Return to Transcripts main page
Born into Addiction; Interview with Former Porn Star
Aired July 9, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: All right. Here we go.
Babies being born addicted to prescription painkillers. The epidemic of the 21st century, pregnant women and new moms popping pills in unbelievable numbers.
And the woman known as Penny Flame answers the question: can a young woman recover from being a porn star? She and I are taking your questions and calls.
Let`s get started.
PINSKY: I think everyone is familiar with the idea of a crack baby, but what about pill babies? Well, according to the "Journal of the American Medical Association," more than 13,000 babies a year are born in this country alone hooked on prescription painkillers, OxyContin, Vicodin, Hydrocodone, other narcotic opiates. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): In the `80s, it was crack babies. Now, it is pill babies, women taking prescription pills while pregnant. The statistics are alarming. A new study suggests a baby is born in the U.S. every hour in withdrawal from opiates.
Why are so many women doing this and what are the affects on the children?
We will talk to a woman who took prescription drugs while pregnant and explore the repercussions it has had on her life and her son`s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Joining me now is RN and herself a recovering addict, Joani Gammill, author of "The Interventionist". She took opiates, painkillers while pregnant. Her 5-year-old son has autism and she continues to blame herself as though -- Joanie, I think you think that had something to do with your son`s autism?
JOANI GAMMILL, AUTHOR, "THE INTERVENTIONIST": Well, you know, we took him to Kennedy Krieger and got the diagnosis of autism. I was very frank and very honest with Kennedy Krieger and told them I had taken Tylenol number three towards the end of the second trimester and throughout the rest of the pregnancy. And they told me that there was a lot of moms that had never done narcotics, that have children with autism.
But I still think it`s a cautionary tale because as an RN, I look at autism much like cancer. They believe there`s many environmental factors that come together to turn on a certain disease. And so, they believe that to be true with autism. And so, I don`t think it helped it and I think as a mom, I`ll never let myself completely off the hook, even though Kennedy Krieger has.
It`s just not advisable and it was a relapse. I was not -- my back was not any problems, but I was relapsing and I went back to the pain doctor who had given me OxyContin for many years. And we went with Tylenol number three because it was a lower dose.
PINSKY: Wait a minute, Joanie, I want to interrupt. I got to interrupt.
So you mean you were pregnant, second trimester of pregnancy, you were a known opiate addict and a physician knew you were pregnant and an addict and still prescribed you opiates?
GAMMILL: Yes. But, you know, Dr. Drew, we can be very pervasive. I know I said this on your last show. Doctors get a -- and I think there is a lot of responsibility that lies with the doctors that overprescribe. I also think us, narcotic addicts, play this game very, very well. And I think the combination is what you`re seeing today, why so many of these drugs are being prescribed.
Yes, she prescribed to me again. And I could go out -- I could leave your CNN satellite office right now and get prescription drugs. It`s just that easy today to get them. But back to my son with autism, yes, I`m always going to feel a sense of responsibility, even though Kennedy Krieger has said that it probably wasn`t.
But again, a lot of environmental factors turn these diseases on. So, that might have been the match. I don`t know. I`ll never know.
PINSKY: And what do we do with all these moms that are pregnant and addicted to opiates and getting often, as in your case, getting them prescribed through the medical system? What do we do with this?
GAMMILL: Well, I think you have to start educating the doctors a lot more about not giving these drugs to their patients that are pregnant. But a lot of these patients that are pregnant are getting these prescription drugs on the street. They`re not necessarily getting them from doctors or they are taking them from other family members.
There are a lot of physicians that would not prescribe prescription drugs to an addicted or to a pregnant woman. I think it`s pretty multifaceted problem.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s take a couple of calls.
Talk to Neal n California. Neal, you got something for us?
NEAL, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. Yes, I`m a new grad from a nursing school here in Los Angeles and, you know, we`re told to look for the high-pitched cry and irritability seen with NAS.
And I have seen it in the clinical kind of setting but I definitely, from a nursing perspective, I think it`s really important to stress a holistic approach, being able to recognize the signs of addiction while also promoting education and the potential impact that pain medication, and other things can happen to a child, while also kind of assessing for the support systems because that`s the most important thing, you know, of the within patients who are addict and stuff they don`t have a strong support system --
PINSKY: So, Neal, what you`re saying, though, it is so common at your nursing program, that every -- every child born, you`re listening for the high-pitched cry and irritability associated with opiate addiction, is that common?
NEAL: No, far from that. What I`m saying is basically just being a standard, board work, in all different kinds of situations, you know, children are born with, you know, different kind of diseases --
NEAL: -- or different kinds of conditions.
