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Episode 183: Dana

Season 13 Episode 2


Age: 33
Location: Alvin, Texas
Addiction: Pain killers, crack
What’s memorable: This is one of those addict stories that begins entirely with a horrendously traumatic incident. It’s also one where no one really blames her for becoming addicted and wanting to numb out. Few of us could ever imagine the pain that losing 3 children at one time would cause. It’s simply unfathomable. The fact that she still has one child left is her saving grace.

Official Synopsis: Once a vibrant supermom, Dana numbs the haunting memories of almost dying in an apartment fire with a dangerous cocktail of crack and prescription pills.

Original Air Date: June 2013
Interventionist: Candy

Categories: Candy, Crack, Death of Loved One, Lortab, Most Tragic Episodes, Norco, Pain Meds, Season 13, Traumatic Incident, Vicodin


61 Responses to “Episode 183: Dana”

  1. I have not seen or heard of any updates for Dana. What a totally unexpected, devastating trauma she’s had to endure – I have lost one son, myself, I could not even begin to imagine the loss of 3/4 of my family in one night! OMG! I so hope and pray she has maintained her sobriety and that her family has also learned a healthy way to cope with the trauma of this tragedy. I believe she is very strong to simply be waking up and “existing” on a daily basis. God Bless and well wishes, Dana.

    Posted by Karen | January 11, 2015, 8:09 pm
  2. Dana if u read this I would love to speak to you…. I watched the episode last night for my first time and I cannot stop thinking about you… I myself lost a child and had an addiction for 2 years… You be strong for the child that u have left please send me a Facebook friend request amanda calderon… Take care

    Posted by amanda | May 6, 2015, 2:07 pm
  3. I am SO glad they counseled her whole family. They all needed some help and I’m glad they were able to get it. Some of the scenes were so painful like when her brother said she was playing “poor me”. No one can understand the loss and trauma she must have felt and he sounded very different after speaking with the counselor. I know he didn’t intend to be mean. I suffered trauma…completely different kind of trauma but understand how you can just want to check out. I’m so glad the show could help her and her family. No one should have to suffer the way she has. I wish this show was on more episodes in a season. I feel it has helped so many people.

    Posted by janine | May 7, 2015, 9:05 pm
    • That made me so angry when her brother said she was playing the poor me thing…she lost 3/4 kids in an apartment fire and she herself died!! They revived her…but as being a mother myself losing a child is the most horrendous thing that could ever happen…I would lose it…I couldn’t keep going after that… I don’t blame her for using to numb her pain….I’m glad she’s doing better…that episode made me cry so hard…that woman went through so much…very sad situation

      Posted by Ashley | October 29, 2015, 6:21 pm
  4. This is one where I just stopped and said, “YUP. That’d do it for me, too” when I heard about the loss of her children. Thank God she still had one left to get clean for. Ordinarily, I like to say you should get clean for yourself but, to be honest, it really was my kid that did it for me. I learned to give a crap about myself later. Good luck, Dana. You’ve got one to live for too.

    Posted by Tony | July 19, 2015, 9:44 am
    • It was my partner and child that helped me. I had been using for eight years. Nothing had worked. I had overdosed multiple times, just didn’t care any more (and had stopped caring a long time ago, even before I was an addict, due to psychiatric illness and child abuse), even technically died once from an overdose (heart stopped), been homeless… everything. When I had my daughter, it was the final push I needed. Usually I tell people that they have to get better for themselves, not other people, but there are some cases where that’s the last thing that will work. I still deal with a lot of things, and it’s hard to care about myself when I’m going through a depressive or psychotic episode, but after a year of being in a Suboxone treatment program (it’s been two years now), I started to fully realize that my life would never get any better if I went back. There was no hope for anything as long as I was using. My logic used to be “I’m going to be miserable whether I’m using or not, so I might as well use, so at least I can feel better for a little while.” But when I was using, I couldn’t possibly allow myself room to care about any other problem I had. I didn’t quite ignore them, I knew they were there, I just didn’t care. Sometimes you have to be away from that for a while before you start to care at all, and some times it just takes someone else to get you there so you can start to care. That’s just my opinion, though, and obviously, that kind of thing doesn’t work in many cases, which is why I say the same thing you do.

