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Episode 215: Jonel

Season 15, Episode 15

Jonel
Age: 24
Location: Browning, Montana (Blackfeet Indian Reservation)
Addiction: Suboxone

What’s Memorable: The fact that the episode takes place on a reservation.  For one, it’s been a while since we’ve seen anyone profiled who isn’t white. (The racial & cultural diversity on this show is seriously lacking). Second, this episode was a bit of a historical and cultural education about why American Indians have a high rate of addiction and that suboxone is becoming a drug of choice. Third, Jonel’s mother explained that talking about what happens on the reservation to people on the outside is highly discouraged, so for this family to reach out to Intervention and be willing to talk about their family on TV shows how much they love her and need her to get help.  There is a lot of love in this family and it showed. So glad Jonel accepted treatment and stayed there long enough to get solid in her sobriety. That’s just what she needed.

Official Synopsis: Jonel was born into the Blackfeet Indian Tribe in Montana. When she was 9 months pregnant, her boyfriend was tragically killed in a car accident and then she gave birth to her daughter just days after the funeral. Shocked and grief stricken, Jonel began using suboxone and meth – two drugs that are rampant on the reservation. 14 months ago, Jonel gave birth to her second child who was born addicted to suboxone.

Date Aired:  July 2016
Interventionist: D
onna

Categories: Death of Loved One, Donna, Season 15, Suboxone

Discussion

18 Responses to “Episode 215: Jonel”

  1. I worked at Glacier National Park in Montana during the summer of 1992….the hotel I worked at was about 10 miles from the Blackfoot Reservation. A lot of the housekeepers came from the Res, and I got to know a few of them. The cycle of poverty and serious abuse among the native families was rampant. There was an AmPm market on the ares, so my roommate and I would frequently go in to shop for snacks for our dorm room. Driving around on the ares was sad….there wasn’t a single house that could be considered nice. It was a mix of falling apart mobile homes and shacks with broken windows, peeling paint, etc.

    Am I the only person who really dislikes Donna? I think she is a terrible interventionist, and her personality is grating. I usually don’t watch her episodes, but this one was interesting to me because of the location. Jonel looked so good in the follow up, but I thought she looked like she might be pregnant…..?

    Posted by Kismet | July 26, 2016, 9:38 pm
    • Driving around on the Res, not ares. Autocorrect!

      Posted by Kismet | July 26, 2016, 9:39 pm
    • Donna is the worst. I feel like she is very condescending. I think the old school interventionist and Sylvia really know how to talk to people. Like when to be sympathetic, and when to give that tough love when needed. Donna needs to go.

      Posted by FlamingoLady | July 30, 2016, 12:14 am
    • I love Donna’s approach and it seems to work well for the people that she deals with. She doesn’t play around and she doesn’t sugarcoat the situation either. This may not be the correct way to deal with all addicts, but in some cases, it gets the job done!

      Posted by Willow | August 3, 2016, 6:30 am
      • I agree Willow, Donna catches a lot of hate from the intervention forums but she keeps it real, and many addicts don’t live in reality but in their own bubble of enabling and manipulation. Donna lays out consequences and choices for them in a direct and civil manner. She just wants to get these families some help! I can see that in her approach, it’s too bad others don’t. Keep it real Donna! There are intervention viewers out there that DO appreciate what you bring to the show.

        Posted by Gloria | August 3, 2016, 8:51 pm
      • Donna’s approach wouldn’t work for me as an addict because the only type of love I’ve only ever had is tough love. But in some cases, specifically Sierra (season 15 episode 2) I think she does great! That episode it was because she had been through a drug psychosis like Sierra. I think she has gotten better at showing kindness, I think it’s always there but sometimes she seems rough. I think she did a decent job on Jonel’s episode. I really miss Seth. He did an excellent job handling messed up family dynamics (Katie) and showing families that trauma is never the victims fault. (Gina, Megan H. and more).

        Posted by Nicole | August 4, 2016, 10:12 pm
      • I like Donna as well. She’s willing to do what it takes. She also gets a lot of the addicts that are worse off so I can see where she has to be more extreme.

