updated 02/04/2011 AT 7:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/05/2011 AT 8:00 AM ET
Another round of partying and another trip to the hospital ended with Charlie Sheen going back into treatment for at least the third time – only now it’s personal.
Surrounded by a team of professionals, the Two and Half Men star will attend no meetings with other patients, check into no center. He could do it all at home or in some other private setting.
But is this what’s best for the long-troubled 45-year-old actor?
“Treatment of addiction is a group process when done properly – not an individual thing at all,” says one of the strongest skeptics, Dr. Drew Pinsky. “It’s realistic that people want to retain their privacy, but even Tiger Woods found a quality program and was honest with a group of peers and they maintained anonymity.”
Pinksy points out that Woods isn’t the only high-profile celebrity to undergo treatment in a group facility.
Treatment in a Bubble?
“Robert Downey Jr. – there’s another story – dropping out and doing the do, getting serious about [his] sobriety. That’s the priority. Those people get better.”
But Ken Seeley, founder of Intervention911.com, sees an upside to rehabilitating in an individual setting.
“When you’re in a facility, you’re in a bubble,” he says. “You’re not in everyday reality. When you go home, there’s a transition period that is pretty delicate and a lot of people relapse at that time.”
By avoiding that transition time and rehabbing at home, “you’re able to live your life the way you would normally live it,” Seeley adds.
At-home treatment has “worked for the ones who have hit rock bottom,” he says. “They have wanted to change. My concern with Charlie Sheen at this point is, I don’t know if he’s hit that rock bottom. I’m just hoping he comes forth and he’s showing the surrender that really needs to happen in order to grasp on to recovery and make that change.”
Either way, addiction counselors agree that this is a novel idea – for good reasons.
“The likelihood of success is lower at home because there are a lot more temptations,” says David Sack, CEO of Promises Treatment Centers in Malibu, where Sheen once went for therapy. “The bigger the house, the more places you have to hide your drug stash. When people say they’re trying to rehab at home, very often they are thinking, ‘How do I get away from whomever is watching me and babysitting me so I can go and use?’ ”
Sheen’s manager, Mark Burg, notes that the actor already has tried in-patient rehab “and it didn’t work.”
“So he is trying something different,” says Burg. “Charlie has put together a team that he trusts including [a top] drug intervention specialist, counselor, registered nurse, sober companion and security to help get him sober once and for all.”
With additional reporting by CYNTHIA WANG, MONICA RIZZO and ELIZABETH LEONARD