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Episode 245: Abbie

Season 19, Episode 3

Abbie
Age: 26
Location: Marquette, Michigan
Addiction: Alcohol

What’s Memorable: That the ex-husband who horrifically abused her and triggered her addiction, after having gone through anger management, has somehow become the better parent.  That’s saying a lot. When he apologizes during the intervention for hurting her, her response is really emotional and I imagine pretty cathartic. Also it’s amazing how powerful the force of wanting to be a better parent is to most addicts. It’s quite often that the children are the reason why they decide to go to treatment and it was definitely the biggest reason in Abbie’s case.

Official Synopsis: Abbie was a young mom with dreams of going to college for photography. But she was hiding a dark secret from her family. Her boyfriend, and father of her daughter, had become physically and mentally abusive. The beatings escalated, and Abbie ended up in surgery after a punch to the face shattered bones and required three metal plates. Abbie began drinking excessively to cope with the abuse. Though she finally pressed charges after he threw boiling soup on her, Abbie is now a fullblown alcoholic. Her parents are raising her daughter while Abbie lives nearby with a new boyfriend who enables her addiction. Her alcoholism has gotten so bad that Abbie already has chronic liver, kidney, and bone marrow damage. Without help, Abbie’s family fears that her daughter will lose her mom for good.

Date Aired: June 2018
Interventionist: Ken

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Episode 244: Jackie R.

Season 19, Episode 2

Jackie R
Age: 45
Location: Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
Addiction: Alcohol (white wine)

What’s Memorable: Ooof. I don’t know if it was the story or the people or the fact that so many of Jackie’s behaviors and justifications were uncomfortably familiar, but I found this episode to be really powerful. It reminded me a lot of Sylvia’s episode with the whole graduation event – watching her be totally committed to going and then slowly over the day getting drunker and drunker, convincing herself she’ll be fine and there’s nothing to worry about, having someone there watching her to make sure she doesn’t get too drunk to go. It’s painful watching people watch over an addict like that, there’s such a shared sense of dread and helplessness. The moment when Jackie asks for a drink during her intervention and immediately understands how bad that sounds and bursts into tears, I mean damn. I burst into tears right along with her. Jackie’s family was amazing and kudos to Sylvia for another job well done. I imagine she related to Jackie pretty strongly. She’s also just very good at this.

Official Synopsis: On the surface, Jackie had it all: a large tight knit family, a devoted husband, two beautiful sons, and a nursing career. But unbeknownst to anyone, Jackie found herself stuck in a loveless marriage. For 15 years she put on the happy face, but gradually began to drink and before she knew it, she was a full-blown alcoholic guzzling up to a gallon of wine a day. In 2015, her marriage dissolved, and after three wrecked cars and a DUI, she lost her RN license. Her bottom should have been a near fatal OD in Feb. 2017, but Jackie continues to drink, and her family and sons are helpless to save her.

Date Aired: June 2018
Interventionist: Sylvia

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POLL: What is the saddest episode of Intervention?

What is the absolute saddest episode of Intervention?

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Episode 243: Sam & Brad K.

Season 19, Episode 1

 

 

Sam & Brad K.
Age: 30 (Sam) and 28 (Brad)
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Addiction: Heroin

What’s Memorable: 2 Hours! The intervention that started terribly but ended up being really effective, largely because of Jeff’s skill and experience. The fact that they kept their word to visit the sister in the hospital AND they showed up for their 8:00 am trip to the airport to go to treatment – this couple was very sick but not hopeless, they still had so much love & goodness in them, and their desire to be better and live better was really apparent.

Official Synopsis: Sam and Brad’s families have known each other since Sam and Brad were kids. Brad’s sister was Sam’s best friend growing up, and Brad’s father coached Sam’s softball team. Although Sam and Brad always had a crush on each other, it wasn’t until they were adults that they finally connected. But when Brad introduced Sam to heroin and the two quickly got married, their drug-fueled codependency became the basis of their relationship. Sam lost custody of her son from a previous relationship and her career as a dental assistant, and recently contracted Hepatitis C. Brad has had multiple overdoses, lost his career, and his daughter from an earlier marriage. Their families are desperate for Sam and Brad to get clean, but are unable to work together as a united front, leaving Brad and Sam to continue on a downward spiral. Now they fear that rock bottom will mean both of their deaths.

Date Aired: June 2018
Interventionist: Jeff

Latest Post

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Intervention and Intervention Directory

Note: These will be updated as I think of more and if you have a question you’d like to add, please leave a comment. 

