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Episode 224: Todd

Season 16, Episode 8

Age: 36
Location:  Sacramento, California 
Addiction: Meth, benzos

Official Synopsis: Todd was a successful house flipper from a prominent real estate family who was on track to take over the family business, but when the housing market collapsed in 2009, Todd lost everything. Financially busted, Todd moved his wife and daughter into his parents’ home and began to work for them. But two severe construction accidents led him to painkillers and ultimately to dependency. When Todd’s wife divorced him, he shifted to meth and his addiction careened out of control. His close-knit family is devastated as they watch their “Golden Boy” fall apart before their eyes. Donna Chavous is Todd’s Interventionist.

Date Aired:  Jan 2017

Categories: Donna, Pain Meds, Season 16


16 Responses to “Episode 224: Todd”

  1. Todd and I were in rehab together several years ago and he also moved into the sober living house that I lived in post rehab. Really nice guy, really down to earth guy. I could tell there was someone in alot of pain there. at the time he was in for Oxycontin and it was so sad to see that he went from doing that to replacing it with suboxone, benzos and meth. in rehab he was really quiet and kept to himself and was a genuinely good hearted guy that just was so sad on the inside. a week or two after I finished the program he moved into my sober living house in Santa Cruz, CA and he was so happy to be out it seemed like, and then I received notice that he left because he didn’t feel comfortable in the sober house, and that there was drug activity in the house. All unsubstantiated claims, but it may have been true. that was the last time I heard about him until watching his episode… our sober house was definitely really crappy. alot of sober houses ive been too really lack flexibility, support, and are generally uncomfortable and overcrowded environments with rules too rigid for working professionals. i knew several people who were under so much pressure from the rules and house dynamics until they would crack. ultimatley i was kicked out for missing too many meetings because i was the only one who worked a legit tech job that consumed my weekdays… rather than a majority of the house who collected disability and went to meetings all day. a very uncomfortable environment indeed. I really hope Todd gets it together. Staying sober is hard, ive had some slip ups myself but eventually got sober and stayed sober. He’s really a great guy who got lost, and I hope the best for him. And Dizzy, He’s in his 30s, lives in Sacramento, and is addicted to Meth, Benzos, and suboxone. Try amazon video if you want to watch it, that’s where I bought the episode.

    Posted by Man Bearpaw | January 30, 2017, 7:44 pm
    • Hi Man Bearpaw,

      thanks for sharing your experience regarding sober living houses. I had no idea what life was like in a sober house and was curious. Thanks for taking the time! All the best to you, always!

      Posted by Melanie | January 31, 2017, 6:25 am
  2. Todd is 36 and from Sacramento. His addiction is to drugs in general. His choice drug is meth, but when he can’t get it he abuses atavan and opiates. Donna is the interventionist.

    Todd grew up in a privileged, affluent family and in a sheltered environment. His father tried to instill a solid work ethic in him but his mother coddled him, and is to this day his primary enabler. Todd’s addiction has estranged him from his ex-wife and daughter (who looks to be about 6-7 years old), and if it weren’t for his parents letting him live on their property rent-free he would be homeless.

    Donna did a great job on this one. Todd is a caring, sensitive bloke at heart so she didn’t need to use the hard-ass tactics she often does, but she was able to get through to him and convince him to go to treatment. She also was quite hard on the mother and did a good job of convincing her that if she didn’t quit her enabling she would lose her son forever.

    Posted by Janelle | January 31, 2017, 8:03 am
  3. Loved Todd’s family, especially his mom. She’s a special lady and their bond was very sweet. Also his wonderful childhood friend who convinced him to go. Todd seems like a genuinely great guy with a big heart and I wish him nothing but the best. Donna did a great job on this one. She was very tender with Todd’s mom. I really do like her, especially after seeing her in Sandy’s episode. She’s very effective with families and she was in her element here.

    Also Tom has always been one of my faves and his follow up in this episode was so great!