And it`s just one of those things we are told to kind of look for -- it is not kind of any indication if it`s kind of more common or not. Obviously, the article from Dr. Steven Patrick in the "Journal of the American Medical Association," maternal opiate use has increased 5 percent the past decade. And, you know, that result us in an increase, like for their kids, but I really haven`t seen kind of an increase by any means.
PINSKY: Joani, do you have a comment?
GAMMILL: Well, I worked neonatal area for almost 17 years. And, ironically, the heroin/methadone moms were very obvious. They didn`t look well. They came to us. They told us they were on these drugs and so we expected the kids to go into withdrawal.
And then we`d have a normal-looking family, normal-looking mom, where 12 hours later, the baby is sweating, sucking incessantly, spitting up, and appears to be going through withdrawals. So, we have to go back to this normal-looking mom, do a toxicology and sure enough, she is a Percocet addict.
The prescription addicts slide through the system a lot easier and those kids still -- they take just as long to get off those drugs as your street drugs and you have to start them on paregoric drops and back them down. And they are heartbreaking to take care of because they just -- you can get no satisfaction at all.
But the prescription drug addict moms really slid between the wires until the kids started to go into withdrawal.
PINSKY: And I think the irony here, Joani, is that the methadone is the one actually safe drug during pregnancy. That`s what we used to try to get people onto horrible for the mother but better for the baby. And I think that is what you are talking about here.
The prescription drug addicts, the ones using the medicines that -- in everyone`s medicine cabinet were the ones that really had the trouble.
Thank you, Joani.
Up next --
PINSKY: Go ahead, Joani, you want to finish that?
GAMMILL: I just want to say thank you very much. I enjoy your show immensely.
PINSKY: I appreciate it, Joani. Thank you for coming in here.
Up next, we`re going to talk to a physician who treats addicted babies. His first-hand account may shock you.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
We have been discussing the prescription pill epidemic that is now affecting newborn babies. Obviously, when a woman -- pregnant woman is addicted, so is her baby. I asked Joani Gammill to stay with you us.
And joining me as well now, Anna David, a herself recovering prescription pill addict and executive editor of thefix.com.
I also have Dr. Jonathan Fanaroff from the Rainbow Babies and Children`s Hospital in Cleveland.
Now, Dr. Fanaroff, you see these babies firsthand. How do these babies behave?
DR. JONATHAN FANAROFF, RAINBOW BABIES AND CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL: You know, it`s really awful. It`s -- you know, when you think of a newborn baby that`s supposed to be this healthy, beautiful pink. These babies are shaking, they`re clenched up, they`re vomiting, they have diarrhea. They just really look miserable and cranky. Not at all what a baby should look like.
PINSKY: And do you agree that we were talking about with Joani that the worst offender are the pills that people have in their medicine cabinet, the opiates that we become accustomed to these days, not the -- for instance -- methadone, which people I think would think was -- is a worse alternative, actually is a better alternative for these mothers, yes?
FANAROFF: Yes, because it`s -- they can still withdraw from methadone. But you are getting methadone, you are in a controlled environment. You are getting prenatal care. You are getting counseling to stop smoking, stop drinking, good nutrition, prenatal vitamins, all that stuff.
The moms who don`t, who abuse the prescription drugs, they tend to not get a lot of that care.
PINSKY: And, finally, before we get further into the opiate and the addictive part of this -- are you seeing problem also with other prescription medication, like antidepressants and other psychotropic. Is that another issue we need to sort of think about these days?
FANAROFF: There`s a lot of concern as the number of prescriptions for anti-depressants and SSRIs and other medications go up. There`s -- we are really looking into it.
But remember, we are also talking about moms who have medical conditions and a very stressed out untreated mom is never good for a pregnancy either.
PINSKY: Well, that I think, Anna, is the point, is that even if you deal with -- let`s say you get the baby through the withdrawal, you now have a mother who`s early in her opiate addiction.
ANNA DAVID, RECOVERING RX PILL ADDICT: Right. And if it`s somebody who has been addicted for many years, she doesn`t have the coping skills for every day life, let alone a life that`s been radically turned upside down because you have given birth to baby.
PINSKY: And an addicted baby. So, an addicted mom and addicted baby, just that environmental circumstance has got to be a disaster for the children.
DAVID: Well, I mean, the problem is I think just that we as a society, have got to keep drilling it into people`s heads that just because it comes in a pill bottle does not mean it`s safe and OK.
That is a massive problem that we don`t seem to be making any headway in.
PINSKY: And weren`t you stunned to hear Joani talk about her story where she was pregnant with back pain, a known addict, given opiates.
DAVID: Right, right.
PINSKY: Joani, you wanted to ring in here. Go ahead, I hear you.
