Multiple Dr. Phil guests, including former Survivor winner Todd Herzog, have appeared on the show in relation to their struggles with drugs and alcohol. However, many of these individuals, including Herzog, are now stepping forward claiming how the show treated them behind the scenes actually made their conditions and struggles worse.
Allegations against the Dr Phil team include potentially hazardous detox periods in hotel rooms, the purchasing of drugs with support from show staff, and filming a pregnant lady looking to buy heroin. These and others were uncovered in a joint investigation by STAT and the Boston Globe.
None of these accounts were more harrowing, however, than Todd Herzog's initial experience with the program. While battling alcohol addiction, Herzog headed into the studio where Dr. Phil was filmed sober. In his waiting room, he found a full liter of vodka waiting, and ended up consuming the whole thing. He was then given Xanax by a nearby staffer saying it would "calm his nerves," before being dragged onto the set in the shocking footage shown above.
After the events of that show, Herzog sought treatment at The Arbor, a specialized facility for addiction. Its director at the time, Steve Thomason, told The Boston Globe and STAT that nobody from his facility monitored Herzog while on set, and that he was so appalled when he first saw the former Survivor champ that he chose to never have anything done with Dr. Phil again.
Herzog has since appeared on the show two more times, with alcohol either provided in his room or administered to him each time.
Dr. Phil's team has denied the claims made by former guests in multiple statements to the Globe and STAT, saying that medical professionals were monitoring "100% of guests agreeing to treatment" and that "we cannot control what we cannot control."
Despite his harrowing tale, Herzog, who is now sober, is still thankful that the show helped him get back on his feet.
“I’m grateful in a lot of ways for the show. For getting me help in the nicest places in the country. That’s a gift right there. There are some things about the show that I don’t like, and that I don’t think are real… I should have been in the hospital, in that sense. There should not be liters of vodka in my dressing room.”