can discharge.” By law we can’t make them stay. And so I told him, I just don’t want to see you die, and if you leave today, you’re going to die. And he came back because he trusted me.

That was a crazy hour, I was so scared for him while he was out there, it only takes a second for the wrong thing to happen.The statistics for staying sober once you leave rehab are really slim. In a group of eight patients, you’re lucky if two remain sober. The chances of them relapsing are really high. And then if you leave treatment? You’re gonna use. It’s been proven. And because Drewbee is such a hardcore user, the chances of him not using are basically zero.

Was it that his head trauma affected his reasoning and didn’t allow him to come around to the process the way everyone else did?

I think it’s partially the head trauma, but I’ll be honest, it’s just the addict in him. His disease is that strong. He wouldn’t have been there if he didn’t want it a little bit, but the only requirement for relapse is desire. And his desire was there. He’s been in treatment, I think it’s twelve times, and it hasn’t worked. He has a problem staying strong as most addicts do.

When you were chasing Drewbee through the streets, did you realize he would likely end up in a hospital and not back at rehab?

No, once I brought him back — the disease was telling him to leave rehab and find drugs or alcohol, rational thinking no longer exists —  so in that mode, I was thinking maybe he was just having a moment. I wasn’t thinking anything besides “I hope he doesn’t die before I find him.” I was just determined to find him, and I couldn’t believe I found him. When we came back, at the doctor’s suggestion they sent him to the hospital and they did the right thing. But let me just say, there were about six to nine vans out looking for Drewbee on the street, we were all on a mission and were very concerned for him. My primary purpose was just to make sure he wasn’t going to die.


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Nov
06.
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Jennifer Gimenez On Rehab With Dr. Drew Episode 9: Stop Fixating On The Problem, Start Getting Into The Solution

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Jennifer Gimenez Rehab With Dr. Drew

Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who has battled demons on her own, to find out her insider’s perspective on family weekend. (Due to a technical glitch, our interview is a little short this week.)

I know you developed a close relationship with Jasmen, so could you share how she felt upon hearing that her alcoholic father relapsed during family weekend?

Once Jasmen found out her dad drank, it was a let-down. And that goes back to her childhood and the whole idea of “I want to believe my dad and I want to believe his actions will speak louder than words.” He flew all the way out to change things, and then you just see the severity of his alcoholism. He took one sip and that sip led to a whole bottle. You could see it in her eyes during the therapy between her husband and Dr. Drew, when he says “I have a confession, I bought the alcohol,” you can see her anger and disappointment. No matter what, Jasmen should not be drinking, so this was a great example of being uneducated against the effects of alcoholism. Millions of family members out there say “Why don’t you just not drink?” or “Why don’t you just have a sip?” and I guess ignorance is bliss, because alcoholism is a disease and that sip will lead to the entire bottle. There’s so much awareness being brought up at this point and I hope Curtis has taken notice at this point. We weren’t here to tell him “You’re the bad person,” we were here to tell him this is why this can’t happen and now you’re educated.

At one point during the conversation about Jasmen going to sober living, when Curtis was resisting the idea, Dr. Drew said something like “he’s the reason you could die.” Like, the fact that Curtis didn’t want her to continue treatment could be the end of her success. That had to hurt to hear.

Dr. Drew has such an amazing way of executing things, but that is true. We had these kinds of conversations all the time in treatment. We would say it to that person, “This person is going to help you die.” It’s hard for the family to hear but it’s the truth. It’s not about being friends with these people, it’s about saving their lives. My objective there was not to be everybody’s friend, it was to be the voice of reason and to help them to live while we were there. I think it was great that Curtis finally got to see that and understand that.

Deanna is another patient you’ve said you had a good relationship with, so I’d love to know if she spoke with you about her relationship with her mother which seemed to get cleared up and repaired somewhat during the weekend.