GAMMILL: Well, first, I have to say that if you look at my MRI, I looked like a train wreck. I mean, I had 12 pieces of titanium in my lower back with a spinal fusion. And I speak at the podium how I deal with chronic pain without narcotics.
But when I go to the doctor, that MRI looked so bad. And this is another thing -- if you have a person who carries an MRI at the trunk of her car and has to stop at urgent care centers that`s a red flag.
But having said that, that is big part of the reason I can get these whenever I wanted because my MRI looks so bad.
But also these moms that are taking prescription drugs are very high risk for C-sections. They don`t go into labor. They are relaxed because narcotic relax you, the labor doesn`t go as normal as you would expect, so they have C-sections.
And what do they do with C-sections? They put Astramorph into your spine during an epidural. And then they give you more pain medicine. And so then you`re exacerbating an existing condition with the birth.
And the addiction with me in my case flared up each child because the C-section just, you know, put it to stratosphere.
PINSKY: Dr. Fanaroff, does that fit with your experience?
FANAROFF: Yes. And I think going back to your point about the methadone, once when you`re on the methadone, when you have a known issue, that`s -- you know, we can deal with it. When we know mom`s been on medications, we can watch the baby longer in the hospital. We can start treatment earlier.
It`s the -- as she was talking about earlier, when we don`t know and the baby goes home and has a problem after they go home, that`s when we get the baby into trouble.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s take a quick call here.
Ann in Nebraska -- Ann.
ANN, CALLER FROM NEBRASKA: Yes. Hi, Dr. Drew. Thanks for taking my call. Love your show.
PINSKY: Thank you.
ANN: I have been addicted to painkillers for 15 years, sober the past three.
ANN: I started a methadone program about eight or nine years ago and we were -- my family and I, my husband and I were moving out of state. So I was being tapered off the methadone to move to Nebraska where they don`t have methadone and only have subutex.
Somewhere in this transition, I became pregnant. I didn`t know it for a month and a half. I went to a local psychiatrist and told him that actually they are the ones that found out I was pregnant. So, I was trying to withdraw while I just found out I was pregnant, not planning that I was going to be pregnant, mind you, and my baby was born addicted because, of course, I relapsed the whole time I was pregnant.
There`s -- there`s just no way seeing my way up through that, you know, it was painful -- very painful.
And what I`ve been hearing from your callers, too, you know, my baby was shaking at birth, was not in good shape at all. It was just a horrific situation.
But my situation with subutex and the methadone is that I -- I found that looking back on it, it really kept my mindset in an obsessive -- mindset about the taking acted you on the counting my pills and how much did I have for that.
PINSKY: You are getting at a different topic which is the advisability of harm avoidance and harm replacement for opiate addiction. The one place I`m completely in favor it have, this is me, is methadone for the pregnant women. That`s what I`m in favor of, believe it or not, Anna, because it does preserve the babies and keep them full term, and as Dr. Fanaroff was saying, keeps them observed and watched and under proper prenatal care.
DAVID: What about Suboxone?
PINSKY: What about Suboxone, Dr. Fanaroff? Is that something people are trying to during pregnancy?
FANAROFF: They are trying to Suboxone, they are trying methadone. You know, we are sort of early, unfortunately, in this epidemic and we don`t know where this is going to go. There`s been an explosion in the last several years. Right now, it`s one baby an hour born in this country addicted.
Unfortunately, we suspect, based on what we are seeing in the wards this problem may continue to get worse.
One point that I do want to make is that you do not want to quit cold turkey during pregnancy.
FANAROFF: That that can lead to premature birth. It can lead to loss of the pregnancy that really does have to be under medical supervision.
PINSKY: That`s right. That`s why I`m in favor of methadone.
But, Joani, you scoffed at that. Real quick, what do you scoff on that?
GAMMILL: Well, I was put on Suboxone and I was actually given liquid buponorphine, which is, you know, subutex in a liquid form. And I injected that into my arm for two and half years.
There`s like this miss out there and you go to all these conferences that subutex and buprenorphine, that you don`t get a kick out of it, you don`t get addicted to it. Well, it became a huge problem for me and took three months of treatment to successfully get me off buprenorphine and subutex.
PINSKY: Joani, I also have people that are slamming the subutex and suboxone and they`re going to their doctors telling them they`re just great, and they`ve gotten slam it.
So, when we come back, more on the harsh realities of babies born addicted to drugs.
And later, a former porn star who was addicted to drugs and sex. She tells us about her recovery and her new book.
Stay with us.
PINSKY: Welcome back.
We`re talking about babies being born addicted to prescription pills.
Now, Dr. Fanaroff, what do you think more needs to be done to combat this, let`s call it an epidemic, the pill problem -- but from your perspective, as it is affecting bombs and babies?