    Posted by Kat R. | January 31, 2017, 6:26 pm
  4. I wonder if Todd did not have undiagnosed ADD when he was a kid. There are a number of red flags in his narrative:
    – he was not very good at school however bright he was (and sounds)
    – ADD usually comes with its lot of co-morbidities (depression and social anxiety coming out on top)
    – The diagnosis is not as clear cut as ADHD because the child is just not able to focus a long time on any task but without exhibiting kinetic hyperactivity
    – Todd seems to have grown in an environment where where there’s a will, there’s a way, so you’re supposed to be able to push through everything as long as you really want it
    – And the huge red flag was to learn that amphetamines did not affect him the way it does the others and had more a calming/focusing effect on him than his friends (and yes he was absusing benzos too, but even with the benzos and the opiates, it shouldn’t have had such a blunt effect on him).

    And that’s just off the top of my own ADD-addled brain!

    I also noticed that he was taking Prozac, an SSRI, which would have totally blocked the serotonergic effects of meth, pharmacologically making it feel like a pure dopamine-norepinephrine releaser as pharmaceutical dexamphetamine.

    Anyway, another super endearing intervenee. Yay Intervention! I hope Todd gets all the support and the love he deserves and stays on the straight and narrow!

    Posted by Eitan | February 14, 2017, 9:27 pm
  5. Not really a comment on Todd personally but I have to say, I’m a little turned off by families who seem ostentatiously wealthy being on this show. Isn’t a lot of the point of it being to provide free rehab for addicts who couldn’t get there on their own? This family seems like it wouldn’t be a big hardship for them to fund Todd’s rehab. Maybe this opportunity could have gone to someone who needed it more

    Posted by os75 | February 14, 2017, 10:06 pm
    • Don’t project your jealousy about your lack of money on Todd. He got help and he’s now in recovery and that’s what matters. No addict is more deserving of treatment than another.

      Posted by Janelle | February 27, 2017, 1:13 pm
      • Wow Janelle, that was pretty harsh. How do you claim to know so much about the financial situation of our new internet friend OS75? Maybe he/she has the resources of a Bill Gates and is simply opining that someone with much less family money might get more out of “free” yet painfully expensive treatment?

        Posted by Gord | February 27, 2017, 3:04 pm
      • Gord, I’m sorry you find my comment harsh. However, I think that OS75’s implying that Todd is somehow less deserving of a chance at rehabilitation because his family is affluent is a pretty awful thing to say. I think it’s a safe assumption that a comment that insensitive is motivated by jealousy, and that since the person commenting made reference to Todd’s apparent wealth the jealousy arises from the commenter’s lack of it.

        Posted by Janelle | February 27, 2017, 4:13 pm
      • I’m neither jealous of Todd nor short of funds relative to my needs. However if I was producing a show that provided expensive services for free (or in exchange for privacy anyway), I would try to direct that to needier recipients rather than to dependent offspring of wealthy real estate families. I wish Todd the best in his recovery. He needed treatment; not sure that he needed this show as some others have

        Posted by os75 | March 7, 2017, 6:40 pm
  6. It’s not the family’s financial responsibility to pay for the treatment of a loved one!

    I appreciate the show’s portrayal of wealthy addicts’ stories. Addiction does not recognize wealth.

    I also don’t agree that the show’s primary purpose is to offer treatment to those that can’t afford it. The show offers awareness of addiction, the family element of enabling, the importance of family involvement etc… I see it’s purpose as education and hope.

    I am surprised again and again that Al-Anon is not recommended to the friends and family members. Al-Anon Family Groups is free and is located every where. It offers on-going support.

    Posted by Donna | February 26, 2017, 12:08 pm
    • @Donna,

      I agree. This show only helps those who have “Hollywood appeal”. I’ve only see a couple of episodes of people that looked like they weren’t middle class. I know about 20 addicts that live on the streets that could use the help but I bet they would be “too boring” to put on the show for help.

      Posted by Michelle | March 1, 2017, 7:15 pm

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