Throughout Pinsky's time hosting MTV's popular Loveline
show—in which he and cohost Adam Carolla (The Dr. Drew and Adam Book) frankly answered teen questions about sex and drugs—Pinsky also ran the drug addiction rehab clinic at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, Calif. In this engaging and well-written memoir, he incorporates a frank description of his work with the "manipulative, secretive, frightened, paranoid and unstable" patients at Las Encinas, a single-story bungalow on 30 acres once used as a Hollywood backdrop (this is where W.C. Fields died and Ozzy Osborne's son recently spent time). Pinsky plays down the Tinseltown connection, preferring to look at his entire range of patients, who represent "every possible facet of society, from the rich to the destitute to the socially prominent to the disconnected." What they share are the typical hot buttons of trauma—"pain, abuse, neglect, abandonment"—and the attempt to ease the pain through drug addiction. Pinsky provides a hard-nosed look at the realities of a detox clinic, from the patients' physical illness and flashbacks to doctors' letdown when a patient quits the program and returns to addiction. Pinsky freely admits that he doesn't know why some people "get it" and stay sober while others can't; at the same time, he openly discusses his own problems ("I turned to rescuing other people the same way my patients turn to drugs and alcohol"). (Sept.)
Loveline is off the air, but Pinsky's nationally syndicated radio show of the same name draws a huge audience, which may help this book's popularity.