FANAROFF: I think the important thing is to get the moms into treatment program. It`s very sad how many few programs -- in fact, many programs won`t accept pregnant women. We need to get these women during their pregnancy into programs.
And education is important, too. These babies, once they are born, they often could spend months in the hospital. And the families tend to get very frustrated. It`s important that we work with the families so that they can go home to the best possible environment.
So, getting moms into treatment programs and acknowledging the problems is the first step.
PINSKY: It just sounds so overwhelming. I know how difficult it is to get a standard opiate addict into treatment successfully. Then the idea of being postpartum and addicted baby is just overwhelming.
Let`s take a call. Mary in Louisiana -- Mary.
MARY, CALLER FROM LOUISIANA: Hi, Dr. Drew. Thank you for taking my call.
I`m really concerned about my sister-in-law. She has been taking OxyContin on and off for two years for back pain. And she is six months pregnant and she has not yet told her doctor that she is taking it. Now, my husband -- her husband, my brother is stationed in Afghanistan. He won`t be back for two more months.
I don`t know what to do. Should I call her doctor? Should I talk to my brother? I think he has enough problems. I`m very concerned about her.
PINSKY: OK. We get it. We get it. I`m glad you called.
We got a couple of strong opinions here. Joani, you start.
GAMMILL: Call the doctor, even if there is HIPPA and he can`t talk to you about your sister, he can listen to what you have to say so he has all the facts to best treat your sister. Just call and tell him.
PINSKY: Dr. Fanaroff, you agree? I certainly agree with that.
FANAROFF: Absolutely. When you are pregnant, it`s not just about you anymore. It`s about the baby and doing the best thing we can for the baby.
So, let the doctor know so that we are prepared, is just important.
PINSKY: Mary, thank you for that call. Please take that advice, right now, pick up that phone, call, you might be saving this pregnancy, OK?
MARY: Thank you so much.
PINSKY: All right, my dear.
Sandra in Illinois -- Sandra.
SANDRA, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
SANDRA: I`m calling -- I am a mother of eight. And I --
PINSKY: God bless you.
SANDRA: Thank you. I am addicted to you Norco, been addicted about five years now.
PINSKY: OK. You sound very depressed and you got eight kids.
So, I`m going to let Anna kind of ring in here. She`s pretty good at getting through the people and what they need to do.
So, Ana, what do you say?
DAVID: Well, I think the fact that you are asking for help and being open about it is really, really important and to know that help is possible. I know firsthand, treatment works. If it is possible to check in somewhere, I mean -- I don`t know with eight kids if that`s even possible for you.
DAVID: Sobriety is absolutely possible without checking up somewhere.
PINSKY: Just show up an AA meeting or AA meeting.
And, Sandra, though, I understand you tried quitting up once while pregnant and ended up hospitalize. Was that pregnancy OK?
SANDRA: I delivered -- I was only two weeks early when I was delivered. The baby spent two weeks in the NICU. The doctors were prescribing me pain medication through the entire pregnancy. However, they said it was the -- the baby was just premature, that it was not from the pain medication.
PINSKY: OK. Well, Sandra, here`s the deal. I agree with what Anna said. I think Joani can give you the same support.
I`ll let you have the final word, Joani.
GAMMILL: The baby was probably premature from the Norco. But you know, the doctors try to be kind. I think you are reaching out for help. You picked up the testimony phone, probably the first step.
Start looking around in your community for resources. Go to a meeting. You`ll get tons of information at a meeting. And where there`s a will, there`s a way.
I know you have a lot of obstacles ahead of you with eight children. But if you really want to do it, you can do it. And your life will be so much better.
PINSKY: Thank you, Joani.
Thank you, Dr. Fanaroff.
Thank you, Anna David, for joining us, as always.
Next up, she was a porn star Penny Flame at age 18. Jennifer Ketcham, as we know her now, is here with her story and her new book, after the break.
PINSKY: Straight ahead, can you recover from being a porn star? Jennifer Ketcham says yes and she is here to tell us how she was working on her future after a difficult past.
Then, I`m taking your calls and questions about anything.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER KETCHAM: I remember the neighbors in my childhood that I played around with not like really sexually, it was more like doctor, like you have that? I have that. You have this? I have this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fascination with using your sexuality started --
KETCHAM: Yes, turned into a game.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Taking boy`s virginity?
KETCHAM: Yes. It made feel powerful over the boys but -- I mean, it totally backfired.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Welcome back. That is Jennifer Ketcham on the VH-1 show "Sex Rehab." Jennifer had become sexually active by the age of 13, and by 18, she was porn star Penny Flame. I met her when she was 24 and somehow got through to her. She`s now written a new book called. It is called "I am Jenny", actually had the honor of writing the introduction to the book.