You’re talking about the different types of approach that families take with the addicts they love and all these dynamics were just portions of the full sessions, the full two days we spent with them all, there were a lot of ups and downs in those two days, and you’d see the kindness of the family members mixed with other emotions. Deanna’s mom was very, very scared. A mother or father wouldn’t have flown out here to be by their child’s side if they didn’t love them, and you get to see that here. You get to have compassion for her because she was so scared. She said “I’ve tried everything, I’ve tried kindness,” but the harsh stuff her mother said, can I condone it? No. But you get to have more compassion for her when you realize, wow, her mom was at a desperate place. She didn’t know what else to do. That was a really great moment for Deanna and her mom to begin the forgiveness process. It was also important to remove Deanna from the problem, she was so fixated on that problem and we talked about it for weeks. No one ever, ever, ever, deserves to be abused by anyone, but it happens. It’s a horrible thing. But we had to get her away from that and start the healing process. Let’s stop being fixated on the problem so we can get into the solution. This was a great start for them.


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Nov
01.
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Jennifer Gimenez On Rehab With Dr. Drew Episode 8: The Disease Should Scare You

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Jennifer Gimenez Rehab With Dr. Drew

Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who had battled demons on her own, and we got into Drewbee’s constantly changing decisions, and the effect of family on the patients.

I can’t imagine how freaked out everyone must have been to witness Ashleigh’s seizure, that’s a frightening thing to witness.

It is. There’s a part of you that feels so powerless as it’s happening, and medically when we started this season, Dr. Drew has evaluated all the patients and when he evaluated Ashleigh, he was like “She’s going to have a seizure within two weeks.” So thankfully we were prepared, but you never know when it’s going to hit, and there she is at the dog park and boom, it happened. I’m really glad Bob and Shelly were there, I mean, someone is always around the group, but she was in really good hands and they knew how to calm the situation, it was so intense for everyone. When they came back and they all are talking about what happened, I think it’s really good  that they were communicative and able to express what they feel, and it was Michael who said “That was so scary, I was so scared,” and I said “Good, the disease should scare you once you start getting sober.” It’s a good, healthy scare, due to the fact that Ashleigh is okay. It was an eye-opener for them to see what drugs and alcohol do and what the consequences are.

Ashleigh opened up a bit more this week too about her sister’s abuse and how it affected her and it was the first time we really got some openness from her.

Deanna had been so brave in opening up and talking about her own rape and she was feeling the emotion and going through it, and Dr. Drew has said “This is a human experience” and it was something Ashleigh could relate to and it allowed her to no longer hide. You can only keep your secrets for so long, and it’s great that everyone else was kind of calling her out and Dr. Drew and Bob convinced her it was time. You can’t keep hiding. So they were able to call her out, but also let her know that she’s safe.

Bob brought up the fact that there are two types of addicts, those who were neglected or abused and those who were over-loved and smothered a little, like Mike and Drewbee, and those two were actually the addicts who were worse off and I think that surprised them.

I’m so glad that they’re showing that, because that’s talked about a lot in treatment, that overbearing love. Bob talked about the parents, I forget if it was Mike or Drewbee, that would give money to regulate how much they could score, and I say this all the time but it’s true, there really is such a thing as enabling someone into a grave. We, the people who work in treatment, know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, they just need to go through this pain first in order to get through this. But when they know they can go back to their homes and get away with things and manipulate the parents and family in their lives, the family is gonna roll with it. So after this process is done, if someone like Drewbee or Michael’s going to go home, they will die, because they’re going to follow their brain, which is telling them to use, more than they’re going to follow the logic part of it.

You’ve been close to Jasmen, so I’m wondering what you think of her session with her dad, they seem to have much more open communication than they did in the past.

They did, and you’re talking about a father whom she inherited the alcohol gene from, he was in the penitentiary, and the drugs and alcohol had led him to the bottom of the barrel, and there was a lot of pain shared between them. It was such a moment for both of them, they both love each other and that was the beginning of them starting to heal. I think it was so important for him to say that his actions speak louder than words. He knew that. Addicts and alcoholics say a lot of things, and we have great intentions but horrific execution when we’re using. So her father had let her down her whole life, but he was also so young when all this happened, as was her mother, remember that. I love how raw and honest he was and ready to say the truth.