Is this site the official site for Intervention?
No! Definitely not! This site is run by one person, Dizzy (that’s me), and I’m just a fan of the show. I have nothing to do with A&E or Intervention in any official capacity. I’m not responsible for the way an episode is filmed or edited, who gets followed up on, the availability of an episode online, or anything else. The only thing I do is build and maintain this website, which is purely for documenting episodes, giving updates on people and the show’s future, and providing sort of an online community of fans. But I don’t have any direct access to people from the show, I only find out about updates when readers comment here or email me.

How can I submit someone to the show?
Fill out this application. (I have nothing to do with that process, I’m just providing the link that A&E gives out).

Who from the show refused to go to treatment?
5 refused treatment and as far as we know never went even after the cameras were gone.

Sean
Larry
Alissa
Marquel
Adam

Wasn’t Intervention cancelled?
Yep. In 2013. Season 13’s Eric was the “final” episode. Then LMN picked it up for the next season, but A&E decided they wanted it back and now we’re on Season 18. No idea what was going on behind the scenes with all that, but the show’s been hanging on by a thread ever since.

How successful is Intervention in getting addicts sober?
Moderately successful. Although I don’t have access to ‘who’s still sober’ numbers since 2013 when the “last” episode aired and it stated how many addicts were still clean, (You can read those stats here) it looks like about a 64% success rate.  It’s VERY successful at getting people to go to treatment though. Read more about that in this discussion post. 

Why doesn’t Intervention do followup episodes anymore?
I don’t know, but I really liked those followup episodes, I wish they still did them. Now we get 30-second Legacy Updates during episodes, which are cool too, although a bit awkward and obviously not as compelling or informative as a whole episode.

How can I watch past episodes (legally and without accidentally downloading viruses)?

  1. A&E’s Intervention website. Most all of the episodes are listed here, although most are locked and require a cable login to view. There are a few unlocked though; sometimes A&E will make kind of a playlist along a theme and unlock those specific ones. However, there are quite a few episodes listed on A&E that are not available to stream (see next FAQ).
  2. Right now Hulu has several middle seasons and it had a bunch of the Intervention Canada episodes but as of yesterday those seem to have disappeared. Weird.
  3. Amazon. Most episodes are at least available to purchase for $2-3 per episode or $20-26 a season.
  4. YouTube. The video quality may not be great but there are a bunch of episodes uploaded by fans and they’re free, so there’s that.
  5. iTunes. About the same cost as Amazon for an episode.

Why are some episodes not available on any of the streaming services?

  1. The addict has died since the show aired and I’m guessing out of respect for the family, the network pulled it. Almost none of the episodes from this page are available to watch on the A&E site. However, some of the paid streaming services seem to still have those episodes. Amazon’s “Season 5” (actually Season 4) includes FOUR episodes featuring addicts who have since died that don’t seem to be available elsewhere.
  2. I think because there was something weird about production or something happened after the episode aired and the episode was removed from circulation. Betsy, Mike/Randi, Mike/Jenny are episodes that haven’t been available to stream for many years. There are rumors about why they’re not available, but I don’t know for sure.

Why are the season and episode numbers different on Amazon than on A&E, Hulu, iTunes, and this website?
I’m not exactly sure why this happens, but it’s hella annoying. For clarity’s sake, all episode numbering on Intervention Directory is consistent with A&E’s numbering. You can consider it official.  I get a lot of people telling me that my numbering is off because it’s different on Amazon. That is incorrect.  Amazon’s numbering is off because it’s inconsistent with A&E. Mine is just fine thank you very much.

I suspect that when an episode was pulled from circulation by A&E or there were followup episodes and specials (i.e. Heroin Highway), and Intervention Canada episodes started to be added, the numbering was adjusted on the streaming sites like Hulu and Amazon to be chronological, when they aren’t necessarily chronological A&E.

So Episode 4 Season 6 on A&E might be Episode 3 on Hulu and Episode 1 on Netflix and even Episode 1 Season 7 on Amazon. This is because if Amazon, for example, does not have an episode, they re-order the ones they do have instead of skipping that episode number.

Why does this site use overall episode numbering in the post title instead of Season/Episode numbering?
Because the episode-by-season numbering varies depending on which site you’re looking at, but the overall numbering from A&E never changes. I would love it if all the numbering was the same on all the sites but they all do their own thing and it changes constantly. This was the only way I could keep the numbering consistent. That said, I did recently go back and add the Season and Episode # at the top of each post.

Why are there some episodes not covered on this site?
Most likely it’s because that the episode hasn’t been available anywhere since I started the site in 2011 (Betsy, Mike/Jenny), so I couldn’t go back and watch it to catalog it.  Or it might be because it’s the Gabe episode. I also haven’t gotten to all of the Intervention Canada episodes yet, but I intend to as time allows.