And I know the tough road she traveled. I know the emotions. I know what you were feeling at the time. You know, when I see that footage again, I`m reminded of the pain that I felt with you as we sort of got through to you in a strange way. How do we do that?
JENNIE KETCHAM, AUTHOR, "I AM JENNIE": I don`t know. I mean, just watching that footage, it was like --
PINSKY: It`s emotional, isn`t it?
KETCHAM: Oh, my gosh! I just said, like a different woman. That is a totally different woman. Totally different woman. Watching that, I didn`t see any -- I didn`t see any feelings at all in that little bit of footage talking to you and thinking back on being in rehab. I was just numb.
PINSKY: You were numb.
KETCHAM: Completely numb.
PINSKY: But you came in with the intention of sort of destroying the show.
KETCHAM: Oh, yes.
PINSKY: Tell people about that.
KETCHAM: Well, I had convinced myself that the sex rehab was going to be the perfect platform to jettison my porn career, which, of course, it wasn`t. It ended up pulverizing it, which was, you know, the best thing that ever happened to me.
PINSKY: But how did you go from wanting to destroy the whole production to us suddenly getting through to you?
KETCHAM: Well, yes. So, I was 26, actually when we came in there.
KETCHAM: And when you-all started calling me Jenny and refused to call me Penny Flame, refused to participate in the game that I had created as my life, it was --
PINSKY: Just get so emotional. Look at those pictures of you.
KETCHAM: It`s crazy.
PINSKY: It is funny, knowing you deeply. It`s so wonderful. I`m so proud of this book. I`m so proud of it.
KETCHAM: Thank you.
PINSKY: Why should people buy it? What are they going to read about?
KETCHAM: They`re going to read about a woman who thought that her life was over at 26 and who happened to meet some very wonderful people that helped her change everything in her life. And that`s really the story is that I let myself be supported by you, by Jill, by Dr. Reef, by all of these incredible people that, God, just came into my life. I mean, that is the magic that they talk about happening.
PINSKY: Tell them what you`re doing now.
KETCHAM: Now, I`m in school full time. I am in -- I just applied for an internship at a medical hospital. I`m like, you know, going to work for free.
KETCHAM: It`s crazy. And I`m a hostess at a Pan Asian Restaurant, which is also crazy. It`s like I tell people where to sit and it`s so rewarding, telling people where to sit.
PINSKY: And you`re going to be either a psychologist or a medical student, right? Is that the plan?
KETCHAM: Yes. Yes. Right now, I`m pursuing a bachelor`s degree in psychology and I`m starting to prepare to take my GREs and do all stuff to apply to grad school and, you know --
PINSKY: I can`t wait to see you out there helping other people.
KETCHAM: Oh, my gosh!
PINSKY: That`s going to really will come full circle.
PINSKY: Take some calls, we can help. Let`s go to Bonnie in Wyoming.
KETCHAM: Hi, Bonnie.
BONNIE, WYOMING: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, bonnie. Go ahead, Bonnie, what do you got?
BONNIE: Oh, well, I lost my virginity when I was 13. And I believe that that led me to be very promiscuous. I ended up getting pregnant at 15 and having my daughter at 16. So, that`s pretty much my big thing is I didn`t realize how special an emotional sex was when I was that young, and I wish I would have waited, but that change my life forever.
PINSKY: And Bonnie, I think -- and Jennie, tell me if you agree with this, our culture sort of has this blase attitude about sexuality, but in reality, for a 13-year-old girl, that`s traumatic.
KETCHAM: Very, very young. Very, very traumatic. And we set ourselves up to think that, I mean, because that`s the time when we`re coming into being a woman and learning about what it means to be a woman, we so quickly associate having sex with being a worth -- a worthy woman. And --
PINSKY: It becomes your only worth.
KETCHAM: Yes. And it`s just not how it is, Bonnie. I mean, you are worth so much more than that.
PINSKY: The other thing is --
BONNIE: That`s why I have sex was I wanted to fit in --
PINSKY: But the other part is -- but that`s what your brain was telling you. There`s another part though that when it`s traumatic, you end up repeating the traumas over and over again, which is sort of what you were into.
KETCHAM: Yes. Yes. We recreate the situation that was traumatizing. I did it. I think on some subconscious level, hoping that things would be different. Just do it again and you know what, this time, it`s going to feel different. This time he`s going to love me different. This time, I`m going to be different.
And really, all it was, was it was just wash, rinse, repeat. The exact same thing every single time it wasn`t until I started treating myself differently that things were different.
PINSKY: And part of what kept you locked into that cycle was that while your deepest desire was for love, it was also your greatest fear?
KETCHAM: Terrified. Terrified of fear, Bonnie. Do you find that you are terrified of actually being intimate with somebody?
