Mindy McCready's death is 5th for Dr. Drew's "Celebrity Rehab"


Country singer Mindy McCready became the fifth cast member of Dr. Drew Pinsky's "Celebrity Rehab" series to die since appearing on the show.


Frederick M. Brown

The apparent suicide of country star Mindy McCready turned the spotlight on on a troubling trend coming out of one celebrity rehab reality show.

McCready became the fifth cast member of VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Pinsky to die shortly after appearing on the show, reports AP.

The 37-year-old singer participated in season three of the reality show trying to battle her issues with alcohol and prescription drugs. She allegedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the porch of her Arkansas home on Sunday, reports CNN.

McCready's season of Celebrity Rehab, filmed in 2009, has already seen more than its share of loss. Three of the nine participants have now lost their lives shortly after appearing on the series.

According to the NY Daily News, Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr died of a drug overdose in 2011, and former "Real World" cast member Joey Kovar died in 2012 from opiate intoxication, believed to be prescription painkillers.

Season two participants Rodney King and actor Jeff Conaway also lost their battles with substance abuse. King was found dead in his swimming pool in 2012. An autopsy showed that the police brutality victim had a mixture of cocaine, alcohol and marijuana in his system.

"Grease" star Conaway died in 2011 of health complications from years of substance abuse.

The deaths have amped up criticism of Pinksy's work and the helpfulness of trying to fight an addiction while in front of TV cameras.

Singer Richard Marx compared Pinsky to the so-called suicide doctor, Jack Kevorkian.

"I think "Dr" Drew Pinsky should change his name to Kevorkian. Same results." he wrote on his Twitter page.

Marx later backed down and said he had gone too far.

"It is, however, my opinion that what Dr. D does is exploitation and his TV track record is not good," Marx wrote. "And any doctor who attaches himself to reality tv is knowingly blurring the lines between treatment and ratings."

VH1 quietly pulled Celebrity Rehab from air after its fifth season, replacing it with a non-celebrity show called Rehab with Dr Drew.

Bob Forrest, a chemical dependency counselor who worked with Pinsky on Season 3 of "Celebrity Rehab" told AP that criticizing Pinsky has only distracted from the real issues.

"Regardless of your feelings about how we do it with the TV show, calling Dr. Drew 'Dr. Kevorkian,' what kind of dialogue is that?" he said.

"It's a good headline. We're going through a growth spurt in regards to who we are as a country. I really feel there's something going on in America beyond Mindy McCready's death."