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Episode 121: Adam


Age:  28
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Addicted to: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: How much he seems to hate himself and how much pain he’s in, his unwillingness to discuss what happened when he was serving in the war, the angry girlfriend who seems to have total control over him except when it comes to drinking.

Official synopsis:  Adam was once one of top skiers in the United States. As a Marine, he served in 15 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan on terrorist-related missions. But when he came back home from overseas, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and started drinking. His alcohol abuse is ruining his body.
Original Air Date: July 2010

Categories: Alcohol, Athletic/Competition Career End, Season 8, Traumatic Incident, War


22 Responses to “Episode 121: Adam”

  1. Poor Adam…he was such a lost soul (as shown in this episode). It didn’t end on a very positive note. I wonder if he was ever able to get back on the right track? My heart went out to his family, especially his father–who said some very wise things. The one that stuck with me was when he observed of his alcoholic, combat-scarred veteran son, “His secrets are what’s killing him”. He must have seen/done some awful things. It was also heartbreaking, listening to lost, confused Adam trying to figure out why he was where he was. “I’m nice!” he said to no one in particular. I hope Adam’s found his way and it would be wonderful to find out that his story has a happy ending (or middle!). Good luck, Adam!

    Posted by Gregory Moore | November 22, 2014, 3:08 pm
  2. Adam’s episode was one of the most heartbreaking thing I’d ever seen. Seeing his best friend die at age 15, whatever trauma he suffered during the war, it’s painful to watch. This man has been irreparably destroyed through trauma and his illness is causing him to destroy his body and his life. Somehow, it wasn’t surprising he refused treatment. I always remember his final moments on the show, basically telling everybody he hates them. And then pointing to someone offscreen (most likely the producer or ‘documentary filmaker) and him saying “especially you- you lied to me.” Like there could’ve been a chance if he hadn’t been on the show. He may’ve been in the process of seeking help.

    Posted by Keaton | January 30, 2015, 7:17 pm
  3. You know, as much as I am a huge fan of the show and I think the help they provide is fantastic…but this is one where I feel the very well-meaning family perhaps made a mistake with going on the show. Someone who is clearly so wounded and traumatized, with who knows what kind of trust issues from the war…this is not someone I would want to devieve, even if it is in his own interests. I feel awful for all of them, especially his heartbroken parents.

    Posted by Kat | February 3, 2015, 12:39 pm
  4. I wish there was a way that we could contact people who were interviewed on intervention I wish there was a way I could contact him because I can relate to him so much. at the end of the episode it says that he stopped drinking and that he and his girlfriend has a daughter which is amazing. I hope he’s still doing well.

    Posted by Gina | March 12, 2015, 1:18 am
    • At the end of his episode it states he is living with his GF JD and continues to drink. It doesn’t say he stopped.

      Posted by Cam | May 15, 2015, 5:51 pm
      • On the other episode I just watched it said he had stopped drinking, graduated from college and now has a computer science job. Also a daughter with JD

        Posted by Justin | November 18, 2015, 12:13 am
  5. I heard somewhere he did stop and had a baby with JD.
    his episode stuck with a me a lot, I’ve been in similar situation and still somewhat am.

    Posted by KC | July 6, 2015, 8:44 pm
  6. His girlfriend was just awful. Pure narcissist. I really hope they are not together for his sake even if they do have a daughter. I think her being rude to him made him drink more. Her attitude and voice just bothered me. So unsupportive. When Adam said “she’s angry everyday!” It was very telling.

    Also I can say as someone with PTSD that threatening someone isn’t going to help. The intervention went the wrong way.

    Also I love snowbird! That’s the resort he was skiing at in the beginning. I’m from the slc area so I recognized a lot of stuff.

    Posted by Nicole | August 14, 2015, 1:00 am
  7. Ok this episode was good I wish I could know how he is.

    Posted by Claire | October 22, 2015, 4:37 pm
  8. OMG I am watching this now and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. I can’t stop crying. I just wanted to hug this poor boy and make his pain go away. It is even more painful as I have been in a 4 year relationship withan alcoholic and it is the hardest thing I have ever done, including beating cancer at 23 years old. I realized watching his girlfriend and hearing the way she responded to him, is the way I have responded to him sometimes when he broke yet another promise to me not to drink again. Sometimes it is hard, when you’re in the midst of a relationship that involves you, your partner, and their addiction, to be completely your best person. There is much anger that you can’t just “fix” them, that you can’t just love them enough to make it better and cure their addiction. Despite him knowing he needs to quit, it isn’t easy. Almost all addiction starts because of some kind of trauma. My boyfriend’s is no exception. Too much pain and burying of emotions. A suicide of his sister. I hope this poor boy is safe, happy, and sober. He deserves it, as do they all. I am going to try to be a much better girlfriend and hope that one day we look back on these struggles and are happy we made it through until he won his battle. God bless, guys.

