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Episode 209: Karissa

Season 15, Episode 6

karissa

Karissa
Age: 28
Location: Central Square, New York
Addiction: Heroin

UPDATE: Karissa Hilts was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Florida on March 8, 2017. By all accounts she was sober at the time. Here is her obituary.

What’s Memorable: Despite her intimidating and manipulative behavior, Karissa is still somehow very likable. It’s not a mystery why she became an addict given her childhood traumas, but it’s clear that if she wasn’t addicted she would be such a cool person to be around. Also: That family diner has such personality, but it was disturbing to me what the non-family employees had to deal with everyday. I mean that’s a borderline abusive working environment, having to be witness to all that and pretend to not be affected.  The idea that Karissa thinks she’s a ‘functional junkie’ because she gets up in the morning to go to work shows how deluded she is about what “functional’ means.  Leaving work to go lie to the doctor in order to get Suboxone and immediately selling it for 10 bags of heroin and then needing people to stay up watching you all night with an overdose kit at hand because they’re afraid you’ve taken too many benzos with your heroin and you might die – that is not functional.  I’m so glad Karissa made it and as of February 2016 is still sober.  She deserves such a better life.

Official Synopsis:  Karissa was always a talented cook – so much so, that her mother had one day hoped to pass the family diner down to her as a legacy. But Karissa’s life took a drastic turn when a close family friend fed her Oxycodone, and then ultimately made her a drug courier. From there Karissa was lost. Now, years of self-abuse, self-medication, and a severe addiction to heroin have left her volatile and desperate. Her family fears that if she does not heal from her violent past and the childhood she lost, she will never have the future she deserves.

Date Aired:  April 2016
Interventionist: 
Sylvia (who rocked this one)

 

Categories: Addicts Who Have Died, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Death of Loved One, Heroin, Homosexuality, Season 15, Sylvia

Discussion

29 Responses to “Episode 209: Karissa”

  1. Did anyone else’s heart drop when they saw she od? So glad she went back to treatment!

    Posted by t.toro | April 11, 2016, 1:16 am
    • Oh yes! I thought for sure they were going to do a pathetic in memorial blip, and THANK GOODNESS that was not the case (spoiler alert, I guess, sorry).

      I just thought she was so beautiful. And in so much pain, but she is so strong.

      Also, so good to see Sylvia again!

      Posted by Sara | April 11, 2016, 6:58 am
      • It’s so fantastic to see Sylvia. I always think back to her episode and how much pain she was in. She has to be an inspiration to the addicts that have seen the show.

        Posted by t.toro | April 11, 2016, 1:37 pm
      • I love her as an interventionist. She’s so kind and supportive and loving, she reminds me of my grandmother. I don’t know that her style would work for every addict or family, but for the two she’s done on the show she’s been perfect. I knew she was the interventionist for Karissa and for the whole episode I was wondering how she was possibly gonna pull it off, but she did, and with so much grace. When she hugged Karissa and Karissa hugged back – yeah I was in tears. We saw Sylvia in the worst of her addiction and we KNOW how far she’s come and how much she understands about addiction, but I’d still think that she’s incredibly effective as an interventionist even if I didn’t know her history. But knowing where she came from, man. I remember watching her episode for the first time and being so very affected by it. To see her be this amazing person bringing other addicts into sobriety with that smile on her face and all that love she exudes – it’s all pretty intense to be honest. Dammit I love this show.

        Posted by Dizzy | April 11, 2016, 8:28 pm
  2. OMG, SYLIVA IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!

    Posted by beelove | April 13, 2016, 10:40 am
  3. So glad Karissa stayed sober. Does anyone know how she is today?

    Posted by Susan | April 13, 2016, 12:18 pm
  4. Who is that super easygoing Doctor that writes her suboxone scripts? She seemed to be willingly blinded by Karissa’s manipulation. The doc’s lack of professionalism is concerning..

    Posted by Gloria | April 14, 2016, 8:22 pm
    • I completely agree with you, but I hate, HATE suboxone, however that whole thing is a big rant for another day. Lol!

      Posted by t.toro | April 18, 2016, 2:53 am
      • Suboxone can be AMAZING. When it is used in conjunction with therapy and rehabilitation–for a brief amount of time–can be life changing. When I say brief I mean 14 days or less.
        Extended use of suboxone is just supplanting one addiction for another and only serves to make money on the backs of addicts.

