updated 03/11/2010 AT 7:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/11/2010 AT 1:30 PM ET
Corey Haim apparently made a fatal mistake when he recently told Celebrity Rehab’s producers he had no interest in participating, the show’s host, Dr. Drew Pinsky, tells PEOPLE.
Pinsky, an addiction-medicine specialist, says that friends and associates of the former child actor – who died Wednesday at 38 – have told him for years that Haim needed help with recovery. Pinsky says he gave them his phone number but Haim never called.
Pinksy adds that although Haim has been to rehab facilities several times, “he wasn’t embracing treatment in any real way” and was only fooling himself when he told his show’s producers “I do not need help.”
“He’s dead. Do you need to know anything more?” Pinsky said.
Pinsky says that although Haim’s heaviest years of abusing illicit drugs were behind him, he apparently followed the path of many addicts, taking prescription drugs instead of cocaine or heroin. He suspects Haim was reckless, exceeding recommended dosages or combining drugs in a dangerous manner – much like Anna Nicole Smith, who died in 2007 from a lethal combination of prescription drugs.
“It’s mostly that people don’t really understand addiction and how pernicious and progressive it is,” says Pinsky, whose new show, Sober House, airs Thursdays on VH1. “Abstinence is their only solution. If they want to return to a flourishing existence, they have to find their way to abstinence.”
Haim’s agent, Mark Heaslip, says he doesn’t think Haim died of an overdose.