    Posted by Deborah | November 17, 2015, 8:59 pm
  9. I happened to see this episode tonight. I tried to do some research to see if I could find anything more about Adam to see how he was doing, but my searches came up empty.

    I sincerely hope he’s doing well.

    Posted by Steve | November 17, 2015, 9:04 pm
  10. I want to send Adam love and hugs and blessings from God. He is so tormented. I hope and pray he is well.

    Posted by BG | January 29, 2016, 7:34 pm
  11. Last update that I read on him stated that he stopped drinking, finished college/obtained a degree in computer science, was working full time, and had a kid with that horrendous JD person.

    The update is from 2011, so seeing that that is about 5 years ago there’s more than a strong possibility that he’s drinking again or even worse. I say that it’s a big possibility because neither the episode nor update stated that he ever went to treatment and simply stopped on his own, which is more than possible as many have done and do so on a daily basis. However, those like Adam that do succeed on their own have both come to terms/dealt with their traumatic past and are involved in 12-Step programs, and like I previously stated I saw no mention of Adam having done/being involved with either. Also, if he is still with that narcissistic, uncaring bitch then there’s an even bigger possibility that he relapsed.

    I do hope that my assumptions are wrong and he has been living a happy, fulfilling and sober life!!!!!

    Posted by Molly | May 4, 2016, 7:39 pm
  12. Oh,and need to add that on another site I came across a couple of posts from someone that served with Adam in Iraq, and he stated that both he and Adam were what is referred to as “Fobbits” (Marines/Soldiers/other persons stationed at a secure forward operating base (FOB) who are either reluctant/afraid/ordered not to leave the confines of FOB base).

    Posted by Molly | May 5, 2016, 12:50 am
  13. What was the other site you are referring to? And I agree that JD was awful and a big part of the problem! Not bc she was an “escape” from rehab, but bc she was clearly not a nice, kind and sincere person. I am from Utah and unfortunately the JD personality/mentality is far too prevalent among females here. Either that or cookie cutter Mormon who is extremely sheltered and in denial that things like mental health problems and alcoholism even exist until it happens to someone in their immediate family. Then they still deny deny deny until it slaps them across the face. The culture here is not conducive to healing. Trust me I’ve be working on it for about 9 years….

    Posted by Nicole | May 18, 2016, 8:55 pm
    • Wow, thank you for that insight into the tendencies of women in the the Mormon/Utah culture. Perhaps Adam thinks that JD is a good girlfriend because he doesn’t see better options because her behavior is quite normal relative to peers. Very sad. I feel like Adam would thrive in a bigger, more progressive city, with more world-aware women.

      Posted by Irene | March 11, 2017, 6:14 pm
  14. I can’t stand his father, ‘The Marines make a man out of you’ and when Adam talks about being a kid, you can bet his Dad pushed the whole ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ ethos on him.
    The final cherry is when he is disappointed that Adam stopped racing when his friends died. Poor kid probably had PTSD then. The military was probably a way for him to mask it and ‘man up’. A real tragedy.

    Posted by Jo | July 7, 2016, 12:01 pm
    • Wow, that’s a really really good point. At the time of the Intervention, he had PTSD upon more PTSD… that kind of layered trauma is very difficult to untangle and deal with. This poor soul.

      Posted by Irene | March 11, 2017, 6:16 pm
  15. It looks like he was arrested for crack cocaine in 2006. A news clipping from the accident showed his last name, and a Salt Lake City man with the same name and correct age (based on the news article that said he was 15 in 1997 when the accident happened) was arrested.


    Posted by B | November 22, 2016, 3:53 pm
    • I don’t think that was him. Firstly, he was 28 in 2010, unless he had turned 29 after filming which would still only make him 29 at the time the episode aired in July 2010, so it wouldn’t be possible he was 35 in 2006. He would’ve been 24 in 2006. Secondly, if the picture of the man in the car is on the article is the suspect, it definitely isn’t the same Adam. If he was 15 in 1997, then he would’ve been born in 1982, which sounds accurate to the ages on the show, not the age on the news article. He is probably 34-35 now, actually.

      Posted by Nicole | November 30, 2016, 11:39 am

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