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Episode 86: Jeff

Season 6, Episode

Jeff
Age: 40
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: You know, what’s interesting about Jeff is that his addiction was so clearly a direct result of a traumatic work-related incident. It wasn’t just exacerbated by it, it was CREATED by it as a response to the trauma. He was a hero and family man until this one thing, and now he’s lost everything. It’s lovely how much his firefighter friends are looking after him even as he pushes them away, and it’s harrowing how he can see himself losing everything and can’t stop it. This is one episode that truly frightens me, in that any one of us can experience something so profoundly traumatizing that we can at any time become an addict in need of an intervention.

Here’s an interesting article about Jeff’s story in relation to firefighting PTSD.

Official Synopsis: Forty-year-old Jeff was once known as a heroic firefighter after he saved his partner’s life. But Jeff was traumatized by the harrowing event, and his drinking increased drastically. Jeff has received two DUI’s and been rushed to the hospital numerous times for seizures. Jeff’s alcoholism has also forced his son and wife to move out. Now his family’s last hope is that an intervention will stop Jeff from drinking himself to death.

Original Air Date: June 2009
Interventionist:  Ken

Categories: Addicted Parent, Alcohol, Ken, Most Powerful Episodes, Most Uplifting Episodes, Season 6, Traumatic Incident

Discussion

7 Responses to “Episode 86: Jeff”

  1. The location of this episode is actually Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. The hotel that was used for the intervention is the Fredericton Crown Plaza aka the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel. He has become somewhat well known around the Fredericton area regarding his recovery. Here is a story about it http://istopdrinking.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/firefighting-hero-promotes-funding-for-addiction-programs-to-help-save-our-own/

    Posted by D1393 | August 13, 2012, 8:23 am
  2. Any single one of us can fall victim to PTSD that leads to addiction. Many think only soldiers of war get it . Wrong . Rape victims , abuse victims , survivors and witnesses of violence , doctors, police , firemen , parents who lose children ….. anybody .I was normal one day then the horror of family witnessing Columbine and an abusive husband and me divorcing caused PTSD . I developed cancer , was homesless and became a severe addict . In a million years nobody would have thought me . I got help and got clean but the pain of Columbine never left.

    Posted by marcy lily | June 1, 2014, 10:59 pm
    • I got PTSD from rape and am still feeling very stuck. I don’t feel like the same person anymore. I can relate to Jeff’s story a lot because of that. My addiction started as a result of my PTSD as well and I don’t know that I will ever be “over” it. It’s been over 7 years and I still hurt every single day and feel very hopeless. I’ve been to the level of despair that Jeff felt many times. I’ve been to rehab, therapy, tried like 30 different meds, been hospitalized for suicidal tendencies, and still feel so broken and don’t even know what to do. I’m on methadone so heroin isn’t a problem now but the pain never goes away. I think many people don’t realize that when it comes to PTSD, addiction is a symptom of a much bigger disease.

      Posted by Nicole | January 9, 2016, 3:26 am
      • My daughter died. I loved her with everything I have. But I stayed sober. You can too. Quit feeling sorry for yourself. It’s kind of pathetic.

        Posted by chris | January 19, 2016, 7:58 pm
      • Sorry I only read half of this. I.hope your better

        Posted by Natasha Carriles | September 1, 2017, 2:35 pm
    • Excellent post! Never thought About doctors and witnesses of violence you are so right. Thank you for sharing this

      Posted by Natasha Carriles | September 1, 2017, 2:33 pm
  3. Favourite episode. It’s a

    I don’t think I’ve seen someone so far gone, who gave up so much, who is also in that much denial, with so many people who love him. So many extremes in Jeff’s story and yet everyone is so stereotypically Canadian in how they deal with it (very polite!). Which worked!

    I got chills all over when I saw that his recovery center was Edgewood in Nanaimo. That’s where I live! Throughout the episode I kept thinking how there was something so familiar about him. I literally thought the words “I feel like I’ve seen him before…” Now I’m wondering if I ever interacted with him at one point! Eeee! So uplifting indeed.

    I’m going to apply to Edgewood now.

    Posted by Jess | May 14, 2015, 4:43 pm

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