Season 15, Episode 15
Official Synopsis: Jonel was born into the Blackfeet Indian Tribe in Montana. When she was 9 months pregnant, her boyfriend was tragically killed in a car accident and then she gave birth to her daughter just days after the funeral. Shocked and grief stricken, Jonel began using suboxone and meth – two drugs that are rampant on the reservation. 14 months ago, Jonel gave birth to her second child who was born addicted to suboxone.
Date Aired: July 2016
Season 15, Episode 14
Location: Miami, Oklahoma
What’s Memorable: How much Oklahoma City still affects him, the strength it must have taken to do the job he did, his wife having to drive herself to the hospital when she was in labor because he was passed out. Also, the distant vacancy on his face when he’s drunk and the way he reacts to his mother taking care of him. Some of the things she said really struck me – calling him ‘white trash’ and his internet date ‘some floozy’ – and make me wonder if there were class expectations set for Brian that he struggled to live up to.
Official Synopsis: Brian had it all. He married his high school sweetheart, had two beautiful children, and became the owner/director of his family’s successful funeral home in Oklahoma. But while assisting with the recovery of bodies during the Oklahoma City bombings – including those in the building’s nursery – Brian fell apart and turned to alcohol for comfort and never turned back. He’s now lost his wife, kids, and career due to his addiction, and his family feels that at the rate he’s going, the next funeral will be for him.
Note: The above ‘official synopsis’ from A&E has some details and the sequence of events out of order, and it really creates a different story than reality. He didn’t start drinking heavily right after Oklahoma. He was a 21 year old apprentice when the tragedy happened and became owner/director of his own funeral home years later, and that’s when the drinking got bad. I feel like that’s an important difference.
Date Aired: July 2016
Season 15, Episode 13
Location: I missed the location. Accents sound like New York City though. Staten Island maybe?
What’s Memorable: The nodding off, the going to work pretending to read papers that were blank, answering the phone with eyes pretty much closed, the family dinner. I’ve seen and experienced this before but it really hit home for me in this episode: addicts understand that they’re affecting their families, they just prefer not to think about it and when they do, it makes them want to be high. Addiction is a sick self-perpetuating cycle. The more addicted you are the more shitty you get, the more shitty you get the more guilty you feel, the more guilty you feel the more drugs you think you need to do. Repeat Repeat. Also Jeff nailed co-dependency with this simple line: “She’s being protected from the negative consequences of her actions.” And that followup, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.
Official Synopsis: With a booming family business that could one day be hers, Alicia’s future looked bright. But reconnecting with her biological father sent Alicia down a path of pain and self-destruction that has led to a full-blown addiction to heroin and Xanax.
Date Aired: July 2016
Season 15, Episode 12
Age: Late 30’s?
Location: Laguna Niguel, California
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: This one is painful. Taking care of someone who could literally die if they don’t get alcohol into their system is beyond exhausting and constantly terrifying. Making sure they have enough alcohol in order to stay alive another day while knowing that you’re helping them stay addicted, it’s just too much. And then also having to watch them take a bunch of pills that could easily result in an overdose and not being able to do anything about it? No one should ever have to deal with that kind of turmoil. I have nothing but empathy for Sandi and their family and friends. They did what they had to do to keep him alive, and calling Intervention may have been the thing that actually saved his life. I really hope so, he has a lot to live for and his family deserves to be happy.
Official Synopsis: Daniel is a well-respected Paranormal expert. However, his sensitivity leaves him tormented by those entities needing to cross to the other side. Daniel is now consuming a gallon of vodka per day to quiet the voices. That, combined with easy access to pain meds and opiates Daniel takes for his lupus diagnosis, has left him spiraling out of control. His family fears that it is only a matter of time before he is lost inside a world he cannot escape.
