Sep. 12, 2012 at 9:41 AM ET
For five seasons, "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew" showed the painful truths -- and occasional triumphs -- of addiction treatment through the eyes of the famous. But for season six, there's a twist: The celebrities are gone, and regular folks are in. Dr. Drew Pinsky will take on the desperate situations of eight non-celebrities and try to make them well again.
"Addiction is a disease that affects everybody; it cuts across all classes, all ethnicities," he told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie Wednesday. "It's really, to me, the medical problem of our time."
And he had a sobering reality to share: "Your probability of dying, if you need to see me (for addiction treatment), is higher than (from) the significant majority of cancers."
Pinsky was joined by Denise Mariano, whose son is one of those treated in the new season. She noted that it all went wrong for him when he became addicted to prescription painkillers.
"It's pills and pills and pills and then they go to the heroin because instead of $30 a pill, you have to pay $5 a bag, and it's pretty much the same substance," she said.
"Parents that say 'Not my kid' -- scariest words a parent can say," said Drew. "Pills, pills, pills.... Pills are the way people get hurt today. It's the gateway, and it's a killer. It's both."
See how regular people do when taken under Dr. Drew's wing when the new season of "Rehab with Dr. Drew" airs on VH1 on Sunday.
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