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Episode 161: Courtney

Season 11 Episode 10

Courtney
Age: 20
Location: Miami, Florida
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: This whole story is about women. Ladies everywhere! Ok there’s the junkie boyfriend who never actually speaks to the camera and the totally absent father who Courtney met when she was 10 and who quickly abused her and she never talked to again. But other than that, this is a story about a family of women horribly affected by their precious girl’s addiction. 20 years old with abscesses and scars all over, hooking for heroin. Also memorable: The crazy, breathless, on-the-go intervention and the surprising followup.

Official Synopsis: Nicknamed the “junkie princess” by her drug-abusing friends, Courtney, 20, injects heroin up to eight times a day and prostitutes herself to finance her own and her boyfriend’s addiction. But now Courtney’s mother, sister, and grandmother are planning an intervention in one last-ditch attempt to convince her to leave her boyfriend and accept treatment.
Original Air Date: March 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Categories: Childhood Sexual Abuse, Donna, Heroin, Season 11

Discussion

70 Responses to “Episode 161: Courtney”

  1. I watch this show alot and it always brings a tear to my eye esp when they recamp and show pics and stories of when the person was a little child. Im a father of a 3yr old boy and it blows my mind that someone could abandoned their child as Courtney’s father did to her. I dont know how these selfish parents live with themselves honestly. These children are beautiful gifts that bring so much joy into our lifes and just want to be loved. I wish Courtney and all children could feel the love that they truly deserve to have 🙁

    “I wish I was a wish I would make your dreams come true…I wish I was a reason that picked you up when you were blue. I wish I was a charm that always brought you luck…I wish I was an arm you reached for when you were stuck” -JayR

    Posted by Jason Ball | March 19, 2012, 8:41 pm
    • Thank you for caring about my precious baby girl. I wish she would let me help her but no matter what i do she hates me and wont accept all the help i offer her every day.

      Posted by Charlene | March 5, 2013, 3:39 am
      • Does anyone know where Courtney is or if she is well? Ever since her episode I can’t stop thinking about her, especially since there was no follow up. Facebook, anything? Can’t help but feel so connected to some of the people on the show. I’ve happened to find a few on Facebook and it’s just good to know they are alive and well

        Posted by Evelyn | June 27, 2015, 8:07 pm
  2. Could Courtney’s mother please email me or give me her email. I was shocked to see the episode last march. I had met Courtney. She use to to tell me the reason she had to go to the bathrooom so much was because she had to take an insulin shot…and I believed her.. Now ,months later, i searched for the episode again and found this site. i really want to know how she is doing..

    Posted by Ben P | October 12, 2012, 6:39 pm
    • This is Courtney’s mom do I know you?

      Posted by Charlene | March 5, 2013, 3:23 am
      • My heart is broken over this terrible addiction. I can hardly go on Courtney won’t accept the help I want to give her every day.

        Posted by Charlene | March 5, 2013, 3:36 am
      • You dont know me. I met her last year. She called me a couple of times before the episode came out. Then, silence. number had been changed. Plz email me back and we will chat more.

        Posted by Ben | March 20, 2013, 9:45 am
    • Ben how can I get your email – I dont want to send mine over the internet.

      Posted by Charlene | March 20, 2013, 12:42 pm
      • I have both of your email addresses – will send info privately.

        Posted by Dizzy | March 20, 2013, 2:14 pm
      • Hi Charlene I was Courtney’s friend from middle school, not sure if you remember me, I went on a trip with you and her to visit her grandpa once. I would love if you could email me at jenschro@mail.com

        Posted by Jennifer Schroder | July 16, 2016, 5:36 pm
    • I emailed you today

      Posted by Charlene | March 20, 2013, 10:29 pm
      • Hi Charlene- Courtney’s story had a huge impact on me, and really struck me, most of which I can’t explain..We’re the same age and I first saw her episode several weeks ago and can’t get it out of my head…Is there any way I could contact you, maybe through email?