When he sat with the rest of the group to talk about his experience, it made me realize how many of the patients have parents with an addiction and it was great to see him share his story with everyone.

Addicts and alcoholics really respect other people that come from the street or that have lived a hard life, and that guy was no joke, he was the real deal. So you’re looking at this man and you will hear his words because you know he’s wise. Again, addicts and alcoholics are very intelligent and they’re going to spot that he’s the real deal right away. So just walking in, he earns their respect.

Before Drewbee’s parents came in, he had pretty much decided to skip sober living and continued treatment, is that something that he had discussed with you or were you surprised by his decision?
I don’t think any of them were thinking about sober living, except for Eric, who arrived and said “I have packed up all my things and I’m not going back.” And the funny thing was that he’s the one who kept threatening to leave treatment. After the night of the alley, Drewbee started detaching and disconnecting and I think I mentioned that you’re going to start seeing him detach more and more, and I think that’s only due to the disease, all the injuries he’s had, and how his brain isn’t making any sense. He can’t think right now. He had already started withdrawing, if it wasn’t the cameras, it was something else, and he was always agitated. And with the family coming in, he started withdrawing even more. He had no desire to continue with anything, he was adamant that his disease has more sense and more strength than his recovery. But Dr. Drew said you can’t actually believe in what’s happening with him because his decisions will constantly change. It was heartbreaking to see his parents in there sobbing hysterically, his father could die from a broken heart at that point and knowing that their kid does not want to continue treatment, they know what that means.


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Oct
22.
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Jennifer Gimenez On Episode 7 Of Rehab With Dr. Drew: Loaded Souls

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Jennifer Gimenez Rehab With Dr. Drew

Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who had battled demons on her own, and she offered up her insight and some behind-the-scenes details for this episode, ranging from Eric running away and his emotional reunion with his mother, to Deanna‘s obsession with Tupac.

So in the aftermath of the gang showdown, once everyone returned to the facility, it was still pretty much just mayhem. What was going on with you that whole time that Eric was running and you were trying to prevent Deanna from walking out?

It was more important for me to stay with the group than leave and go looking for Eric, because you can’t leave the group alone. It was more important for me to talk Deanna out of leaving, and at one point I started crying and she looked at me like “Are you crying for me?” and I nodded and she was like “Oh! I think I’ll stay then!” They don’t show that, but I think she realized that people there were caring about her. The good thing was that they were all talking about what happened — even if it wasn’t the kindest words, but they were talking it out and starting to communicate what washappening because it was such a traumatic experience. While Eric was running, thankfully there were cameras that at least knew where he was. It was so traumatic, and a lot of people are asking me “How did you feel?” or “Why didn’t you have any protection?” and I really was in survival mode at that point, my mission was just to care for them. It wasn’t me trying to figure out anything about me until the night was done.

It came out that a few of the women in the group were a little bit traumatized by Eric’s aggression and tone that he took because of their histories and their past experience with abuse. Knowing the similar past you had, were you upset or ever worried that Eric would lash out at you?

When Eric was yelling and doing his thing, I know that has nothing to do with me. If they don’t like me or react to me in a certain way, I know it has nothing to do with me, because they don’t really know me. I knew that with Eric, it wasn’t about me, what it was was that I was his authority figure. And with Eric, it was always about his authority figure, and how his authority figure, his mother, has always let him down. So I knew that from day one, but I knew he wasn’t there to hurt me. What the girls saw and what upset them, I said this last week a little but, when they saw me get thrown around outside near the van, they had no idea what was going on, and they saw me getting tossed around and they went into their own trauma, in their past.

You mentioned Eric’s issues with authority figures, but it was also brought up this week that he might have issues with women. In your case, was it that you were his authority figure, or that you were a woman in charge?

