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Season 21, Episode 3

Chelan

Age: 29
Location: Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Addiction: Heroin

Official Synopsis: Chelan was a devoted wife and mother until the breakup of her marriage sent her spiraling into the world of prescription opioid abuse. Three short years later, Chelan is homeless, supporting a full-blown heroin addiction by working as a prostitute.

What’s Memorable: Has there ever been a more uncomfortable nodding-off scene than this one, right in the middle of a family dinner, everyone just eating their meals having to listen to her slur and watch her repeatedly nod off mid-sentence? Excruciating. For everyone involved.

Date Aired: August 3, 2020 in US, aired as Intervention Canada Season 3 in 2018.

Interventionist Maureen

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  1. Elizabeth

    As I was watching this episode, I literally thought omg I hope Dizzy puts this dinner as what’s memorable! I was watching my screen and said, ugh I cannot watch this (of course still did lol). So sad, and her dad crying 🙁 I could not believe how messed up she was. I hope Chelan is still doing well I’m rooting for her!

    1. WB

      That was fentanyl not heroin. She was wayyyy too messed up! Sadly this was filmed around the time it started showing up in all the powder across the country and continent.

      1. Courtney

        That makes so much more sense now. You can clearly see she’s not handling the shot well, when she’s a seasoned user. I was surprised she was so out of it, so to know she dosed wrong makes more sense.

      2. Elizabeth

        Damn thats so scary, she could’ve died right there and then.

      3. Melissity

        I was wondering the same thing. Fentanyl makes sense. Especially with the way she suddenly snapping out of it to rub her face then immediately nod out again. I don’t ever recall seeing that behavior with heroin use.

  2. Xlio

    I was really shocked at her young age. Rough living really aged her. I hope she’s still doing well, she looked better after some treatment.

    1. Andy

      Off topic, but I’ve noticed intervention Canada still uses the backgrounds that were popular on the US version from 2011-2013. You know like when the subject is being interviewed. You have it bright in their face then darkness behind them with maybe a dull lamp in the background.

    2. Tasha (Sister)

      Unfortunately she is not doing well, she is Unfortunately back on the streets using again!!

      1. Sheila

        I’m currently watching the episode right now. Sad to hear the current news! Hope she gets the help she needs.

      2. Laura

        Sorry to hear that. Your family tried hard.

  3. Alice Schmid

    she went to rehab in the winter, presumably 7-8 months ago. How is she doing now?

    1. Stefan

      It actually would’ve been like 2 or 3 years ago as these are old episodes from Intervention Canada.

  4. Rinna

    Did anyone else get major Sam vibes from Chelan? From the purple, bobbed hair to the heroin addiction mixed with father issues?

    1. Xlio

      Totally!

      Also, I hope dizzy posts Nathan and Courtney soon. Watched Courtney last night and she had to have been one of the most disturbing body wise..

      1. Elizabeth

        Courtney looked so bad I couldn’t believe it. And you can tell she’s such a pretty girl, but the sores and her teeth and her leg and ugh man soo bad

    2. Aloisia Schmid

      what are sam vibes?

  5. Rob

    WHOA…I haven’t even gotten to the dinner part of the episode yet. I’m watching now and I can’t remember seeing a more f*cked up immediate reaction from drug use as what happened to her in the bathroom. That was terrifying to watch; I can’t imagine what it was like to be in the room when it happened. It just kept going and going…

    This show makes me never, ever want to touch drugs again.

    1. Stefan

      Indeed. They should show some of these episodes to young people in place of DARE and whatnot.

  6. Marie

    Something tells me she won’t make it.She was way too into the hussle in active addiction.

  7. Tasha Buckman

    I wish i could say Chelan was still clean today, its not the case. We no longer and much contact with her, just know that she is alive. She is living on and off the streets

    1. Ami

      I’m so sorry to hear that Tasha. I just watched it and after she left rehab I really though she was going to make it. I hope your Dad is doing well.

  8. Rob

    Another thing that really shook me during this episode: when Chelan is with those 2 really young addicts in the alley, all of them using, and she casually mentions that she has children. You can see the young female, for one split second, think to herself “is this the direction my life is really heading?”

    And then, the thought is gone 🙁

    1. Courtney

      That moment stocks with me too! She looked so young and shocked.

    2. Elle

      This stuck with me too! I’m glad they showed her reaction, you could see her actually process the words and think about the prospect of that becoming her life, but then she just shrugged it off.

    3. Elizabeth

      Dude yes exactly that moment. It was so… strange? to see her with those young kids and then she said that and like you said that girls face, being so shocked and probably thinking damn is this about to be me? And then it was gone. It was such an unsettling feeling for me because I’ve been that young kid around someone way older than me and doing drugs (aka just smoking weed and some 26 year old is w us high schoolers lol) and thinking oh god is this going to be me? THANK GOD it is not lol hopefully those kids get their lives together before they become like Chelan 🙁 so sad to see such young teens doing hard drugs in some sketchy area 🙁 and hopefully Chelan, who is still young too, gets her shit together also!! Sad all around.

  9. Gord

    Yes I have seen her on the streets. Unfortunately there is a drug dealer who lives on my street and I see Chelan walking by going into that house almost once or twice a week. Sad how she would have been sober today and have went back to her family. Such a beautiful smile…..

    1. Chloe

      Gosh that bathroom scene! Her hand was literally purple to try get a vein! I hope she gets sober and stays sober.

  10. Xavi

    I live in Kamloops. She’s still a streetwalker unfortunately.

    Here is her Facebook profile:

    https://www.facebook.com/chelan.m.hamilton

    1. Pang

      Sad to see all the photos she posted with her boys in 2017- looks like they love her and are old enough to remember her subsequent relapse. Much love to them.