        Posted by Kathryn | July 20, 2013, 6:40 pm
  3. Charlene. Im happy to know courtney is still alive. I am a girl, much like her…. With a lot of similar past issues. Everyday i push myself away from the desire not to feel. You are a good mother it seems… Its too late for boundaries and rules with courtney. When you want to critisize, ask questions instead, when you feel anger or disappointent in her or yourself voice instead friendship and remember pity. Intervention does not know everything. Alot of people want to be saved…… But not the intervention way. Even if you do not agree with her lifestyle, pretend or “fake it till you make it” if you can think of drawing her closer theough love and acceptance and then slowly weaning her off…. Costly perhaps but if you love your daughter… You will find a way. No girl wants to escort… She is afraid of trusting others to deliver her “supply” right now that may be drugs but a year from now her supply can be love, family and self-esteem. To those who havent walked her footsteps… It may seem hard to relate, but her pain is real and unfortunatley the less drugs she does… Whatever feeling she was escaping from will be felt x10 so you have to find a substitute for it. She pushes you away because she feels judged and unworthy, be calm, be constant and dont let go. I wish i had a mother that cared 🙂 judgement will push her away, acceptance will lower her defences. Good luck charlene and god bless.

    Joyce

    Posted by JAH | March 6, 2013, 11:31 pm
    • Thank you Joyce. I have gone through every emotion for years trying to find the right way to get Courtney to get help. I am now in a place of knowing that no doctor, addiction expert is right. I now listen to my heart and I text Courtney everyday with positive words but not pushing her anymore. I offer her many options for treatment when she is ready I’ve never thought I would say this but if she needs methodone I told her I will pay for her treatments. I will never give up I love this precious soul my beautiful daughter more than life.

      Posted by Charlene | March 20, 2013, 12:39 pm
      • I’m SO happy to hear that Courtney is alive and back in touch with you! I was positively LIVID when I saw her episode, and feel that Donna handled the intervention horribly! While I realize that a lot of what was aired was probably edited and cut down for timing, I feel that her direction in threatening Courtney with jail and making a public scene was completely uncalled for! I would’ve done anything to flee the scene as well, were I confronted in that manner. I found myself relating to Courtney in SO many ways, and you’re absolutely right…no doctor or addiction expert is right. They are a WONDERFUL source of support and guidance when the person is ready to get help, but that’s the key factor…they have to be ready! No two journeys are the same, but Courtney will come around. I grew up with a mom who was depressed and bipolar( untreated), never knew my father, was the victim of sexual assault by an ex in my early twenties, and developed cervical cancer as a result of that assault last year…I drank, took MDMA, and shot heroin over the past ten years. I just needed to not feel. And it’s horrible, but heroin really is “the magic eraser”…it just makes everything go away. It gives you a clean slate and allows you to decide on what does and does not exist in your life. But at some point, you do realize that this isn’t the way to deal with trauma. I came to that realization late last year, and have been working on my sobriety since. Trust me, Courtney WILL find her way home. I think it’s wonderful that she has such loving support from you! Just be there for her, love her, and remind her of the glory within herself. Be well!

        Posted by Sam | April 24, 2013, 8:37 am
      • Hello Charlene how is Courtney doing? We would like to know.

        Posted by Elizabeth | October 20, 2014, 10:03 pm
      • Hi Carlene
        How is Courtney doing?

        Posted by Enriue | February 8, 2017, 12:53 pm
  4. Jason thank you so much for caring about my baby girl.

    Posted by Charlene | March 20, 2013, 12:40 pm
    • Charlene. I am just hoping and praying that y’all are doing good and that your daughter is sober.

      Posted by pamela marsgall | June 28, 2015, 5:22 am
    • Hey Charlene,

      I truly hope Courtney is doing well and you have been able to find some semblence of peace of mind. Also I hope Kim and her wife are doing well too. I live in the ATL area and if Kim ever wants to discuss how heroin can impact you personally from a close family member feel free to give her my email.

