Phil McGraw has reportedly been using his Dr. Phil show to promote rehabilitation centers in exchange for them buying an addiction recovery program both he and his son, Jay, are involved in.
The allegations came to light in the second part of Stat and the Boston Globe's investigation into Dr. Phil. In the first part, the publications spoke with a former guest and two others related to former guests who allege that they were given drugs and alcohol before appearing in segments about their addictions.
According to Stat and the Globe, rehabilitation centers that spend between $3,500 and $7,000 a month on the recently launched Dr. Phil's Path to Recovery self-help video program are likely to receive McGraw's endorsement on the show. Rehab centers that buy the program have also been mentioned on The Doctors, another daytime show McGraw and his son own.
Dr. Phil producers told Stat and the Globe that only two of the more than 20 rehab centers that use Path to Recovery have been on the show. Centers that use it are not promised a spot on Dr. Phil.
"Any suggestion that appearances on Dr. Phil's show are linked to the purchase or use of this program is false," the statement read.
However, one potential customer spoke with Stat after speaking with Jim Shriner, the vice president of sales for Path to Recovery. The potential customer claimed Shriner said there was a correlation between buying the program and appearing on Dr. Phil.
"Our job is to get your phones to ring, and the admissions hopefully follow," Shriner said, the customer claimed. Shriner also told the customer about the advantages of reaching the older demographic that watches Dr. Phil and The Doctors.
Stat and the Globe did not directly speak with Shriner.
The publications report that Inspirations for Youth And Families, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida treatment center was touted as one of the best centers in the country on Dr. Phil. However, the facility has had problems with the law. Around 180 police reports were filed over the last two years regarding teens who go missing while being patients there.
Jill Walters, whose 17-year-old son went missing from the facility in March 2016 and walked to Miami, told Stat she sent her son there after hearing McGraw's endorsement.
"They touted this, 'We were on Dr. Phil' — they use that as, 'We must be a great facility because we were on Dr. Phil.' Well, that has nothing to do with how the facility is run," Walters said. "You entrust your child to the care of these people, and something like this happens."
In the first part of Stat and the Globe's investigation into Dr. Phil, the publications reported that staffers provided drugs and alcohol to guests battling addiction to increase onscreen drama. A Dr. Phil spokesperson called the report "errant nonsense."