BONNIE: It`s just my body, but the emotional part is there. I`m terrified to be in love with somebody because of all the physical things I`ve been through with people who didn`t love me.
PINSKY: There it is. Just sounds like you.
KETCHAM: Yes. Absolutely. I identify with that so much, bonnie. And you know what, it doesn`t -- people are not going to think about that when they`re with you, because once you really let down those walls, once you really open yourself up to being vulnerable and loving yourself, then somebody else is going to be able to love you in the way that you deserve, because you are deserving of more than just being a body.
PINSKY: It`s funny, Bonnie. When I hear your call, I get some of the same stirred feelings that I got from dealing with Jenny. And please get yourself help if you can`t break out of these cycles on your own. Speaking of Jenny, we have a quick call from Jenny in Georgia, let`s hear what it is first before we go to break -- Jenny.
JENNY, GEORGIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Go ahead.
JENNY: Hi, Dr. Drew. We love you here in Georgia. And thank you for all that you contribute.
PINSKY: Thanks, Jenny.
JENNY: My question briefly is, Jenny, if you had it all to do over again, would you do it?
PINSKY: All right. Well, that`s great question.
PINSKY: I`m going to let her think about that across the break, and we have more with Jennifer Ketcham. Again, her book is "I am Jenny," and your calls after the break.
PINSKY: Welcome back. I am speaking to Jenny Ketcham. Her new book, which I`m going to hold up here is called "I am Penny," oh, excuse, "I am Jenny."
PINSKY: I`m no longer Penny, because she was once known as Penny Flame. That was her porn name. There is "I am Jenny." Jenny is what we called her in "Sex Rehab" that got through to her. And, you know, really, we were calling out the real person, because Penny was something else.
It was something you concocted. It`s some character that you put on every day. And that`s how you got through life, though, as Penny and work for you then. And this caller in Georgia named Jenny also had a question for you about your life as Penny, interestingly enough.
PINSKY: So, Jenny, ask again. You wanted to know, would she do it over again, is that right?
JENNY: Yes, correct. I just wanted to know, if she had it to do over again, would she do it over again?
KETCHAM: You know what, I`ve thought about this a lot, Jenny. First of all, fabulous name. But, I would not change a single thing, you know? Every single thing that has happened in my life has brought me to this moment right here.
And I -- there are things that I had trouble forgiving myself for doing and you know what, if I continue not doing them now and I continue making that amends to myself by being the woman of grace and integrity that I know I can be, then all of -- all of -- all of the past, all of the history, everything that`s happened, it was all for a reason. It was all for right now.
PINSKY: And Jenny in Georgia, the reason I`m glad she said that is she can be of so much help to other people out there by virtue of your experiences, your darkest hour of greatest benefit to others who are suffering.
KETCHAM: I mean, I hope so. That`s my biggest hope in publishing the book is that it can help at least one other person.
PINSKY: Paulette in Utah -- Paulette.
PAULETTE, UTAH: Hello, Dr. Drew.
PAULETTE: I would like to comment. Jennie, I identify so much with your story but for different reasons. I had a mom, who when I was young, would tell me during our fights as, you know, a young teenager, nobody will have you. Nobody will have you. And she was quite abusive.
And I was molested also from the age of nine till 11. And as a result of having this drilled into me, as I got older, everybody had me.
PINSKY: Well, again, a lot of that is the sexual abuse of women, which is unfortunately, such an unbelievably common thing.
PINSKY: The 13-year-old we talked on the last segment could be conceptualized as having been sexually abuse even though --
KETCHAM: Well, they say one in three is the statistic?
PINSKY: One in three gets sexually abused. And you weren`t initially sexually abuse, but you got into sexual activity that essentially was traumatizing to you.
KETCHAM: Yes. Yes. Very much. I mean, I ended up at a very young age, having sex with people and then using that as my only means of communicating. Have you talked to -- have you sought any help, Paulette, about --
PAULETTE: Oh, I have. I`m 60 years old. And I have spent quite a life trying to get over this, and it took a long time. And I would encourage you, you know, to just keep doing what you`re doing and those people out there that need help, I just encourage them to get out of abusive situations and seek the help they need, because it`s there.
PINSKY: Very powerful. Very powerful coming from somebody that has really had a whole lifetime under the shadow of all this. Shelia, North Carolina. Shelia, you have something for Jenny?
SHELIA, NORTH CAROLINA: Yes. I wonder, by my father not being an affectionate man or not talking to me, telling me how much he love me, made me promiscuous.
PINSKY: I don`t like thinking of things as make you promiscuous.
PINSKY: That`s a little bit of a false --
KETCHAM: Very blame game.
PINSKY: Yes. It`s a little bit too blaming, and it`s -- you -- it`s hard to make those kinds of absolute blanket statements about someone`s behavior in the present. But you became promiscuous at what age?