Let me clarify, Eric has issues with authority figures, but with his female authority figures especially, it was a whole other ballgame. We did get very close, but his mentality was that I was going to let him down, as his past has proven that to him and made him believe that.

I’m glad that Eric’s mom and his aunt were both there this week to get the family dimension of his story out there. Did his mother know all his resentment toward her prior to that session?

I believe family counseling is amazing because you have a third party there, and you’re talking about a sick mother, a sick aunt, and a sick son. Three sick people who are, as Dr. Drew said, harboring all these issues their whole lives and you don’t hear it. I love how Bob and Dr. Drew say to Eric [after his mom talks about her drug use] “Don’t you have compassion for her now?” That doesn’t take away from the fact that this young kid was hurt by his mom, the young boy in Eric was hurt, and I’m sure she knew it. Eric had no coping skills or ways to talk about it, and here he is now talking about it, and I think it’s going to take a very long time for him to heal.

Later in the episode, Deanna has a bit of drama when her boyfriend, who has just been released from prison, finds some love letters of hers from other men. Can you tell me more about what happened with them?

She admits, and you hear her say this, that she did things because of drugs, and she got together with other people. I don’t know if she would have done that if she wasn’t on drugs, I just know that that’s what happened. Their whole relationship though is so sick anyway, though. They got a beautiful child out of it, but he was in jail for selling drugs and she was doing drugs and it was very volatile and unhealthy. The irony of her being in treatment just as he’s about to leave prison after she hasn’t seen or touched him in three years is pretty wild and the irony, in that sense, is beautiful, that she was able to cope with that.

It was shocking to hear her discuss also how many times she has been robbed and raped in her life, it was almost as if those things were just routine and no longer traumatic for her.

Well, I think you have to realize that these are survival modes. Deanna said she was molested at age seven so her history is so long for her and through drugs and alcohol it became more, and more, and more. At this point she’s an abuse survivor, it’s what she knows and in order to survive that, you have to numb yourself. It’s like a disassociation, those are her coping mechanisms, and when you talk about abuse like that, it was so powerful to hear her say she felt dirty and bad about being abused. That is so typical in people who have been raped or abused, you feel bad about it. My heart broke watching that. So many women can relate or have gone through that.

Dr. Drew also pointed out that she gets a little high from bad things and living on the edge. Does that beget having bad things happen to her? Was it a thrill for her to put herself in dangerous situations?

I think that she the lifestyle of it, almost like, the “glamorous” side. Like, she loved Tupacloved — and it was funny because at first she tried to be really tough with me and then she found out I was in a Tupac video and she was like “You don’t understand, he’s my idol!” It was the only time I ever saw her have any emotion, and she actually had a tear coming down. I was like “You have a feeling!” and we started laughing because you see her breaking through that. Se was glamorizing this life but I was like “This guy died!” and I was really trying to get her to realize how glamorous it is NOT. To be in that gangster lifestyle, I was like, that’s movies and fiction, babe. So I think she sought out more of that than having bad things happen to her. She sold drugs, her man was in jail, it was the thug life she was into. She had those crazy ails like knives and eventually she let me file them down but when she even just allowed me to talk to her about them, it was a miracle. She was a loaded soul and when she let her guard down, she was beautiful.


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Oct
15.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Jennifer Gimenez On Episode 6 Of Rehab With Dr. Drew: “Never, Ever, Ever Walk Down A Dark Alley”

by (@lizburrito)

Rehab With Dr. Drew
Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who had battled demons on her own, and she offered up her insight and some behind-the-scenes details for this episode, which involved a scary episode involving two runaway cast members who find themselves in the middle of gang territory. Though everything ended safely, Jenn gave us the real story of how the situation spun out of control and the entire group was put in danger.

Tell me the story of what really happened between the guys who approached you, Eric and Drewbee.