      <3 from ATL

      Posted by Carson | October 13, 2015, 2:57 pm
    • Any update on your daughter? Her story has touched so many of us and we are praying for her and for all of you. Some of us, who’ve experienced drug addiction, can understand what you are going through. I hope that her story has helped others.

      Posted by Paula | March 2, 2017, 1:22 pm
  5. Hey Charlene, this is for you. I was wondering where Courtney lives. With Jeff or who? Is she getting along with Kim? Is Courtney progressing since the show airing?
    Feel free to email me!

    Posted by Amanda | June 1, 2013, 10:57 am
  6. Hey Charlene, I watched the show one night and wondered why Linda looked my mother. As I watched the show, I felt such a heartfelt concern and by the time the show was over, I realized the connection. “Our” thoughts and prayers are with everybody there and hope that you know that you are all thought of everyday.

    Posted by Paula | June 13, 2013, 4:34 pm
  7. I just watched Courtney’s episode…
    I’m so sad that she left treatment. As I watched her episode I was so hopeful that it would end with her on a beach in recovery looking healthier n getting to enjoy her young life.
    I really hope that some how she gets help I really think she is the key to the entire family coming back together, love n prayers to her and for the entire family!

    Posted by Jess | September 20, 2013, 1:21 am
  8. Charlene, for some reason this episode really hit me hard. I feel so much for you and your family, as I have a sister who struggles with similar issues and I have struggled with issues as well. I too live in Miami and recognized half of the places in this episode and it made it so real to me. I am so glad to see she is back in touch with you guys. I pray for your family and for Courtney and truly hope she recovers as soon as possible.

    Posted by Bella | October 13, 2013, 12:49 pm
  9. Charlene, Me and Courtney were good friends. This is my last resort to contact someone from the family to find her. Your help is greatly appreciated. I can prove who I am in a private manor.

    Posted by Elizabeth | October 23, 2013, 6:04 pm
  10. How’s Courtney today? Wish her and you all the best… feel free to email me! xo

    Posted by Alex | November 27, 2013, 8:10 am
  11. Does anyone have an update on Courtney? I’ve been watching episodes on xfinity on demand and of the ones I’ve seen; I’m most haunted by Courtney’s story. I feel unfulfilled by the outcome not to mention she’s young and should have her whole life in front of her. My heart aches for her family – post any updates please

    Posted by Sharon | December 15, 2013, 8:02 pm
  12. Hi,
    Does anyone know how Courtney is doing? I just watched intervention with her on it and was interested to know how is doing and how her family is coping.

    Posted by Margaret | February 15, 2014, 5:20 am
  13. Charlene, we are all begging you, please let us know if Courtney is okay?

    Posted by Anneliese | March 4, 2014, 2:18 pm
  14. Hi, we really would like to know how Courtney is doing. Please post an update. Family is in my thoughts and prayers

    Posted by sherina | April 16, 2014, 6:45 pm
  15. Charlene are you OK?

    Posted by Marney | September 3, 2014, 6:20 pm
  16. Hi, I’m a friend of Courtney’s from when she was at Palmetto high in 2005/6…when she lived with her uncle. She was close to all my friends and charmed them right away as a freshman in school. She came to all our parties (sober), I would give her a big hug every day at school, and one day we even talked for a couple hours about the future. She was so bright, funny, and with big dreams. I’m glad to see she is on this show so people can see her story. She’s been with Jeff since she started heroin; he’s a loser and a pedophile, like grandma says. I really hope she can get some help. My friends and I knew about her past but we were hoping she could pull through. None of us have been able to get through to her since she started heroin years ago.

