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S22E5 Erika

Season 22 Episode 5

Erika
Age: 28
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Addiction: Xanax, heroin

Official Synopsis: Born in Las Vegas, Erika overcame a heroin addiction due to childhood trauma, but now anxiety from the COVID-19 pandemic has caused her to relapse, placing her life and her dream in jeopardy.

What’s Memorable: The sweet siblings, the photo shoot, the crazy dangerous drug mixing, “doing bars”,  the compulsive smiling, the mom who told her if she had obeyed the house rules she wouldn’t have gotten herself raped, the fact that no one else in the family even knows that happened (I wonder if she told them before the show aired?), and the Covid-ness of the whole situation.  It made me think a lot about how this pandemic is going to be the “and then Covid happened” part of so many peoples’ addiction stories, and for so many different reasons.

Date Aired: April 12, 2021

Interventionist: Vance Johnson – Great article about Vance’s story and his appreciation of Intervention here on ESPN.com

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  1. Stefan

    Just finished watching and I agree Dizzy. I was waiting for them to cover someone who’s been triggered by everything that’s been happening in the world. I myself have gained around 15 pounds in the past year.

  2. Courtney

    I really connected with Erika! I found her to be sweet, just very lost in it all. I didn’t notice her compulsive smiling until Dizzy pointed it out; I’ll have to rewatch the episode back to pick up on it. I feel like this season is going to heavy on, “…and then COVID-19 hit”, which I can get behind. I have changed a lot since the virus and it’s interesting to see how others have been affected. Makes me feel less lonely. I absolutely understand Erika’s isolation- it’s so easy to do when everything is closed.
    Only wishing the best for her!

  3. Courtney

    Another thing: her sister saying, “Erika walked so my sister and I could run” REALLY hit home with me. I’m also the oldest child in my family, and watching Erika get cut down by her mom brought back so many memories. I’m glad she and her mom reconciled during the intervention.

    1. April

      I am the oldest child of immigrant parents. And yes. I too heard that and thought, yup. That’s a lot of pressure. You are the one they push the hardest. It was a struggle growing up like that. When she said she would raise her daughter differently. I was so happy. I’m glad she’s learning to cope.

  4. Emily

    She really reminded me of myself. Wow. I’m glad they really finally talked about someone affected by the pandemic.

    1. AMA

      Me too. I’m not an addict (fortunately!) but I do have PTSD, and the pandemic has been detrimental to my mental health. I’ve been fully vaccinated for several months, but I’m still practicing social distancing and working from home for now. The widespread isolation, coupled with sheltering in place with family members without pause, has been particularly difficult. Even as I love my family and they aren’t critical the way Erika’s mother is, I miss routine and space. I have no doubt Erika is just one of many addicts grappling with this.

  5. Jaim

    Does anyone know how I can catch these new episodes in the UK? I’m desperate to watch them but can’t seem to find them anywhere!

    1. Elizabeth

      I’ve been watching on the A&E website, not sure if that works for you in the UK? I’ve also been trying to find the new episodes on various sites that are… legal haha but no luck :/ I would suggest getting an american VPN that allows you to watch the episodes on A&E and all you have to do is log into your cable provider if you have one. If not! Hulu does a free 7 day trial of live tv that includes A&E so you could do that and binge them!

      1. Stefan

        Hulu isn’t available outside of the US.

    2. Amy

      You’ll need a VPN but it’s easy to get one. I used mine to watch the latest season on Putlocker. I think there were (very briefly) a couple of episodes on YT but they get taken down fast.

  6. KK

    Wooooow I was so shocked at how many different drugs she does. the last interview I really got the feeling she was still so sad and unsure.. I really hope she continues to heal and stays sober

  7. Todd

    Good episode. I really hope this girl can keep it together. She has a lot going for her. She’s funny, cute, blessed with a really good family. She reminded me of one of the SNL players – off the top of my head I think her name is Melissa Villasenor. Something like that. Anyway, if you read this Erika – try real hard to stay clean. You can have a terrific life if you do. Best of luck.

  8. Ann

    Why are people excusing this girl? Of course I wish her the best, Ive battled with addiction as well and i know its hard, but others here get hate for minuscule things yet it looks like Shes getting a pass for basically making p*rn with her kid and parents downstairs and she did not look like she cared at all about it. I hope she stays clean but with someone that lives off attention it’ll be hard

    1. Gigi

      I don’t think it’s fair to assume that she LIKES the attention she gets from selling her body. People in active addiction do what they need to do to support their habit and sadly for a lot of young women that means selling themselves. Most of us have seen this in countless episodes and still find empathy for the addict…it seems like you were somehow triggered by Erika?

      1. Todd

        I just read what Ann wrote which I believe was a response to my comment on Erika. I just wanted to clarify – I wasn’t supporting (or excusing) Erika’s actions in any way. All I was saying is she has a lot going for her, which she does. I think Gigi is right in that Erika “triggered” Ann. Ok wait now I see a comment from someone named Bumble. Wow! I have found some of the addicts to be very unlikable human beings. Although I don’t agree (or am I supportive) with plenty of what Erika does – I didn’t find her unlikable. She’s bright, she’s cute, she’s funny. She’s lucky to come from a nice family. I agree with what I said two months ago – I hope she keeps it together. She’ll have a great life if she does.

    2. Courtney

      As a former addict it seems like you could have a lot more compassion for Erika and her addiction, especially considering the PTSD she has to have from multiple sexual assaults.
      And just because you find “making p*rn” distasteful doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable job for a lot of people, addicted or not, many of whom have children that they support. Plus it’s puzzling that you find *that* more appalling than her shooting up (I’m not judging either the photos or her drug use, just curious about your priorities with your judgment.) I would urge you to unpack some of your Puritan thoughts about sex work.

      Also your comment about her probably not staying clean because she needs attention is just…. Awful.
      In general you don’t know who comes to this site and how your judgmental comments may impact them so I would also urge you to get off your high horse & remember how devastating addiction can be for people. Anonymously insulting someone at their televised lowest moment on a public forum is pretty gross and all around unkind & I hope you find peace within yourself that’s not dependent on tearing others down with your hurtful opinions.

      1. April S.

        Sounding pretty judgmental there yourself, Courtney.

  9. Dahlia

    Dizzy do you think it’d be possible to add COVID as an addiction trigger? Probably will come up a lot more in new episodes like you said.

    1. Dizzy

      Yeah good idea.

  10. Bumble

    I agree with another poster. People seem to be supportive of her and avoiding her acknowledging herterrible antics, making herself look like a fool on social media while gloating about Xanax with her sister. She was annoying. Everything “triggered” her, it’s a cop out to keep using just like every other addict.