We were at the AA meeting and within three minutes, Eric and Drew decided to go outside and smoke a cigarette, and within moments, they left. I was running around the streets of north Pasadena looking for them, which is not a very good neighborhood, and there are some gang houses around there, it’s just not a safe neighborhood. So the guys decide to take a walk and I’m running down the street in an unsafe place, and I find them in a dark alley. I ran up and, you know, that whole confrontation between the three of us lasted longer than what you guys see, and I told them “You’re lucky nothing happened to you guys.” They were like “Chill out, enough already!” and I was like “No, you don’t get to leave the group and you didn’t even let me know! What if something happened?” and boom, this car comes around.

I don’t even know how long it lasted, it could have been five, ten, fifteen minutes, but I was talking to those guys in Spanish when they started saying they were going to “collect their taxes” and what I found out later is that they meant they were going to collect me. They wanted to collect a ransom. One of them tried to grab me, but I was holding on to Eric, basically holding him back so he wouldn’t fight them, but they couldn’t get me. Then they left and Eric said something as they were leaving and they came back two minutes later. When they came back, they came out of the car with guns, and when that happened, Drewbee ran. Eric’s mentality was “fists first, knives second.” He’s from South Boston and I was like “We don’t do that in L.A.” He was sure they didn’t have guns, and when they came out of the car, Eric wanted to fight them, and what he doesn’t realize is that in L.A., gang mentality here is probably different than where he grew up.

We were with our camera guy and one of our storyteller/producers and they were telling me we needed cars to get out of there, but I was trying to protect Eric and that was a big battle, I was getting thrown down to the ground just to hold on to Eric. So as everyone else filed out of the group meeting, everyone sees me getting attacked, that’s what they were seeing, but in reality, Eric and the producer were trying to protect me. Jasmen had a lot of trauma from being abused and beaten, which she talks about on the show, and she went into trauma mode and wanted to protect me, but the reality was that I was being protected.

What was so scary for me was that my instinct was to protect instead of run, and it went far beyond the call of duty and my job description, so when we finally got in the van, I just burst out crying. I almost got shot for a TV show. With all sincerity, it was the scariest experience of my life and it lasted a lot longer than what you guys see. The fact that nothing happened to us is the greatest blessing ever. Once I got into the van and started to cry, the van went silent, everyone had finally seen me break. I think the severity of what happened made everyone react, and by the time we got to PRC, that’s when all the fights broke out.

Why did they even approach you in the first place, were you on their turf, or were they just trying to mess with you for fun?

We were in a dark alley. You should never, ever, ever walk down a dark alley, especially in a really bad neighborhood. If you see two guys who don’t look like they’re from L.A., especially who are followed by a camera, I don’t know, I think it might have been a mixture of both, you’ve got these two white kids walking down a dark alley in a gang neighborhood and a Latin crazy girl going off on them…I don’t know. I started speaking Spanish to the guys, begging them not to do anything. Production realized what I went trough was a traumatizing experience and offered to give me a few days off and I just looked at them and told them “My job’s not done, I’m not going to leave now,” I wanted to finish the show and it wouldn’t have been fair to the group.

What happened when you got back to the facility and everyone started fighting?

I was getting pushed around a lot that night! I was in between every single fight and I didn’t want anyone to get hurt and I didn’t want Eric to leave. I was trying to calm everyone down and that just went on for a while. Everybody was upset and I didn’t really have a chance to be upset myself except for that minute in the van when I was like “Oh my God, my poor mom almost got that phone call that I got shot,” but the truth is, I had to get serious, you’re in fight or flight mode, and they were all scared and scared for Eric, they didn’t want him to leave.

He went through five or six days where he was constantly like “I’m leaving, I’m leaving!” and at that point he made up his mind that he was leaving. And it was up to me to get him to stay and yet I’m running around just trying to calm the unit down. It was a night of a good four hours of intense drama.

So Eric does run away in the end, what’s the process when someone takes off from the facility like that?

Going through those double doors, if they leave those double doors, they’re automatically discharged. Because of all the drama, I wasn’t going to discharge anyone that night, but Eric was like, “Gimme my stuff,” and I couldn’t leave the facility or go outside to give him his stuff. If he leaves, I can’t stop him, so he took off running in the dark, at night, and I couldn’t stop him. Thank God the cameras were following him to realize where he was going, because I believe he would have died that night.