    Posted by Elizabeth | October 20, 2014, 9:50 pm
  17. i just watched Courtney’s episode last night for the first time and since then, I can’t stop randomly having her pop into my head. It breaks my heart that she came back seeming like she was really to go to treatment and get better. After seeing that she signed herself out, I wonder if her coming home and going was just to get the police off her tail since she knew she’s an adult and could sign herself out anyway. I’m so sad to think that her beautiful spirit was destroyed when she tried to form a relationship with her father, and that it is being destroyed now by her lifestyle. If there could have been a better approach I wish that it would have been taken. Charlene, you are doing the right thing by keeping in contact with her and not pushing her for treatment but letting her know the option is there. I hope she decides to take it. I feel like so could do wonderful things if she’d get to know herself without heroin. I wish Courtney’s mom Charlene and the rest of your family the very best.

    Posted by Emily | November 13, 2014, 12:46 pm
  18. This episode is definitely one of the more memorable Ones. The way Donna handled Courtney and her intervention was unprofessional, chaotic, threatening and downright extortion. If you don’t get treatment you’re going to jail. That was absolutely horrendous and shame on Donna. I think Donna took it too personally that Courtney wanted no part of the intervention and then was hell bent on revenge. I’m disgusted by her threats and treatment of Courtney and downright lies to the family. I really hope Courtney is doing better. The open-endedness of the episode leaves me scratching my head and I blame the inept and callous Donna for that.

    Posted by Jenna | April 11, 2015, 5:34 am
    • Donna isn’t callous or inept, the only thing that I believe went wrong with this intervention is that they hadn’t filed for the Chapman (?) law beforehand so police would be on standby.

      Posted by Carson | October 13, 2015, 2:58 pm
  19. This heartbreaking story is still one more example of how a father’s abandonment can ruin a child’s self-image, sometimes irreparably. I empathized with every single family member in this show–especially her beautiful sister, Kim, grandmother Linda..and mother, Charlene. I can only hope that in the intervening years since her last post here, two years ago, this family’s story has somehow taken a happy turn. They’ve clearly gone to hell and back, trying to save their beloved Courtney. I send my sincerest wishes of hope to the entire family.

    Posted by Gregory Moore | July 25, 2015, 8:01 am
  20. I did a quick search for Courtney & came across this petition (I linked it). I don’t remember this episode & I’m trying to find it, but the petition claims A&E lied to the family, they didn’t get the help they were promised, etc. Did Courtney refuse treatment?

    Posted by Ash | July 25, 2015, 10:13 am
    • In the end it says she asked for treatment several times, but then she never followed thru, so I wonder if it has something to do with that… I know they all had a problem with Donna too..

      Posted by Shelby Lee Fisher | July 9, 2016, 11:11 am
  21. It’s really shocking how the older generation are so unaware of how dangerous drugs are now especially opiate abuse. Courtney grandmother for example with being worried about the police being seen at her house rather than understanding the significance of the girls addiction and that any day heroin could kill her. It just seems like the older generation are so oblivious to how DEADLY drugs are today and alot honestly don’t take the time to educate themselves. I don’t know just something that bothers me alot.

    Posted by kristy | January 10, 2016, 9:13 pm
  22. “I want to die with a needle in my arm.” Jeez. That line always stays with me. So scary and heartbreaking.

    Posted by Jordy | January 11, 2016, 2:42 pm
  23. I never really understood why Donna got so much backlash for this one… There’s been several interventions on this show that have gone quite similarly to this one (chasing, threatening arrest) and no one says shit… Don’t get it. I like Donna, she’s no-nonsense. And obviously A+E feels the same because they still use her!

    Posted by ShelbyLee | July 9, 2016, 11:09 am
  24. If you read this Courtney, know that I plan to pray for you all day today. I know you can and want to change. I used drugs from 13-21. I’ve been clean since I turned my life to God. I’m 47 now. You have a beautiful soul.

    Posted by David | July 9, 2016, 8:36 pm
  25. This episode hits home for us because our daughter is completely lost to heroin addiction. We don’t even know where she is to try to get her help. This is yeast four for us. Is Courtney still alive? How is her family doing?