      Posted by Alex | November 15, 2015, 4:35 am
    • Thank u so much god bless u all . Much love huggs xoxo feel free to write me on Facebook’s.. Im doing really good and just loving my son everyday and blessed to have such a awesome supporter’s

      Posted by dana Novak | December 30, 2016, 10:32 pm
  5. Dana’s story was one I had to return to later. Could not finish it in one go nor did I intend to even finish viewing it. What brought me back to viewing it to finish it was the sense of irresolution and hope that she got better.

    Unlike I usually do I have no personal comments on her story. Just watch this if you want to, my words will do no justice, my analysis vain, and opinions null. Like I said it is difficult to watch and the previous commenters words from Tony “yup that would do it for me” sum up the show for me.

    Dana, you are so beautiful, I hope you are ok today, your show made me cry. Hugs.

    Posted by Dhalia | October 12, 2015, 10:57 am
    • Thank u so much god bless u all . Much love huggs xoxo feel free to write me on Facebook’s.. Im doing really good and just loving my son everyday and blessed to have such a awesome supporter’s

      Posted by dana Novak | December 30, 2016, 10:33 pm
  6. When I first started watching this episode, I couldn’t believe that she became an addict simply because of a fire. But when I got to the part where they’re telling the story, it suddenly hit me that she most likely lost her children. I started saying, “oh my god, please don’t tell me her children died”. When they revealed that three of her children died, I started to cry, and I rarely cry. I only have one child, a daughter, and if she died, I don’t think I’d be able to go on. If I did manage to keep living, I would definitely return to drugs again. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to stop using the second time around after an event like that. This episode was extremely painful to watch, and I kind of wish I hadn’t, but it was one of the few episodes left that I hadn’t seen. I don’t think I’ll ever watch it again.

    Posted by Alex | November 15, 2015, 4:21 am
    • Thank u so much god bless u all . Much love huggs xoxo feel free to write me on Facebook’s.. Im doing really good and just loving my son everyday and blessed to have such a awesome supporter’s

      Posted by Dana Novak | December 30, 2016, 10:37 pm
  7. This episode touches me on a very personal level. My father is an ICU nurse in Angleton, TX and he took care of Dana following one of her overdoses. He told me this before I had seen the episode. But, when she was brought in she was severely messed up, she had been partying with her friends and they left her on the floor like animals. I hope she’s gotten closure for the trauma she’s had to endure.

    Posted by Madison | March 27, 2016, 2:31 pm
    • As an ICU nurse myself, I can tell you that your father could get into trouble by you opening your mouth. It’s really not his, or your, story to tell and it’s an illegal violations of patient privacy rights. Nurses lose their licenses over this kind of thing, I’d watch it.

      Posted by Amber | March 30, 2016, 10:49 am
    • This comment makes me sick…your dad should be fired, immediately. And as for victim shaming, you should be ashamed of yourself. This woman lost 3 of her babies and all you can say is “she deserved it”? Go away…just go away.

      Posted by Gina | May 6, 2016, 5:15 pm
    • HIPPA privacy laws prohibit your dad from telling anyone anything he learns about patients and their stories, especially IDENTIFYING the person. He should be ashamed, and so should you for posting her private info. It’s not yours to share. I hope someone knows who you are and notifies your dads employer.

