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Slangwatch: Prehab
Charlie Sheen has checked in to "preventative" rehabilitation — is prehab the new first step in celebrity scandal?
 
Charlie Sheen and wife Brooke Mueller: One's in rehab, the other, "prehab"
Charlie Sheen and wife Brooke Mueller: One's in rehab, the other, "prehab"
Corbis

Charlie Sheen put his hit TV show, Two and a Half Men, on hold for a stint in rehab — not because he's addicted to anything, his publicist says, but as a "preventative measure" after his violent Christmas Day fight with wife Brooke Mueller (also in rehab). A Gawker commenter dubbed Sheen's bold move "prehab" — and a new post-celebrity-scandal image-restoration phenomenon was born. What is prehab, and what are its advantages over actual rehab?

Gawker sees four advantages to preventative rehab

1. Prehab lets celebrities enjoy the usual post-rehab sympathy and PR boost, without actually having to hit "rock bottom" first.

2. If they are actually an addict, they get to go straight to the "5-star resort" without passing "denial."

3. If a star needs a break, prehab's "price-to-luxury-to-privacy ratio" is hard to beat, since the staff is, by law, sworn to secrecy.

4. And celebrities with mental health problems can seek help while avoiding the "looney bin stigma."

Boston Herald columnist Lauren Beckham Falcone approves — both of the "prehab" concept, and Sheen's "crazy-like-a-fox" trailblazing. "Call it the 13th step," she says. "Call it being responsible. I call it the best publicity gimmick since Lindsay, Paris, and Britney’s 'accidental' up-skirt shots....You know Tiger is so having an 'I coulda had a V8!' moment right now." The editors at The Frisky are more skeptical, but they embrace the idea anyways, nominating the next 10 celebrities they'd like to send to prehab... "you know, just to be safe."

 

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