A walk on the wild side of Los Angeles rock, as a junkie musician-turned–celebrity rehab counselor tells the story of his recovery, while suggesting that he still has some issues.
In 12-step programs, these stories of hitting bottom and bouncing back are informally known as a “drunkalogues.” This is more of a “drugalogue,” though there was plenty of alcoholic excess in the boyhood of Forrest, who fronted cult band Thelonious Monster while sinking deeper into the abyss of his heroin addiction. “I was on an endless rehab roller coaster, and the cure never took,” writes the author, now 15 years clean and better known as the sidekick on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. “I just loved drugs too much.” Yet the overdose death of actor River Phoenix (a night vividly described here), the ravages suffered by fellow musicians and the downward spiral of his own life finally brought the author to a point where his survival instinct and self-loathing overpowered his love of drugs. After more than 20 attempts at getting clean, he finally found himself on the path to sobriety. It was apparently a good career move, as he tells about his TV salary of “$5,000 a week with a 10 percent annual increase.” Yet Forrest admits that “much of the recovery industry is riddled with corruption” and that he has a “difficulty with that Hollywood glitzy, exploitative aspect” of the reality TV recovery series. He also doesn’t express a whole lot of remorse for impregnating one 16-year-old and introducing another to heroin: “What can I say? The truth is I like younger women. I always have.” In what passes here for a happy ending, after warning of the risks of two addicts in recovery becoming involved and telling how one counselor lost his career by sleeping with a patient, he relates how he lost a job but gained a wife after romancing one of his own patients.
An adequate recovery memoir.