    Posted by Angie Wunder | July 10, 2016, 7:07 am
    • Angie, I’m so sorry your family is going through such a difficult and scary time! I will keep your daughter and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

      Posted by Shannon | July 18, 2016, 10:57 am
  26. I’ve always wondered about how Courtney has been doing….She seemed so lost, and the way her episode ended haunted me the most… I hope she’s doing good, and we could get some kind of update on her sometime.

    Posted by Tazz | July 10, 2016, 6:14 pm
  27. Very heartbreaking episode. Hope Courtney eventually agrees to get the help she needs.

    Posted by Lisa | July 10, 2016, 6:34 pm
  28. Courtney, if you read this, I want you to know that life can and will get better, all you have to do is give it a chance. I don’t know you any more than you know me, but from one addict to another, I know how hopeless it can feel. I pray that you find peace one way or another. It’s never too late.

    Posted by Chris | July 17, 2016, 6:11 pm
  29. Geez I can’t find anything on Courtney anywhere but I’m going to continue looking. It’s been 4 yrs since the episode aired and she was in terrible shape for a 20 yr old I can’t imagine what type of condition she would be in now if she was still using. Pretty scary god I hope she’s ok.

    Posted by Kristy | July 18, 2016, 2:50 pm
  30. I knew Courtney in high school. I have often wondered about her/didn’t know she was on a show until a friend told me today. We skipped school together, zi was very enamored by her, smitten. She was cool. I didn’t know much- or really anything about drug addiction back then. Drugs were cool back then, I guess. That’s not to say I approve. I had always wondered what had become of my teenage crush, my brief partner-in-crime. I hope all the people wondering about her get some good news one day, and her loved ones as well.

    Posted by B | August 2, 2016, 10:09 pm
  31. Has anyone heard anything about Courtney?

    Posted by Carly | October 7, 2016, 5:39 pm
  32. i just watched this today. ridiculous that you can have someone arrested in florida if they’re your family and you’re worried about them. i think that is so bad. and the woman who was suggesting it, I was getting the feeling that she really wanted to see courtney arrested. i don’t think she handled that professionally at all. Like, that was her main motive here. Not to get Courtney help, but to have her arrested. Bringing the law into your family situation is never the answer. It only complicates things.

    Posted by Dan | January 2, 2017, 11:56 am
  33. It’s been almost 5 years since this episode first aired. I saw it for the first time today and am wondering how Courtney is doing. I’m praying for her and praying for you all.

    Posted by Paula | January 2, 2017, 12:52 pm
  34. Pretty disturbing to see her in a cab seemingly unescorted (cameras) to treatment…perhaps she wanted it that way…realize it was 2 months later
    life is difficult, addiction is merciless..relapse quite common..
    Dont give up …EVER …There is a fine line between insanity and surrender..unfortunately
    I am a recovering addict …@ 8 years sober…there is great hope !
    the 12 steps in my case have worked when nothing else did…
    “God could and would if he were sought ”
    Find the strongest AA program on this planet(USA)…find it and work it !
    youtube has many very strong AA messages as examples
    prayers for this young lady and her family, especially Mom

    Posted by Mark I | January 2, 2017, 1:46 pm
  35. Is this Courtney? Age fits. She was born in 1991 or 1992.

    http://miamiarrest.com/courtney-patterson/

    Posted by Kay | January 3, 2017, 12:30 am
  36. Sending best wishes and positive thoughts to Courtney and her family. All the best from Quebec, Canada

    Posted by Melanie | January 3, 2017, 5:24 am
  37. The Marchman Act may have been a convenient tool for Courtney’s family and Donna to use to get her into treatment, but as far as laws go it’s definitely not one of the better ones. Treatment only works when the addict WANTS to change, and forcing an addict into treatment before they hit their “rock bottom” and are ready to change is unlikely to bring about the desired result (recovery) and therefore pointless. I think Donna made a mistake by playing the Marchman card right away…she should instead have focused on trying to convince Courtney that treatment was to her benefit and that her life could be so much better if she were drug-free instead of waving the Marchman Act in her face. I think this is one addict whose intervention/treatment could have been more successful if Candy or Jeff or Sylvia had been doing the intervention. Donna is very good at what she does, but she f***ed this one up pretty badly.