      Posted by Kim | July 8, 2016, 9:15 am
    • Thank u so much god bless u all . Much love huggs xoxo feel free to write me on Facebook’s.. Im doing really good and just loving my son everyday and blessed to have such a awesome supporter’s actually i was sick with double pmononia and i just got home from treatment again from Florida. I stayed almost 8 month till i felt trong enough and basically my dad was with me for the week when i got out of treatment and inwas only home for a week and just within a few days i became very sick . There were people in my home and i had no idea what what was going on i was being drugged with GHB..and when my mom flew down she found me on my bed almost dead and laying in my own fetus. Basically i got set up at the hospitals and i died and the was brought back an life fligjted and in a coma ans full life support for a month . I was not supposed to make it but i did but i never overdosed before but thank u for sharing sweetie

      Posted by Dana Novak | December 30, 2016, 11:01 pm
    • I hope he loses his job for sharing this information!!!! The one thing you do as a nurse is PROTECT your patients in every way possible. Pretty pathetic on his part to openly talk about his patients and honestly the fact you then shared it here is just as bad!!! Yes, she shared her story on tv but what you shared above is not yours to tell!!!!!! I certainly hope you don’t have a job that requires trusting or having sensitive information because you clearly don’t have morals when it comes to trust and boundaries! Shameful!

      Posted by R | March 24, 2020, 1:40 pm
  8. I am watching Danas episode right now, for probably the 4th time or so, and I cant help but love her. I worked at a children hospital for years and took care of babies and kids that were damaged by house fires, 3rd degree burns, barely breathing, only to see their parents walk in the next day with not a scratch on them. I think to myself, “how on Earth could you leave a fire and let your babies burn?”…I try really hard not to judge, ive never been there, I hope I never will, but I do know that I would die trying to save my baby. Dana did. She almost died trying to save her babies. I give her so much love. I hope she is sober today, and caring for her surviving son..She is a good mom,shejust lost her way for a minute, and to be honest, I don’t couldn’t say I wouldn’t be the same way if I was her…Love you Dana. <3

    Posted by Gina | May 6, 2016, 5:23 pm
  9. Heart breaking story, couldnt even imagine that kind of loss all at once, i didnt cry til i heard dana say that god kept her here for a reason then i balled as concerned and heart broke as i was feeling for her i felt worse for her 4yr old so when she realized there was still a purpose for her i knew in my heart she would find away on a long road for her boy who thankfully at 4 will forget alot of whats gone on in his little short life bless her family for supporting her and her brother who SAID IT LIKE IT IS!!!! He loves her very much and his honesty is true to their previous relationship that i truly hope they get back, bless u all dana child and family maybe in time she can use what she has learned to help others, be proud dana your strong and god dave u a hell of a job in this world, but u have the support and love of many love that boy like u have never loved god choose to leave him also for a reason! So happy trails to you all hope to see follow up of how great you all are doing, celebrate you other 3 angels always but u have to live on so they do as well, hugs n prayers xo

    Posted by cathy | July 8, 2016, 11:04 am
  10. One of the saddest episodes ever. I hope Dana is still clean and sober. I went through an apartment fire myself, and I felt terrible enough losing two cats and most of my possessions. To lose three children like that is 100 times worse than anything I went through. I wish Dana and her family the best.

    Posted by Lisa | July 10, 2016, 6:28 pm
    • Tbank u and yes I’m doing good holidays and the month of January with them all having birthday is usually a hard time for me but I am staying clean and trying to stand strong . I miss them so much but having Nicholas in my life helps some
      He is starting to have some problems but not to bad he is a very happy and loving little boy . That needs lots of love he just misses his sister and brothers thank u have a blessed night

      Posted by dana novak | January 28, 2017, 4:31 pm
      • Hi Dana, your story is on now. I’m touched by your strength and endurance. God bless you and your family better days are ahead for you. Wishing you all the best in your future. You are here for a reason.

        Posted by Eileen Flynn | March 21, 2017, 10:43 pm
      • Thank you Dana! I am watching your episode for the first time (right now as I type this). Your story is gut-wrenching and I truly feel pain for you. Just wanted you to know that there are still people thinking of you and wishing from the bottom of my heart that you find peace.

        Posted by Courtney | March 21, 2017, 11:13 pm
  11. Hi Dana,

    sending best wishes to you, always.

