There’s been some confusion about this episode. No, Maureen is not a new Interventionist. This was an Intervention Canada episode that aired earlier this month.
Here’s how you can tell if it’s an Intervention Canada episode: 1) the music, graphics, and camera work seem slightly off 2) the interview backgrounds are really blue 3) it takes place in Canada 4) the Interventionist isn’t one of our beloveds and has a Canadian accent.
Season 15, Episode 17
Location: Derby, Kansas
What’s Memorable: Brittany’s relationship with her dad is really moving. The guy seems so damn cool and a really good father, despite his addiction. I had a lot of respect for his willingness to go to treatment to help get his daughter clean. If that’s what he needs to motivate himself, fine, as long as it keeps him clean and keeps Brittany feeling supported.
Update: Brittany Christine Howard died on August 20th, 2016 of an overdose, 2 days after completing treatment. Her family has a GoFundMe to raise money for funeral expenses. And here is Brittany’s obituary
Official Synopsis: Brittany was part of the all-American family. But rape, drugs, and divorce have caused this family unit to crumble. At the center, Brittany’s heroin and meth abuse has created a tornado that has divided the family and now threatens her life..and worse yet, Brittany may not be the only active user in the house.
Date Aired: Aug 2016
Season 15, Episode 16
Location: Lamar, South Carolina
Official Synopsis: Rob was already a successful business owner when he inherited over a million dollars and several valuable properties from his father. But after his father’s recent death, Rob, a former crack addict, picked up the pipe again after years of sobriety. In just 12 months, Rob has blown through 200k of his inheritance, has shut down his once thriving business, and now his wife and family fear for his life.
Date Aired: July 2016
Season 15, Episode 15
Location: Browning, Montana (Blackfeet Indian Reservation)
What’s Memorable: The fact that the episode takes place on a reservation. For one, it’s been a while since we’ve seen anyone profiled who isn’t white. (The racial & cultural diversity on this show is seriously lacking). Second, this episode was a bit of a historical and cultural education about why American Indians have a high rate of addiction and that suboxone is becoming a drug of choice. Third, Jonel’s mother explained that talking about what happens on the reservation to people on the outside is highly discouraged, so for this family to reach out to Intervention and be willing to talk about their family on TV shows how much they love her and need her to get help. There is a lot of love in this family and it showed. So glad Jonel accepted treatment and stayed there long enough to get solid in her sobriety. That’s just what she needed.
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!