SHELIA: I became promiscuous probably at 14, 13, 14.
PINSKY: Well, one thing, and Jenny, you back me up on this is young males and females act out sexually in their teen years. It`s a way of expressing their distress of trying to get something positive to regulate their emotions. It`s one of the options that are culture gives them to feel better.
PINSKY: And it can be caused by a myriad of different problems in their childhood.
KETCHAM: Well, absolutely. And I think the saying is, you know, if your parents left you standing out in the rain when you were a little kid, shame on them, but if you`re still standing out in the rain as an adult, you know, get out of the rain. It`s time to take, you know, take responsibility for your actions right now and make the changes that you need to make to make you a whole woman and to feel good about yourself.
PINSKY: And for you, 12-step has been a big part of that.
KETCHAM: Huge. Huge. I mean, that is, you know, a testament to the power of recovery.
PINSKY: Jenny, I`m so proud of you. Congratulations for this book. I`ve been waiting for this day for a long time. The book is "I am Jenny." It`s very exciting. We`re going to get a picture of it. There we go. I`m going to hold it up -- there you go. Get that book. And please, go buy this book.
It will change more than just a couple lives, I`m sure of that. And just a few minutes ago, we`re talking to somebody who asked would you change anything. I think if I bring the chopsticks back. I like the chopsticks.
KETCHAM: Actually, I just got back from vacation to Africa with my dad and my little sister and had giraffe chop sticks.
PINSKY: All right. Fair enough --
PINSKY: All right. Jenny, thanks so much.
And up next, with more calls and questions on any topic at all after the break.
PINSKY: Welcome back now. I caught this story and I thought it very important that we bring it up on our program, and you should be aware. A mystery illness has killed at least 64 children in Cambodia. CNN is following the story very carefully. Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his team are there in Cambodia.
Now, these kids, children, get afflicted and are dead within 24 hours. It`s something very surprising and obviously concerning. So, back to discuss this with me is Dr. Jonathan Fanaroff from Rainbow Babies and Children`s Hospital. So, I think they`re zeroing in on a possible virus. Is that accurate?
DR. JONATHAN FANAROFF, RAINBOW BABIES AND CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL: Yes, they have -- the Center for Disease Control, which is helping out in this investigation has isolated what`s known as enterovirus 71. And this is -- there`s a broad family of viruses that can cause diseases. And this one is a disease called hand, foot-and-mouth disease.
PINSKY: Oh, so -- now enterovirus is normally something that causes a gastrointestinal illness is that right? Is that part of what`s going on here?
FANAROFF: In this case, they think that it`s severe -- so, there`s a very common illness called hand-foot-and-mouth disease that literally thousands and thousands of children get. And normally, a very mild illness, lasts for a couple of days.
And unfortunately, in Cambodia, they`re seeing a subset of those children who are becoming severely ill and dying, mainly because it seems to be affecting the brain and lungs more severely than usual.
PINSKY: So, it`s causing an inflammation of the lung, which is something that we in adults we call ARDS is an Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. So, I imagine that kind of thing in kids and then encephalitis. Is that an accurate way of understanding this?
FANAROFF: Right. It`s severely affecting the brain and the lungs and causing to that. Now, it`s early in the investigation, but -- sorry, go ahead.
PINSKY: I was going to ask you, are there things that we should be doing in this country, the parents need to be alert about to anything? Is there -- you know, is this something we need to be concerned about?
FANAROFF: In any time when you`re worried about your child, you should bring them in to be seen to understand also in the vast majority of cases, hand, foot-and-mouth disease is very mild and treatable illness, and it is preventable. The spread is through sneezing or, you know, after going to the bathroom and not washing your hands. You know, hand washing, hand washing, hand washing to prevent it.
PINSKY: OK. Now, this is the one thing I`m hopeful for with the healthcare reform is that people will have less of a threshold to coming in to seeing the doctors with their kids, particularly, because I used to work in a county facility, people would bring people in when the kids were in (INAUDIBLE).
They were so ill. So, bring your kids in early, wash your hands like crazy, and just be alert to anything unusual. Is that about right, Dr. Fanaroff?
FANAROFF: You`ve got it absolutely right.
PINSKY: All right. Thank you for joining us. I`m going to be back with more calls after this break.
PINSKY: Welcome back. We`re getting right back to the phones. Heather in New Hampshire -- Heather.
HEATHER, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Hi, Dr. Drew.
HEATHER: You are my only hope. I`m 25. I lost my virginity about 10 years ago, and I have only had an orgasm once. I`ve never been able to get one by myself. So, I was wondering if you could help me out.
PINSKY: Are you on medication?