Date Aired: June 2016
Season 15, Episode 11
Location: St Augustine, Florida
What’s Memorable: First of all, Ginjer is awesome. So self-aware, honest, smart, funny. One of the most likable addicts this show has profiled. I think sobriety will suit her well and she’s gonna make a great life for herself. That said, I was not a fan of the way this episode was edited. They focused almost entirely on the whole sugar baby thing which, as upsetting as it was, was likely not the only aspect of her addiction that was worth showing. There was very little interaction with her family, so it’s hard to know how it affected them or how invested they were in her getting sober. Did the audience really need to witness multiple client interactions? Not to mention the audio – I can’t even believe they’re doing that now. This isn’t a show that’s supposed to titillate viewers and I really think they focused on that aspect of Ginjer’s story for that reason – because it was provocative. Come on A&E, we know you can do better than that, and you certainly could have done better by Ginjer.
Official Synopsis: Ginjer is a professional Sugar Baby who trolls ‘dating’ websites to maintain a severe Dilaudid addiction. Once a top contender to become a Naval Officer, Ginjer has fallen so far that she juggles ‘men who pay’ to keep the drugs flowing. Ginjer’s family is desperate, fearing she is on the fast track to an early death.
Date Aired: June 2016
So here’s the deal on Season 15 so far:
New Intervention episodes return June 19th. Yay! There hasn’t been a new episode since Daniel/Robert on April 17th.
4 of the episodes that have played this season are NOT new episodes, they’re Intervention Canada episodes from a few years ago (Loren Ep6 , Kent Ep10, Conrad Ep8, Barry Ep5)
A&E is weird like that. They like to sneak in these old Canada episodes and sorta pretend like they’re new without actually saying they’re new nor not new, and then wait forever to tell us when actually new episodes are starting. To make it even more confusing this time they’re putting them in the Season lineup numbering as if they’re new, which just screws everything up for me. Boo. I really wish A&E would hire me to sort this shit out for them.
I don’t cover Canada episodes but there’s a open thread here if you want to read comments & updates.
See ya on the 19th!
Season 15, Episode 7
Daniel and Robert
Age: 30 and 31
Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
What’s Memorable: Oof. This is a tough one but also hugely satisfying. The ugly situation at their dad’s house, the bedroom Daniel & Renee live in, the heated custody fight between the grandparents in the intervention room, Renee refusing to admit to using drugs but still going to treatment (no surprise that she had to address an eating disorder, she was scary skinny). These three people were all so damn sick, and all of them went to treatment and got healthy. Intervention saves lives.
Date Aired: April 2016
Season 15, Episode 6
Location: Central Square, New York
What’s Memorable: Despite her intimidating and manipulative behavior, Karissa is still somehow very likable. It’s not a mystery why she became an addict given her childhood traumas, but it’s clear that if she wasn’t addicted she would be such a cool person to be around. Also: That family diner has such personality, but it was disturbing to me what the non-family employees had to deal with everyday. I mean that’s a borderline abusive working environment, having to be witness to all that and pretend to not be affected. The idea that Karissa thinks she’s a ‘functional junkie’ because she gets up in the morning to go to work shows how deluded she is about what “functional’ means. Leaving work to go lie to the doctor in order to get Suboxone and immediately selling it for 10 bags of heroin and then needing people to stay up watching you all night with an overdose kit at hand because they’re afraid you’ve taken too many benzos with your heroin and you might die – that is not functional. I’m so glad Karissa made it and as of February 2016 is still sober. She deserves such a better life.
Official Synopsis: Karissa was always a talented cook – so much so, that her mother had one day hoped to pass the family diner down to her as a legacy. But Karissa’s life took a drastic turn when a close family friend fed her Oxycodone, and then ultimately made her a drug courier. From there Karissa was lost. Now, years of self-abuse, self-medication, and a severe addiction to heroin have left her volatile and desperate. Her family fears that if she does not heal from her violent past and the childhood she lost, she will never have the future she deserves.
Date Aired: April 2016
Interventionist: Sylvia (who rocked this one)