        Posted by Savonna Edwards | May 22, 2017, 8:17 am
  5. I love this girl- she was screaming out for helped, what an f’ed up life. Not only does she get molested for 4 years and doesn’t say anything- I have personally been down this road as a young child. At 12 she comes out to her family who don’t approve, well atleast the mother voiced that anyway, she finds a best friend that she trust accepts her for her- family I’m sure take it as bf / gf- his mom gives her her first pill or whatever at 13. He gets killed in an accident and the mom and her deal with it but running and using whatever- she goes to jail/ rehab for her. So many things to deal with. She is a beautiful girl- I hope she is still clean and sober- rock in it at the restaurant. I would love to be her bestie, someone she could talk to. I wish I could reach out to her- I am in the medical field, kind of like a pen pal, but more like a texting pal

    Posted by Renee C | April 18, 2016, 5:05 pm
  6. This was a great episode Karissa is very likable but I also cringed when the mom said something about her possibly harassing the staff when she was trying to get her money. Yikes that’s akward but other than that I really liked her. It’s also funny that Jessica was on the follow up for this episode because Karissa reminded me of her personality wise for some odd reason but idk i thought they were both really interesting and well spoken

    Posted by kristy | April 18, 2016, 5:32 pm
  7. KARISSA IS AWESOME <3

    Posted by artemisia | August 16, 2016, 8:37 pm
  8. 32 bags of heroin, on top of 12, 2mg klonopins. holly shit, how is she not dead, like for real?

    Posted by chris m | December 1, 2016, 1:59 am
  9. Okay was anyone else a little riled by the math? Okay, she stated that she does 20 to 25 bags, sometimes as many as 30 bags a day!!! She gets her suboxone script, sells them for 428$, that only gets 10 bags?!!!? Holy cow her addiction must have cost a fortune to maintain!!! It’s a wonder her mom didn’t lose the diner with the amount of frivolous spending that was going on (frivolous spending, but really just so Karissa could maintain)

    I loved this episode!! When Sylvia hugged Karissa I really thought she would have turned her back and walked away from Sylvia incensed, but she hugged back I could almost see the strain of carrying her burdens melting off for the one moment!!

    Posted by Joyce Rodin | January 18, 2017, 7:53 am
  10. I Ann heartbroken to announce that Karrissa passed away yesterday. Not sure of the cause but it’s all over her Facebook. From what I know she struggled to stay sober and relapsed a few times but was fresh out of rehab and engaged right before she passed away. I will confirm the death after speaking with her brother.

    Posted by Kelsielynn22 | March 9, 2017, 8:22 am
  11. I can confirm that karrissa was killed by a hit and run driver in Florida where she was living currently. Below is the link to the news article that confirms her death. She was sober at the time. http://www.wesh.com/article/woman-killed-by-hit-and-run-driver-along-floridas-turnpike-troopers-say/9111337

    I do not like giving out her Facebook information but her last name is Hilts. The link was sent to me by a family friend.

    Posted by Kelsielynn22 | March 9, 2017, 8:29 am
  12. It breaks my heart when someone goes to all the trouble to become clean and sober and then doesn’t get the opportunity to enjoy their new life. Peace be with Karissa and my deepest sympathies to her loved ones.

    Posted by Janelle | March 9, 2017, 1:03 pm
  13. So very tragic. May she Rest In Peace.

    Posted by April | March 12, 2017, 6:03 pm
  14. Karissa was one of the most loving person I knew …. I am completely heartbroken over her passing , My heart goes out to her long term ( love of her life ) regardless of the Facebook engagement to someone else , that is NOT where Karissa’s heart was , just to set the record straight ! I am not going to go into deep details … but she barely knew this girl .. On Tuesday she texted me saying she wanted to leave Florida and GO HOME ! That speaks so loudly ! I WISH now , I would have listened harder , and took her seriously , and helped her get home ! I miss her so much , I miss her texts , miss her laugh ,I just miss everything !
    She was taken too soon ! And it’s not fair for anyone , especially her family who is completely shattered by all of this !!!! Fly high Karissa , and spread your wings ❤

    Posted by Girlbye | March 13, 2017, 12:22 am
  15. Such sadness for Karissa and her family at this difficult time. My deepest sympathies.

    Posted by Michele | March 13, 2017, 6:26 am
  16. Just rewatched Karissa’s episode yesterday and I’m really sad to hear she passed. And that the person did not even stop 🙁 her family must be devastated.

    Posted by Thelma | March 14, 2017, 11:56 am
  17. I just watched this episode on Viceland and got a wild hair to see if there was a way to find out if she was still sober. I was completely shocked and saddened by the news. I was still teary eyed from the episode when I read it. I feel so very bad for the family. To all her family and friends: Please know that there is a stranger in Texas that cries for you. I hope that your family will eventually find peace. In situations like these, I always feel so helpless because words really do nothing to ease any pain. Only time heals. It’s cliche because it’s true. Hopefully that time will come sooner rather than later. Your family deserves a break from strife, worry and heartache. I wish you all the very best life has to offer.

    Posted by A. Francis | June 26, 2017, 7:20 pm
  18. I, too, was playing catch up yesterday & just watched her episode. Then I come across this page & see that she passed away.
    Prayers for all of the family & friends of this beautiful young woman. ????

    Posted by Dinajean | September 19, 2017, 1:36 pm
  19. So sad she worked real hard to turn her life around prayers to the family

    Posted by Rebecca | November 15, 2017, 3:17 am

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