Although he began his career as a heart surgeon, Dr. Mehmet Oz has become known for tackling topics on his popular talk show ranging from celebrities' personal health problems to holistic health advances.
On his September 10 episode, Dr. Oz invited Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler to open up about his struggles with addiction. And what's clear from Steven's admissions: Drug addiction takes its toll both physically and emotionally.
“My sobriety cost me nothing less than everything,” confessed Steven, who wrote about his past in "Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir." Reflecting on what happened when he hit rock-bottom in his addiction: “I lost everything. It’s serious when you lose your kids, your children, your wife, your band, your job and you’ll never understand why because you’re an addict. You can’t figure that out.”
What proved to be Steven's turning point: He realized that his children were affected. “Two of them never saw me high until about seven years ago,” Steven revealed. “I had a bunch of operations and simply didn’t follow my program, and I kept the drugs by the side of my bed, so I just did more instead of doing what was prescribed. Remember, I’m a very good drug addict because I’ve done it for so many years."
Dr. Harry L. Haroutunian joined Dr. Oz and Steven to discuss his views as Physician Director, Residential Day Treatment at Betty Ford Center. Steven reflected on rehab and 12-step groups. One of the biggest shockers of the conversation: Steven contends that some doctors actually take on the role of drug dealers by writing prescriptions without investigating to see if the patient might have a history of addiction.
What Steven made clear to viewers: It's a long, rough road from hitting bottom as an addict to sobriety. In the past, he has credited his experiences at the Betty Ford Center for helping, and his discussion with Dr. Oz made it clear that for him, rehab played a critical role in recovery.
When she passed away, Steven told CNN, “Betty Ford took a risk at one of the worst times of her life and came forward to share a message of recovery in order to serve other. Her vision, passion and amazing heart led to the Betty Ford Center, the gold standard of treatment facilities. She will be missed, but her work in recovery will live on.”