Drug Abuse Haunts Suburbia

A suburban mother admits she had to give in to her drug addiction before appearing on a CBS special with Dr. Phil McGraw.

"I had to shoot up, 'cause I would show up…like a wicked person that couldn't function. And because I'm going to see Dr. Phil, I want to be fully conscious when he hits me over the head with a frying pan."

The confession comes from a woman CBS News can identify only as "Joani."

It's disturbing TV, observes CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker.

"I've been interviewing people on television for 8 years," says McGraw. "I believe it is the first time I've ever had anybody actually shoot up with a narcotic minutes before they sat down with me. And we have cameras rolling during this."

A wife, a mother, a nurse, Joani is not what you'd expect in a drug addict, Whitaker points out.

Calling Joani's story "kind of shocking" and "kind of extreme," Whitaker asks McGraw if Joani is "representative…emblematic of what's going on in America."

"It is very shocking, but it is not extreme," McGraw answers.

He asserts it's time to recognize there's an epidemic of drug addiction sweeping suburban America: "We always thought about this happening in the back alleys, on the street corners, in bad parts of town, where there was a pusher. …Not true.

"We wanted to take what we believe is a good representative of a suburban mom, a soccer mom, that's out there driving carpools, doing all the things that we normally do, who in fact is a drug addict."

Notes Whitaker: "Shooting up and popping pills like candy."
  • Brian Dakss

Comments