Do you think that because he would have found drugs and used?

I think something bad would have happened, whether he used or got into trouble, it wouldn’t have ended well for him, you’re talking about being in a bad neighborhood you don’t know, at night. I’m just so thankful that no one got killed or hurt, there is so much you guys didn’t see and I wish you saw more of what really happened and all of us, including the camera man, we were so scared. Someone could have gotten killed.


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Oct
09.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Jennifer Gimenez Talks Rehab With Dr. Drew Episode 5: Jasmen’s Secret

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Rehab With Dr. Drew
Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who had battled demons on her own, and she offered up her insight and some behind-the-scenes details for this episode that dealt with Jasmen’s miscarriage, now that her would-be due date approached. Jenn had told me what happens in this episode prior to my watching it because she knew that I’m currently also four months pregnant, and within the episode she also revealed her own miscarriage of a child at four and a half months. Overall, it was a tough thing to watch for anyone but Jasmen’s story resonated strongly for both of us.

You warned me about this episode and just how emotional and hard it would be, and I admit I watched it once and I don’t think I’ll watch it again, there were some things Jasmen revealed that were incredibly hard to hear. How did you feel re-living it as you watched?

Watching the show back, I was pretty much speechless. I was like, “What am I really feeling right now?” Because, you know, I do reveal that I myself have gone through what Jasmen has gone through and I lost a baby at four and a half months pregnant and it was a very traumatizing experience. I think there’s a lot of times where you ask why..why did that happen? Especially in recovery, they say that only through your experiences can you help other people, and experiencing this with Jasmen was as much a healing process for me and it made me realize that this is why I went through this and was able to get through this, in order to help somebody else. I had a lot of closure, to be honest with you. On a selfish level and on a healing level, really. This was one of the most profound reasons why Jasmen drinks and that shame and hurt and remorse she has and that secret she has, you’re only as sick as your secrets and here she is revealing hers, and there’s so much closure. She’s not fighting with Erica because she doesn’t like Erica, they don’t really know each other not to like each other, she’s just acting out. To watch this, I was mourning watching this, but I was also happy that we had each other to go through this together.

She told you there was even more to her story than just the miscarriage, and then we learned that she got rid of the baby’s body on her own and that’s what was killing her. Did you know part two of her story before she told the group?

It was a shocker to me, I did not know about that part, she just keep saying “There’s something more, I’ll tell you soon,” and the first time she told me, it was in front of the group. That’s a strong place to do it. She went through the experience word for word in explaining how it all happened, and she went into the nooks and crannies of her story so she didn’t have to hold on to it anymore. I thought it was so healing for her and so beautiful that she was able to do that. I suggested we have a memorial, a little funeral service for the baby because she says she never go to bury the baby, and that’s what you didn’t see, the group actually held that service for the baby. At the end when you see us all hugging, that’s what we were doing. The whole group united for Jasmen.

Her story was clearly nothing that they expected to hear, you could see the shock on their faces, did things start to make sense to them about why she had been aggressive and hard to deal with up to that point?

As soon as she told the group, you could see the shock, they’re all kind of looking toward Dr. Sharp and I, and I just got up and followed her because I didn’t want her to feel ashamed as she walked away. There’s a lot lot lot of tears going on. Everyone just bonded together and that’s what the unity of a group setting should be like and they did it organically. I will also say that it was such a healing process, and especially seeing the men’s reactions to all of it. You could see Drewbee and Michael and Eric and how broken they were for her. The women too, but I wasn’t expecting the men to be so sensitive and so caring toward her, I was very inspired by that.

Was this situation the turning point in her addiction, or was she always as much of an alcoholic before this happened?