    Posted by Melanie | January 18, 2017, 2:11 pm
  12. Dana, I was so moved by everything you’ve been through. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you are doing well. <3

    Posted by Megan Modes | February 23, 2017, 2:16 pm
    • Dear dana. Iam a grammie to six beautiful grandchildren and have three daughters. Your storyhas touched my life.the unimaginable pain and loss you have lived through has left me breathless.No one should ever judge you nor should youjudge yourself. Just to be standing and taking a breath from one moment to the next is in itself a triumph. God bless you and your son. And your parents who have lost those precious int grandbabies. Andall your family. I pray you are able to salvage life and come through the fire to the other side. ..into the light..????

      Posted by Barbara | March 21, 2017, 7:21 pm
  13. I have never been so moved by an episode of this show. She seems like an awesome girl who’s been through so much for one person. I see lots of hope though. Especially with such a good family. Hang in there and fight, dana.

    Posted by Jeremy Stebbins | March 21, 2017, 6:50 pm
  14. Dana
    I just watched your story and my heart ached hearing about your loss. You are so incredibly brave and courageous for making the choice to get help. Nothing any of us say is going to change the circumstances, but I hope you know how you have touched so many people. You and your son and your family will be in my prayers.

    Posted by Tammy | March 21, 2017, 11:23 pm
  15. Dana you’re such a rockstar. As a mom of four myself I couldn’t possibly imagine myself having the strength that you do to go on and fight. But you sure do, and that’s amazing!!! You really are an inspiration. Go on girl, all my love.

    Posted by Nurse Sugar | March 22, 2017, 9:09 am
  16. Can’t even imagine your pain Dana!! So happy you are doing so well. Best to you and your son on your new life.

    Posted by CJ | March 22, 2017, 8:06 pm
  17. Dana,
    I do pray that you can feel the love and support from all these posts and the tons of people who see your episode. I know that your story has and will continue to help others that are working through their own trauma. My hope is that you and your son are able to feel a sense of peace in your daily lives. God bless and keep you, your son, and your extended family.

    Posted by Elizabeth Freeman | April 7, 2017, 8:09 pm
  18. Dana,
    I hope you’re still doing well. In surviving what you did, you and your son deserve life. I’ve been through my own horrors, but nothing close to what you have been through.
    I’m rooting for you, girl. Stay strong.

    Posted by Rae | August 17, 2017, 6:34 pm
  19. She by far has the saddest story I’ve seen on intervention. She is so strong to have over come her addiction, because I myself honestly could say I couldn’t of, or even be alive. She is by far the strongest woman I’ve seen on this show. God bless her.

    Posted by Allison | January 4, 2018, 10:53 pm
  20. No one should have to bury their child. To bury 3?? I’d be high 24/7, if I even managed to live through it. The pain is unbearable to even think about. God Bless you Dana. You truly are amazing for getting this far.

    Posted by kitty katt | March 31, 2018, 8:57 pm
  21. Wow. I was moving around all the episodes and thought I had checked off all the “best of” here that are available on Hulu (I’d love to know how to watch them without Cable- any suggestions?). Can we confirm that people on here are actually the person from the show? No disrespect, I just want to make sure people aren’t trying to dupe others. Secondly, it said at the end of the show “she has not taken pills or crack since the intervention” but doesn’t say “sober”. I wonder if some of the more hardcore AA folk that work on the show insist on complete abstinence for everybody. As far as Dana goes, I saw her Facebook and can’t tell if she uses anymore. It’s got to be about the surviving boy or nothing. Not that it’s not complicated. I’m speechless and praying for Dana and her family.

    Posted by Dan | July 15, 2018, 8:57 pm
    • I try to do my due diligence when someone from the show posts a comment, i.e. research the name and email address they’re using. I can’t always verify 100% but enough so that I feel comfortable that they are who they say they are. There have been a few that didn’t make it through.

      Posted by Dizzy | July 18, 2018, 12:28 pm
  22. Has anyone heard from her this year? I’m heartbroken like everyone here and would love to know if she is healing even a little but at a time.

    Posted by Andrea | August 5, 2018, 4:13 am
  23. Very strong woman to survive that situation. I hope she has a peaceful, healthy and long life.

