'Celeb Rehab' Doc's Facility Has 3 Deaths in 5 Months

'I Hold Him Responsible'

When Alex Clyburn entered Las Encinas, a clinical registered nurse at the facility told the family he would be monitored every 15 minutes in the hours after he was admitted, but his mother said that didn't happen. According to the Los Angeles Times, the mental health worker involved in Clyburn's case has since been fired.

"He was absolutely not checked on every 15 minutes," said Arline Clyburn. "We left him at 10 p.m. in the evening. He was at 7:15 in the morning found stiff, rigid and unresponsive in his room lying in his bed.

"The paramedics called and arrived and pronounced him stiff and rigid and they didn't even perform CPR, and at 7:45 he was pronounced dead."

Clyburn said that one of the reasons the family chose Las Encinas was her son's admiration for Pinsky after watching the first season of "Celebrity Rehab."

"I picked it because of a couple of things, one of which was the professional people who were experts in chemical dependency, and our son had been watching Dr. Drew Pinsky's program on TV and was very impressed with his level of success," she said. "He was considered a national expert. "

"I think Dr. Drew is responsible for the quality of care on that unit and he should have known that there needed to be corrections made," said Clyburn, who said she plans to sue the hosptial for malpractice.

"I hold him responsible for my son's death, yes."

'Where You Find Addicts, You Find Drugs'

Daniel Gatlin, the executive director of Renaissance Malibu, another high-end rehabilitation facility that allowed ABC News' video cameras inside his facility to chronicle Daniel Baldwin's rehabilitation in 2007, characterized Encinas' reputation as "up and down" over the years, suggesting that the facility's recent surge in media attention may have been detrimental to its ability to provide good patient care.

"[Las Encinas'] layout makes it harder to watch patients," said Gatlin. "There are a lot of little buildings on the grounds, and when people are that vulnerable you need to be watching them closely."

Pinsky acknowledged that the expansive facility does lead to what he referred to as "challenges" for the unit managers.

"It's for sure a challenge on my unit in terms of keeping drugs out," said Pinsky. "But that's a challenge of any chemical dependency program -- it's just an extra one [at Las Encinas]. Where you find addicts, you find drugs. But we are hypervigilant."

Las Encinas spokesman Steve Jennings declined to comment specifically about allegations that the hospital staff was not properly monitoring its patients. Instead, he reiterated the hospital's commitment to providing the best possible care to patients.

"Las Encinas Hospital has been committed to quality patient care and service to the community for over 100 years, and will continue to do so," said Jennings.

Does Celeb Clientele Mean Less Attention for the Average Addict?

Las Encinas and Pinsky developed reputations for treating high-profile patients after Pinsky appeared on "Celebrity Rehab," leading some to question whether the fame and fortune of high-profile clients somehow distracts hospital staff from other patients. "Celebrity Rehab" was not filmed at Las Encinas.

"I'm sure neglecting [average patients] could happen," said Gatlin, who described high-profile patients as "high-maintenance." "It behooves anyone who is going to deal with celebrities in a hospital setting to have a well-trained staff."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...