This was the turning point for her. She was already an alcoholic and she was already doing the things she was doing, but once that happened it just went downhill, it was that straw that broke the camel’s back. I’d also like to say that the one other great thing about this episode between Erica and Jasmen, my hat goes off to Erica because she actually confronted Jasmen in a very grown up way and used her tools to work things out with Jasmen. Normally in recovery, that doesn’t happen that quickly and I was very happy to see that, and I hope that’s something Erica is using in her life today. That communication.

Even before Jasmen told her story, it was interesting to see how much of an affect she and her aggression and her behavior had an effect on the group, between Erica and Heather and everyone.

And Heather even says it, these are the reasons why they drink, when she says “I normally would have had a drink at this point.” This is one of the reasons people drink, once they’re in their addiction, this is a greater reason to drink and these are triggers for them and they don’t know how to cope with this or show their emotions yet. So I think this is actually a really good thing that’s happening here, people are starting to feel things.

At the beginning of the episode, Jasmen seemed convinced that she could control herself and her drinking on her own and that seemed to worry everyone. Did that shift at all after she made her big reveal?

Oh, absolutely, it definitely changed. Carrying that secret was a weight and once she got through this and she revealed that secret, she got through this with the group and with me and was like “Oh! This is what recovery looks like.” When you;re going through these things and people are supporting you and no one’s judging you for it. You go, oh, that’s the common bond, we get to go through things together and there should only be support, and I think that really changed for Jasmen.


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Oct
04.
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5)
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Jennifer Gimenez Talks Rehab With Dr. Drew Episode 4: Part Of The Grieving Process

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Jennifer Gimenez Rehab With Dr. Drew
Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who had battled demons on her own, and she offered up her insight and some behind-the-scenes details for this episode. Tonight we discuss Erika’s false positive drug test, Ashleigh’s agitation toward the rest of the group, and Jasmen’s need for family support.

At the end of the last episode, it appeared we were dealing with appositive drug test, but tonight we saw that it was like all a ruse and it wasn’t positive after all, it was just the effects of having benzos in her system.

I know! Here’s the thing though, benzos normally stay in your system for a while, but it was her behavior that was concerning me and I believed the rest of the patients were very concerned for her and the fact that she also had her boyfriend there, who was not really in a lot of acceptance of his own part of the whole situation and how tumultuous that relationship is. It was concerning us; I mean she was definitely not Erika for a good four hours or so, it was a little bit longer than four hours, and I was watching her behavior, and everyone kept coming up and coming up and I’m not going to just jump the gun, we don’t normally do that in treatment, like go “Oh ok! Someone thinks she’s high!” But you’re going to observe and her behavior just got more and more out of control and I do say in there that I was concerned ’cause her eyes at one point were like rolling back and her pupils were so dilated that it was a concern, but thankfully we did the procedures that we needed to do and we tested her and we talked to Dr. Drew, we checked the medications, and we went through what standard procedure is in treatment, but it was good that that it ended up being a result of her not using.

Was she annoyed by everybody doubting her?

I think she started getting more paranoid, I don’t think she was so annoyed, as much as she was just really scared at one point, but she wasn’t annoyed with the group. I think she was more scared and felt bad and she realized that it was going out of control and it was spinning out of control for her.

So everybody in this episode is just on edge. So I’m wondering if you can talk about that a little bit just as far as in your own experience how bad that can get and if it can cause a lot of friction among people in these group settings?

Well this is definitely the agitation show on this episode, because they’re all feeling feelings that they’re not used to. The getting off of drugs and alcohol now, it’s day four, day five, and feelings start coming in that they’re not used to coping with and there is a lot of issues and there’s a lot of issues that they have not ever in their life dealt with. They lost coping skills and all of sudden they’re in a small environment with people they don’t know, and feelings are kicking in, and you’re gonna see them unravel, and get very angry. It’s part of the grieving process; they’re grieving the loss of drugs and alcohol, and then starting to see their reality just a tiny bit. They’re learning to cope and we’re trying to give them some tools and we allow them to process and to kind of work things out on their own. Eric starts really kind of unfolding – his reality is kicking in and he does not have any coping skills whatsoever and he just wants to run.