    Posted by Susan | September 13, 2018, 4:06 pm
  24. I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around the pain this poor woman has been through. I hope she’s doing better but by the looks of her facebook she’s still using… I also found she was arrested on weapons charges in 2016. I’m not posting the link, it’s easy enough to google. I feel bad for her surviving son more than anyone. He lost all his siblings and his mom.

    Posted by Melanie | October 7, 2018, 10:59 pm
  25. I’m Dana’s mom, she is very healthy.. building emotionally, physically and spiritually everyday. I wish I could post a photo of her.. I’m very proud of her.. Dana has been invited to be a speaker at a rehab its probably the beginning to her new journey. But I will say this as a mother..yes after she heard her 3 children die and she died its took years to heal from this.

    There was alot that drove her there but as her mother and her family we had to learn tools because addiction is not just the addicts problem..it is a family problem.. everybody has to change. It took me two years to use those tools. Sometimes I felt I was standing on an edge of a cliff waiting for her to push me off.. when you bury children there are no instructions or time of the grief. You have to re-learn to live. By the gift of Intervention TV I felt God sent me a life raft and he did. But I had to learn to save myself too through the process and the journey. The hardest thing I did was listen and change to save my daughter. I had to change for her to change everybody had to change.

    Dana has been with me and she is very sober and has been. I never understood why people used drugs before but I know now there is always an underlying problem of trauma somewhere. I can’t stress enough how the tools changed our life I think my favorite is the 24 hour rule and the 3 C’s Dana and I are working out together..Dana is finding Dana..

    Addicts if they fall is not what you should focus on..its how quickly they climb back by using the tools.

    Dana has one powerful story..it touches many that know!

    Dana has been growing and working on her one day at a time..

    The one that deserves credit in all this tragedy is God, because it took alot of strength and Trusting to get us here today. I’m very grateful to Intervention TV

    Posted by Patricia | January 17, 2019, 5:10 pm
    • Thank you for updating us Patricia. I’m so glad Dana has you.

      Posted by Dizzy | January 18, 2019, 9:02 am
    • I’m so glad to hear. I just saw her episode last night for the first time and it touched me so much. My thoughts were, as a grandparent, that you lost your grandchildren and your daughter and you all were coping as best you could. You didn’t have time for your own grief in trying to help Dana. The expert was right when she said you all were suffering from PTSD. You had to cope with unimaginable loss. Something most of us cannot even imagine. From one Grandmother to another, God Bless you. And from one mother to another, Bless both you and Dana. Prayers!

      Posted by Sandy | August 13, 2019, 12:07 pm
    • It’s so good to read this. And so refreshing that, as family members of an addict, you also realized it’s a group effort! So many families don’t follow up and wonder why their loved one doesn’t get better.

      Love to you and your family.

      Posted by Xlio | October 3, 2020, 9:05 pm
  26. I have never cried so much watching an episode. Dana’s story truly broke my heart and I can not imagine what she went through. she is so strong and amazing and I don’t know her, but I’m so proud of her.

    Posted by anjelique | July 1, 2019, 8:15 pm
  27. Dana is the only person, I truly sat and cried over . And had to find out how she was doing. Dana if you read and check this it’s July 2019. My heart is going out to you and pray for you. You are blessed to have a the family you have. We have no control over our lives and I can only imagine what you are going through. I do feel sad for each story on the show, but your story was incredibly tragic. I will think of you for many years. My grandmother lost both of her children, my mom at 27 and my uncle at 36. I watched her live to be 87 and took her into my house for hospice so she could die in her old house. She died on my mother’s death anniversary date. Life is so difficult and I feel a great amount compassion. You are an amazing human being to face this and live every day. People are out here rooting for you and your family.

    Posted by Stacy Sullivan | July 23, 2019, 12:02 pm
  28. So much to be said about this episode and this poor soul. One of those cases you really can’t blame them for wanting to numb the pain.

    What I thought was odd was her reaction to crack! Most people on the show make me wonder why they even do it. Looks so uncomfortable and paranoia inducing. But it seemed to relax her. Body chemistry is a crazy and complex thing. I hope she is doing well. She is so sweet and had a supportive family.

    Posted by Xlio | October 3, 2020, 9:02 pm

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