  11. MR B

    Before addiction, she was gorgeous.
    After treatment, she was gorgeous.
    I just watched this today, and was SO happy for her. Then I read the comments here, oh, it’s tragic to know she’s using again. Noooooo!

    Is her dad still alive? He was in tough shape for this episode, and only marginally seemed like he accepted the role of his addiction in shaping Chelan’s life.

    2x episodes with Kamloops in this season. Seems like a tough place. I only know that it’s a hub for freight trains… so there are a lot of freight hoppers who travel through there. That’s a whole different culture… but still… tough town.

  12. Richard

    Chelan was so gorgeous after she got sober and was shown in treatment. Complete 360 from inside out. Breaks my heart to read these comments. I’d love to reach out to her as I am in recovery.

  13. Todd

    I watched Chelan’s episode and I like her. Unfortunately, I think she may be one of those people that is determined to destroy themselves. I saw the comments about her being back out on the streets. That’s awful but the simple truth is it appears it’s what she wants. In other words that life, the drugs, the homelessness, the prostitution, it seems insane to most people. But in her case she must like it. If she didn’t she’d have been just as determined to stay clean. It’s too bad because she’s another one that has plenty going for her.

  14. Olivia

    Chelan is in an article from KamloopsThisWeek called “Cooling stations open as mercury rises in Kamloops” — her picture is included. It makes me so sad. I hope she is able to find clarity and peace.

    1. Todd

      Wow- that is a tragic photo. I think Chelan would be in her early 30s now. In that pic, she could easily pass for someone in their 50s. It’s obvious life on the streets is not treating her well. I don’t know why she’d go back there. She had good people around her that wanted to help. It doesn’t make any sense unless the street life is actually what she wants for herself. Thanks for the info on the article Olivia

  15. J

    Sadly some people get addicted to the lifestyle as well not just the substance. I had my first child and I’m in recovery, but I often find myself still thinking of skid row as crazy as that sounds. Motherhood is sometimes too much responsibility some people want to take on. Also regular life becomes very repetitive (groundhogs day). Sometimes I feel nostalgic and miss waking up and wondering how I’m going to eat today or where I’m going to end up. Most non-addict people wouldn’t understand it. But I know most addicts end up dead and I know my child deserves a good, sober mom. So much of these episodes the parents really messed the kid up.

    1. Todd

      Hello J – ok, not judging you at all but I must say don’t understand. First of all I’m not an addict – however, I’m not a drug prude, I did grow up in the 1980s, haahhaaha. And I must say, a lot of what we did at that time was a ton of fun. I’m retired now – a very boring person. Sometimes I miss all that excitement from that time in my life. So, I can understand someone missing – well I’ll just call them “those days”. What doesn’t make sense to me is anyone being desirous of a homeless lifestyle. I’m sorry but I do not understand that. I’ve never been homeless, never had a desire to be. I don’t know why anyone would want to live that way. Just my two cents and no offense to you.

      1. Gigi

        I don’t think it’s homelessness per se…I think it’s having no responsibility that has a certain nostalgic appeal. Responsibility for others is a heavy load I think especially for those of us who were not loved and nurtured in our youth.

    2. LK

      I am not addicted to drugs but I am currently living in a vehicle and I can understand what you mean by this. Instead of having to worry about larger, more existential issues, like expanding my education and career or addressing my mental problems and traumas, I spend every day deciding on immediate, short-term issues: where I’m going to go, how to get money, how to get food, how to find a bathroom etc. That short term, ever-changing “purpose” is appealing. As well as not having responsibilities, not having to worry about your job or family, just doing whatever you want whenever you want for the most part. It gives a sense of self control and freedom. When I was living in a fixed location and working a regular job every day was the same boring blur and I was horribly depressed and abusing alcohol and weed. Now, every day is different, a new city, a new struggle for money, and I don’t drink anymore because I have to have my wits about me and I just don’t want to now. I don’t want to live this way forever, because it did not cure my depression (and host of other mental illnesses) but rather it distracts me. But I do really value this experience, and I have seen amazing things across this country that I likely would have never seen otherwise.

      1. Todd

        Hello LK – that makes some sense. You sound like the protagonist of “Nomadland”. If you haven’t seen that film you should check it out. However, getting back to Chelan – she isn’t a nomad. She isn’t seeing things and experiencing things other than doing drugs every day and living on the streets. In your case, I think there is some value in what you do. I see no value in anything Chelan does. Just a girl that has a lot going for her that insists on destroying herself.

  16. Todd

    Yes I can totally understand that Gigi. Some young girls, they’ve had kids before they even had a chance to take a breath of life. Plus they’d have to watch all of their friends living it up while they are stuck at home with massive responsibilities. Someone like Chelan – she walked away from it. I certainly don’t agree with her actions but I understand to a certain degree. Do you know Chelan still lives on the streets – 3 years after her “Intervention” episode? A poster posted a recent newspaper article with Chelan’s pic in it. Nothing has changed in her life. This is what I don’t understand. Chelan is relatively attractive looking. She has a family that cares for her. She isn’t stupid. In other words, she doesn’t have to live on the streets. She is there because she wants to be. She could have escaped the nonstop responsibility of kids and started a new life. She went to the streets and made her life there. I mean just the practicality of it must be difficult. Where do you sleep every night? She lives in Canada, its got to be freezing up there. How do you go grocery shopping? How do you take care of personal hygiene? It seems crazy to me.

  17. Jessica Emily Shaw

    This should 100% be added to most disturbing episodes. I feel like my brain needs a shower after the bathroom/dinner scene/