What’s your problem with Gamblin Gabe? That episode is iconic and should be included on this site.
The episode is iconic for being a disturbing portrait of a narcissistic man-child with a severe personality disorder who emotionally and physically abuses his elderly parents. That family’s problems go many miles beyond gambling. Yes I know that other families on the show were also dealing with someone with a possible mental illness who behaved abusively, but there was always the sense and the hope that if the addiction was treated, the disorder could begin to be managed. It doesn’t seem like that was the case with Gabe. His episode felt exploitative and deeply unsettling to me in a way that the others didn’t and I just don’t want to contribute to the attention it gets.

What’s the deal with these Canada episodes?
Welllll…… it’s complicated, but I’ll try to explain the best I can.  Intervention Canada started airing in 2011 on the Splice network, a channel exclusive to Canada. Episodes were originally unavailable to non-Canadian viewers, they were not aired on A&E or streamed online. The show was basically accessible only to Canadians with cable who watched live. As far as format, it was pretty much exactly like the US version but used different Interventionists and all episodes and treatment centers were in Canada. The show aired for 2 seasons and then was apparently cancelled. From what I can gather, it was then picked up again for Season 3 in 2015 by Canada’s Documentary Channel and then promptly went away again. This is where things get weird.

In 2016, after Intervention US had been cancelled and then brought back to life, it started airing Intervention Canada episodes as part of its regular season (Season 15).  Four Intervention Canada episodes from its first 2 seasons were in the lineup, passed off as if they were ALL NEW episodes when in fact they were several years old and had already aired on Splice, although American viewers had likely never seen them unless they found them on YouTube. Seasons 16 and 17 of Intervention US included 12 episodes from the largely unseen Season 3 of Intervention Canada – There were actually more Canadian episodes than American episodes for those two seasons. Again, A&E did not distinguish between regular US episodes and Intervention Canada in its promos or airing.  However, these Season 3 episodes were not as old the others and had not been aired on Slice, and likely didn’t have much of an audience on the Documentary Channel.  In other words, it made more sense for these Season 3 episodes to be passed off as part of the ‘new’ season.

What makes the Canadian episodes confusing for a lot of people is that, up until Season 15, there were quite a few episodes of Intervention that took place in Canada. They were just regular A&E episodes with our regular interventionists. As far as I know, since that season there has not been an A&E-produced episode of Intervention set in Canada. The other thing that makes it all so confusing is that Intervention Canada has its own numbering for its episodes, but then A&E gives it new numbering when it gets put in the regular season lineup. For example, Season 3 Episode 20 (Clint) of Intervention Canada is Season 17 Episode 4 of Intervention. Argh! As if the numbering wasn’t already confusing enough.

If you’re watching Intervention online and want to be able to tell if it’s actually Intervention Canada before the end credits, here are some clues:

  1. The music, graphics, and camera work seem slightly off
  2. The interview backgrounds are really blue
  3. The addict lives in Canada and the treatment center is in Canada
  4. The Interventionist isn’t Candy, Jeff, Ken, Donna, Seth, or Sylvia and has a Canadian accent

How do people who comment here know the last names of the people from the show?
Sometimes they knew them personally, or of them, before the episode aired. Other than that, I think a lot of fans are just pretty good at online sleuthing. I myself don’t bother searching without a last name, but I’m guessing that others are maybe doing searches with the first name and location to find arrest records, etc? I don’t know for sure.

Why don’t you include in your posts how the episode ended?
Well at first I didn’t include that because there isn’t really an ending to the story of an addiction, and also the ‘ending’ was always changing. Someone who was sober at the end would be shown in a followup as having relapsed. It just felt weird to put the ending in there when it wasn’t really the end, ya know? But honestly if I could go back in time I would have included the ending in the initial write up. I think it would be great to have that data now so we could look at different measures of effectiveness of the intervention. At this point though, it would be far too much work to re-watch every episode AGAIN, which I’ve already done a few times now.

Why was my comment not published?
Probably because it was too mean. But please understand that I don’t only publish comments I agree with, but I choose NOT to publish comments that are needlessly inflammatory and/or insulting. It’s up to my discretion on a case-by-case basis. Read this and read this for a longer explanation.

How can I contact you?
Send me an email at dizzy.buzzkill at gmail

 

Latest Post

POLL: Should wealthy families be given Intervention’s offer of free treatment?

There was some debate in the comments about this topic so I thought I’d do a poll. As we all know, long term treatment can be prohibitively expensive for many people and Intervention offers free treatment to the addicts and often extends it to the people close to them. A lot of the families shown on Intervention are not necessarily poor but are working to middle class and even they would have a hard time paying for the kind of treatment that Intervention offers, even with good insurance.