    Posted by Janelle | January 3, 2017, 8:06 am
  38. I sure hope Courtney is doing well these days .. She is such a beautiful young woman with so much life to live !

    Posted by Cindy Miller | January 3, 2017, 3:14 pm
  39. Just watched the episode I DVR it I’m so disturbed & worried about this beautiful girl I hope she is alive & well….Her mom not responding is not a good sign thats my gut feeling I pray I’m wrong….Praying for Courtney Laura from the Bronx NY….

    Posted by Laura | January 4, 2017, 9:44 pm
    • I felt the same way. Her mom hasn’t posted since 2013. That is scary. I too am hoping my gut feeling is wrong. I hope it brings her some sort of comfort to know so many people are concerned about her and praying for her.

      Posted by Paula | January 5, 2017, 9:25 am
  40. Just watched this episode right now and I can’t help to wonder what happened to her? Hope she is doing better

    Posted by Angela | January 10, 2017, 1:01 pm
  41. Praying for Courtney from Houston, Texas

    Posted by J | February 28, 2017, 5:11 pm
  42. I am a 72 year old 100% disabled Vietnam veteran and I am shocked at the family of Courtney she has been abused by her own father at 10 years old and it appears nothing was ever done. I did see that her sister and grandmother tried to help but it appears with the rules she was given all it did was push her away. So at 13 years old she hook up with this addict and turned her into one all I see in him is a PIMP sending that beautiful girl out to make money for him, why wasn’t anything done to him????????? With my addictions and PTSD problems I almost lost my family, it took me to realize my problems and face therm head on, my problems started in 1968 and went on until 1989 since then I have not given into the crutch but the thoughts are always there. I hope and pray that Courtney gets the help she needs, she needs real people in her life to show her the love and caring she needs, I wish I could just hold her and make everything right, it broke my heart to see her that way. Courtney please get better life can be show much better if you find true love, good luck.

    Posted by Gary | March 1, 2017, 9:25 am
  43. I would like to know if anyone has any updates on Courtney or her family, being an addict myself I have a terrible feeling about how things have turned out since intervention, would love to be wrong….

    Posted by Claudia | March 2, 2017, 6:58 am
  44. I went to high school with Courtney. Ever since I saw this episode I’ve been hoping to bump into her, let her know she’s loved. I really wish someone could give me news on how she’s doing…

    Posted by Angelica | June 2, 2017, 1:05 pm
    • Do you know what her last name is? No other episode felt like such a cliffhanger, honestly so many of us are left wondering what happened. Just feel bad for her, and worried.

      Posted by Holly | June 18, 2017, 2:44 pm
      • Her last name is Ball. I knew her in school. Someone may use this info to get her arrested, true, but at this point jail might save her from death. She would just escape from rehab. My friends and I knew her well but she cut off contact with anyone that wanted to talk her out of using.

        Posted by Anon | July 25, 2017, 6:11 pm
  45. I too have wondered how Courtney is. She was the dichotomy of fragility, darkness, strength and pain. She so badly and desperately needed help for not only the drugs but the sexual abuse and life as a young prostitute. How was her boyfriend/pimp allowed to roam free to take her from “appointment” to “appointment “? My heart broke for her and her family. I am less then a week shy of my 20th sober anniversary and recovering from childhood sexual abuse as well. Recovery IS absolutely and indeed possible! A great many of us get and remain sober everyday! My deepest prayers are with Courtney, her mama, her sister and wife and her grandma.

    Posted by Martha Jones | July 17, 2017, 2:46 pm

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