Ashleigh definitely seemed agitated and had a lot of feelings against the group this week.

No one’s ever gonna go through the same things at the same time, so you’re gonna see their emotions act out in different situations, such as, Ashleigh likes to have her way, certain things in a certain way and, look, they don’t know how to live. It was sloppy, and it was disgusting and we would have them clean, and there was always people cleaning as well, and you just can’t follow them around like a parent, and there has to come a point where you say something and that was what I was saying with Ashleigh. At one part in the show you see me saying to her “You don’t have to attack them,” ’cause her first thing she’s holding, holding, holding everything in and then she shuts down then she’s like. It’s going to come out and I’m trying teach her how to communicate, this is all about communicating and learning to find your voice and to find a balance voice. So she got to come and process it with me and then she did it in the group, and then she act out on Eric. I think she was holding it in and finally she just let it out and it could be somebody looking at you the wrong way or it could be the ashtrays, or it could real — if you take that situation away, she’s still going to have these responses. I’m glad that she was able to have them in treatment.

The other thing that struck me this week was Jasmen’s mother, who was not supportive of her decision to want to stay in a sober living facility and take a continued recess from her regular life. I’m just wondering if it’s disheartening to hear that kind of conversation, it just felt like in that moment her mom was going against what was best for her.

Yeah I mean, look there’s a lot of parents and there’s a lot family members and loved ones that will not go on this journey of recovery with you and it is sad. There’s some people that will be supportive and they really do ultimately and I really do believe that Jasmen’s mom, she definitely wants her daughter better. Jasmen and I had started getting very close and to see what the beautiful thing was, that she all of sudden really did want to get sober, not just like clean up, but she really wanted recovery. She started believing that there was a better way of living and the fact that she was actually voicing this was so important. I say that a lot to people when I work in treatment or if people in recovery, it’s like you know your parents or family members may not want to do this with you and this is where it becomes a selfish program and it’s about you. Do you want to live and do you want to be there for — with Jasmen’s case, for her daughter, for her life, does she want to show up for it, and she’s going to have to take matters into her own hand. She’s an adult and hopefully she starts seeing that, which I do believe she is seeing it, she wants a better life for herself. The seed has been planted and it’s starting to grow, which is a beautiful thing.

I feel like I always gloss over Michael in that way you guys have said that people gloss over a kid like him in treatment because he’s sort of under the radar and seems like he’s doing pretty well. But this week he got a little bit of attention, just because it was hard to pinpoint his reason or the catalyst for he started doing drugs and what his deeper issues were. I’m wondering if it’s common for somebody like him – he says he deals with low self-esteem and he has guilt; if that’s just as prevalent as somebody who’s had major trauma, to start their addiction?

Absolutely. Again Michael is and does fit that beautiful quote of “the All-American Guy, the All-American Boy,” but again let’s not mistake that he is a level 10 addict and has the gene of this disease and he has exposed himself to it, so even though he’s kind and he’s sweet, he’s really endearing, he’s so intelligent, and he has a really good heart, there is also something deep rooted in him. I think that there is more and more will be revealed as you see that, I believe. Sometimes it takes them a little while to unfold and to start really starting to see the things. The bottom line is he’s an addict and he has the gene and he exposed himself to the disease. Even though he says the right things and is sweet and well-mannered and grew up correctly, with a family that loves him, that still doesn’t take away the fact that he suffers from this disease and I think it’s extremely important because there’s a lot of Michaels out there. There’s a lot, a lot, a lot of Michaels that can just get by and hide that. “I hid it for a long time until I couldn’t hide it. I was loved; I was loved as a child and grew up that way.” I understand where Michael is coming from and just speaking with him, we don’t want to necessarily just throw at him what his issues are, we want him to be able to see as well. The guilt, shame, and remorse, there’s more to it. What else is there? The self-esteem, low self-worth and all that it definitely adds to his disease.  Also, I mean at the end of the day he’s an addict. He does the same thing that everyone else with addiction does.


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