HEATHER: Yes. So, even before that, I was never able to take any -- I mean, have any.
PINSKY: What`s the medicine you`re on now?
HEATHER: Zoloft. I stopped taking trazodone. I was on 300 mg per sleeping and (INAUDIBLE). Adderall.
PINSKY: And Adderall. It`s a lot of stuff, my dear. I`ll tell you what, the one thing that`s going to make it almost impossible to break through is the Zoloft. The SSRIs are well known to cause this problem. They can make you feel, particularly women, get sort of this feeling of sexlessness, like they`re shutdown completely. They certainly get a difficulty with their orgasmic function.
So, if you already have an issue with this, there`s a book out there called "Becoming Orgasmic." That is something a good resource for you to look at, but you`re really need talk to your doctor about the medications and the problem you`re having.
HEATHER: She told me to see a sex therapist. So, would that work?
PINSKY: It would be helpful, but I`m telling you that the SSRIs really make it difficult to manage that problem. If something`s bothering you, can affect your relationship, it`s something that your doctor should be sensitive, too, is all I`m saying. Catalina in California -- Catalina.
CATALINA, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
CATALINA: So, my question is, what do you do when someone confides in you that they were molested as a child and they now (INAUDIBLE) it`s happening to somebody else but by the same person?
PINSKY: Oh, boy, oh, boy. Give me a little more detail. This is somebody -- a friend of yours?
CATALINA: Yes. Childhood friend.
PINSKY: OK. Here is, I think, the way to manage this. And it`s sort of -- it depends on whether you want to -- I mean, you have sort of an ethical obligation to report this somehow. You have to do something with this, because somebody is getting harmed. You`re aware of it. In fact, we may want to talk to you off the air to help you with this if you`re willing.
But the issue, first and foremost, I think is to get your friend into care. When she is with a caretaker, they then will take that obligation away from you to intervene and do something with this once they hear this story.
Then you will sort of done two things. You have gotten your friend help, which she clearly needs, having been through that kind of experience, and given the responsibility of reporting to somebody else, which is a difficult responsibility to bear if you`re not a professional, you may not how to work the system and stuff.
PINSKY: So, by all means, hold on the line, and we`ll talk a little more about this, OK
CATALINA: OK. Thank you.
PINSKY: OK. Thanks so much. This now is Elda in California -- Elda.
ELDA, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. Thanks for having me on. Thanks for taking my call.
PINSKY: My pleasure.
ELDA: I was calling because you talk a lot about regulating emotion.
ELDA: And I wanted to ask you what exactly does that mean. Could you use an example if has someone does that successfully?
PINSKY: Well, it`s a -- it`s a concept that people aren`t (ph) accustomed to talking about, and I was thinking funny you would call it this. I was thinking about last night that I don`t think I`ve really properly communicated what it is. The best way I can help you understand it is if you feel turmoil internally.
You feel negative feelings that you can`t escape and you end up making choices or engaging in behaviors to escape those feelings because you can`t regulate them autonomously. You can`t regulate them by yourself. It turns out there`s a lot of research that tells us how humans normally develop that regulatory capacity, and it`s actually in an inter personal setting.
It`s something called intersubjectivity. I`m working on a book on this exact issue right now and hoping the book will help people understand this very issue. But it`s an ability to regulate and feel whole and present at all times with your feelings. And that`s a tall order. That is a tall order. Does that help?
ELDA: It does, because I find myself something going to food and I stop myself.
PINSKY: There it is. Again, it`s reaching outside of yourself to feel better when you can`t regulate autonomously. And some of that is normal. I mean, none of us are perfect regulators, but sometimes, it gets out of hand. And if it has been addiction or behaviors ensue where you aren`t so happy, then it`s something to look into. Nicole in Massachusetts, very quickly. Nicole, what do you got?
NICOLE, MASSACHUSETTS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
NICOLE: I have a question. There`s no easy way to say this. I get sexually aroused when I feel, um, ashamed or embarrassed. I can`t have sex anymore because all those things trigger in my head.
PINSKY: So, shame -- were you sexually abused as well?
PINSKY: OK. So, when people have abuse, sexual abuse and even physical abuse, shame and unregulated shame that last caller was asking about regulated emotion, unregulated shame is a very common manifestation of those kinds of experiences in childhood. Nicole, this is a critical problem to be dealt with in a professional setting.
It`s not something as likely to get better on its own. When people have been abused, it changes your brain wiring, it changes the trajectory of your development. And that now can be worked with and healed in a professional setting. So, if you possibly can, is this something available to you?
NICOLE: Yes. I`m actually seeing a therapist/psychiatrist now.
PINSKY: Then, keep going, but be sure you talk about these issues. I`ve got to go. I`m running out of time. Nancy Grace begins right now.