Costs range from about $18,000 to $60,000 for a 90 day program (higher for the more elite places), and that doesn’t include aftercare and sober living housing.  Even if you do have insurance that covers treatment, you would certainly be subject to the deductible and then move into the out-of-pocket max for the year for co-pays, which averages out nationally to be $6,800 (healthcare.gov). What that means is that even with decent insurance, most families would be paying at least $6,800 out of pocket. I don’t know any working class people who could afford that.

Anyway, yeah, it’s expensive. And given that Intervention is offering something that few families could afford to do on their own, maybe the show should focus on the families who actually need that financial help? Giving free treatment to families who don’t need it is not the best use of that valuable resource.

On the other hand, seeing families from varied economic and cultural backgrounds is a good thing – it’s important that people understand that addiction affects people across all classes and that it’s not a poor person’s disease. Also, the addicts from wealthy backgrounds are still in need of help. Just because they can afford to pay for treatment doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t need the intervention, right?

Curious what y’all think. Maybe there’s a compromise?

Should Wealthy Families Be On Intervention?

View Results

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Latest Post

Update April 27, 2018

Hello Interventionites! Interventionarians?

Apparently Intervention will be returning on June 5th with a new regular-format season. I haven’t been able to track down the promo or any official info from A&E online but it’s been reported that ads were run on the channel. Those ads are notoriously unreliable, A&E changes its mind a lot when it comes to scheduling, but at least we know that new episodes have definitely been produced and will be aired at some point. Which is fantastic news! We get to delay the heartbreak a while longer. (I’m seriously dreading having to go through the emotional toll of Intervention’s 2nd cancellation).

I’ve been trying to put together stats about the show and I’m stoked to almost be done with data entry.  However, I’m missing a few important pieces of information and I need your help. As you probably know, not all of the episodes are still available to view online. Sometimes because the addict has since passed away, sometimes for other mysterious reasons.  I recently went back and added the Interventionist to every episodes’ page (that wasn’t something I was originally recording when I started the site), but I wasn’t able to get that info on all of them because the episode is now inaccessible for whatever reason. So here is the list of interventions where I don’t know who the interventionist was. Do you know?

Season 1
Vanessa

Season 2
Randi
Michael

Season 3
Dillon

Season 4
Mike
Jenny

In other news, I started a Patreon in case anyone is interested in helping me cover my new higher-security hosting costs AND I’ve now been sober for 5 months. Feels like a dang miracle. Thanks for all your support everyone.

Happy Spring!

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Barry (Intervention Canada)

Season 15, Episode 5

Barry
Age: 50
Location:  Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
Addiction: Alcohol

What’s Memorable: The father/son relationship, the hopeful ending.

Official Synopsis: Hailing from a small seaside town in Nova Scotia, Barry, 50, was born into a life of alcoholism and turmoil. The victim of childhood abuse at the hands of a close relative, Barry learned to drink with his alcoholic mother as a boy. Both were seeking a way to kill the pain. A gentle giant when sober, but violent and verbally abusive when spiraling on 40 ounces of vodka a day, Barry has alienated just about everyone in his life, including his father, whom he adores, and his 27-year-old son who has cut off all contact. Living day-to-day in run-down motels and struggling to put together a living between binges, Barry has a chance to reclaim his life, his family, and a relationship with his son who has shut him out of his life.

Date Aired: 
Interventionist:
Maureen

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Holley (Intervention Canada)

Season 2, Episode 11 of Intervention Canada

Holley
Age: 28
Location:  Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Alcohol

What’s Memorable: How drunk she gets during the day while she’s taking care of her kids and how great the family was doing after she got help.

Official Synopsis: At the age of 16, Holley witnessed her mother cheating on the father she adored. The strain between mother and daughter never eased and Holley, now 28, acted out through raging alcohol and cocaine abuse. An important member of a loving extended family, Holley’s relatives watched in horror as she gave birth to and raised three children in the dangerous fog of addiction. Her family must now act — to save the children from their mother, and their mother from almost certain death.

Date Aired: November 2012
Interventionist:
Andrew

Latest Post

Who didn’t go to treatment?

I’m finishing up on entering all the data I need in order to start crunching numbers and finding statistics and patterns, which I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I want to verify who ended up not going to treatment at all and I thought you might be able to help, instead of me having to go back and re-watch episodes.

Here are all the addicts I know of who did NOT attend treatment. If they didn’t attend treatment right after the intervention but the followup said they eventually went, they shouldn’t be on this list. These are only the folks who, at the end of the episode, still had not agreed to treatment and never went as far as we know.

Sean

Larry

Alissa

Marquel

Adam

 

Am I missing anyone?

 

 

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