        Posted by Kristy | September 28, 2016, 7:47 am
    • Privileged much? My mother grew up there. Many of my family still live there there. Yes poverty is extremely high on the reservation (you don’t live there and you’re not Indian, you don’t get to call it the “Rez”), but there are plenty of nice, if humble, homes there. We deal with enough stereotype already without you adding to it with your condescending ignorance. All races and ethnicities deal with poverty and addiction, it’s just not typical for other ‘minorities’ to be pointedly isolated, separated, and remain under a microscope for 250 years.

      Posted by dinebau | September 29, 2016, 10:48 pm
  2. I cried during the actual intervention when family brought up how she hadn’t dealt with the boyfriend’s death and she lost it. She is still clearly so in love with him. Just heartbreaking 🙁 So glad to see she not only is sober and living off the reservation, but ditched that controlling current boyfriend. Tweeking aside, he was so controlling and bad for her.

    Posted by Tegan | July 29, 2016, 12:42 am
  3. Jonel’s children are so loveable.. When her daughter was excited to see her mom because she missed her a whole bunch.. She’s so precious. Hope Jonel gets to be in their lives more by staying healthy. Best wishes for Jonel and family.

    Posted by Gloria | August 1, 2016, 6:41 am
  4. Did anyone else catch who was part of the team that greeted Jonel when she arrived at A Sober Way Home??! LATISHA! That is the second time I have seen a previous success story from Intervention greeting a new arrival. In another intervention I saw Phillip greet someone but I don’t remember who. I wish they would highlight that.

    Watch this episode again, when Jonel gets to rehab. Very cool!

    Here is Latisha’s episode.
    http://intervention-directory.com/2011/09/episode-142-latisha/

    Posted by Madeline | September 28, 2016, 7:24 am
  5. I love that too! In s14, a sober Samantha met Mindie going into treatment. Their eps are back to back (s14 ep 28-29 per Hulu)

    An interesting show would be one where the intervenee “carries the message” on the next episode. Probably a logistical nightmare though

    Posted by Elvee | September 29, 2016, 1:46 pm
  6. I watched the episode with Jonel and I didn’t like the way she uses somebody’s death as an excuse to do alcohol and drugs!!!I’m also native american and that was pure disrespect we are supposed to honor and respect the loved ones that go home to the spirit world!!! I use suboxone myself and it saved and changed my life for the better!!! Jonel’s story gives suboxone a very bad name, she portrays our people in a bad light because most of us are NOT like that!!! Anybody that is prescribed suboxone needs to realize what kind of miracles it can do for those who would otherwise haved remained an addict. Miracle is the only way I could describe suboxone

    Posted by Native Blood | November 27, 2016, 8:00 am
  7. Anyways any news on her?

    Posted by Prbeauty | December 13, 2016, 2:18 pm
  8. Just watched this episode and its so true how there is so much drug abuse in reserves these days. Im from a canada reservation and we do have a suboxine treatment program here but people still abuse drugs even when on the program. They take other drugs such as gabbepentins (which is the big “other” drug here) and they also abuse Suboxone. I find it so sad and i see it everyday. Im slowly starting to see meth come into my community, I really hope that drug does not flood our community. A few years ago, opiods was highly abused and it was horrible. People were stealing, asking around for money, spending thier child tax on drugs, selling drugs to feed thier own addicions, and i can go on and on. I dont think she portrayed us aboriginals in a bad light, they are speaking up and we need to stop being silent about whats going on in our reserves. Anyways, i loved this episode and it made me think alot. I really hope shes keeping sober, rooting for her!

    Posted by Kris | December 27, 2016, 10:56 pm
  9. I dig Donna – I think she’s great. Different approach, yes. But she’s good. Even in the famous ‘Courtney’ episode that everyone was freaking out about – I don’t think she did anything wrong. She’s not my fave (Team Ken Fo Lyfe!!) but she’s proven time and again that she’s good at what she does. Everyone’s cup of tea, or not.

    Posted by Shelby Lee | February 19, 2017, 2:14 pm
  10. Facebook: Jonel Lee Goings

    Looks like she’s doing well. 🙂

    Posted by Bambi | February 21, 2017, 12:04 pm

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