"Survivor: China" winner Todd Herzog, who is an alcoholic, agreed to enter intensive rehab treatment after appearing with his family on Monday's edition of the syndicated show, "Dr. Phil."
"It's gotten now to the point where Todd is not Todd," his mother, Shirley, told psychologist-host Phil McGraw. She said her son, who lives near his family in Utah, "drinks from the minute he wakes up until he goes to bed, and sometimes can go through two bottles in two to three hours." Sitting alongside his father Glen, stepfather Chuck and little sister Kimmi, Herzog's mother described a series of hospitalizations in which her son's blood-alcohol level reached as high as .582. Medical professionals, noted McGraw, generally see such levels only in someone "comatose or dead."
At the family's behest, "Dr. Phil" arranged an intervention and a flight from Utah to Los Angeles for a taping, held prior to Nov. 15. A drunken Herzog, 28, had to be helped onto the studio set, where he blew .263 on a Breathalyzer test. "I feel like crap now, basically," he said, slurring his words but otherwise lucid and responsive.
Commenting from the audience, Dr. Ian Smith of the McGraw-produced talk show, "The Doctors," told Herzog, "When I saw the numbers of your blood-alcohol concentration I was shocked you're still alive. . . . Even though you're talking and you're understanding what we're saying, that doesn't reflect what's happening internally. Physiologically your body is probably a hundred years old."
After conceding to McGraw that, "I'm so stubborn that I wouldn't [have been] willing to come out here if it [weren't] for you to help me and show me . . . what I have to do," Herzog agreed to accept the show's offer of immediate 90-day rehab at the Texas-based Arbor Treatment Center.
"I will get myself healthy," he vowed, adding, "I'm willing to do whatever I can do to actually make myself OK."