Dr. Drew and Dave Discuss Overdose Death of "Dopey Podcast" Host

By Dorri Olds 08/03/18

Chris from Dopey Podcast had been clean for almost five years before his fatal relapse.

Chris from Dopey
Chris from Dopey

Dopey Podcast co-host, Chris, 33, passed away from an overdose on July 24. 

The Fix spoke with Dave, his friend and Dopey co-host, about the sudden loss. The two met eight years ago at Chris’s 14th rehab. They stayed in touch and became close friends.

Chris had a year and a half sober and Dave was three months sober when they started the Dopey Podcast.

“I loved Chris and I will always miss him,” Dave told The Fix, his voice cracking with emotion. Dave is unsure of the exact date that Chris’s relapse began. 

Board-certified internist and addiction specialist "Dr. Drew” Pinsky is a big fan of Dopey. Back in March, he sat down with the guys to discuss addiction, rehab and romance for their 124th episode.

The Fix spoke with Dr. Drew about Dopey after his appearance on the show. “If you’re an addict,” he said, “and you listen to Dopey, you will find your people, and your story here. Listen to it and you’ll see what I mean.”

During the episode, it was revealed that Pinsky had treated Chris years ago after one of his relapses. Dr. Drew joked with Chris about what a difficult case he’d been.

After finding out about Chris's death, Pinsky offered his condolences to Dave, “Chris’s death is such a huge loss. His was a great success story—especially after so many years of chronic relapses. This is a real tragedy.”

“Chris loved being sober and he loved Dopey," Dave said. "He drove to New York every week—10 to 12 hours roundtrip—just to record each episode of Dopey with me. But the last month he became really unreliable.”

Annie Giron, Chris’s girlfriend, told The Fix that she was the one who found his body in the bedroom of their Boston apartment. Giron has extensive training in the medical field of addiction.

“Chris had just finished his MA and was working towards a PhD in Clinical Psychology,” said Giron, fighting back tears. “I’m studying to be a psychiatrist. I know his death was not intentional. He was not suicidal at all. We were very much in love and excited about the future.”

“I’ve never been an addict and there are no addicts in my family but I have always been passionate about the field of addiction,” she said. “Over the years, I have administered Narcan to so many. That’s why the minute I saw Chris, I knew that he was dead. I tried to revive him with Narcan anyway even though I knew it was too late.”

Dave said, “Over the past month Chris had started acting really weird. I asked him what was going on. He blamed it on exhaustion. I believed him. He was really busy as a manager in a sober living facility and always studying.

Chris had a long history of drug abuse but had been clean for almost five years before his final relapse. Dave, Annie and friends were concerned that Chris was close to relapsing. Annie said he wasn’t depressed but had been anxious and agitated. He’d spent a week helping a patient and he may have confiscated medication.

“Chris tore a ligament in his leg that was extremely painful. He couldn’t sleep and I’d hear him moaning in agony. A doctor said it would take 4-6 months before Chris would feel any better. He needed to do physical therapy which the doctor warned would be painful. He hadn’t wanted to take painkillers but the injury was excruciating.”

Dave said he’d talked with Dr. Drew and Annie about how far Chris had come in his life and how shocked and heartbroken they are at this unexpected loss.

Dr. Drew’s next Dopey episode will go live on Saturday, August 11. He and Dave will discuss addiction, recovery, and the frightening reality of America’s spike in fatal relapses.

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Dorri Olds is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day and several book anthologies. Find Dorri on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.