// category

Childhood Physical Abuse

This category contains 30 posts

Episode 69: Phillip

Season 4, Episode 21

Phillip
Age: 44
Location:  Southern California
Addiction: Alcohol (Peppermint Schnapps)

What’s memorable:  How much potential he had in the music industry before he started drinking, the sad but loving he has relationship with his daughter, how much he shakes when he needs to drink, the fact that he’s drinking Peppermint Schnapps. And that amazing followup. He looked so good!

Official Synopsis: A 44-year-old singer and songwriter, Phillip used music to escape the pain of an unstable childhood. He gained fame due to his charisma and musical talents, but Phillip now consumes up to four pints of peppermint schnapps a day. He lost his career, the love of his life, and the respect of his family. Can Phillip break the grip of addiction before he loses the most precious relationship in his life, the one he shares with his 11-year-old daughter?

Original Air Date: August 2008
Interventionist:  Jeff

Episode 193: Matthew

Season 14, Episode 9

matthew-duster

Matthew
Age: 22
Location: Milford, Ohio
Addiction: Inhalants (keyboard duster)

What’s memorable:  This guy will haunt my dreams, and not even because of the demon-posessed voice and psychotic behavior he exhibits when he takes a hit. It’s the absolute vacancy in his eyes at all times. When he’s high, when he’s being interviewed, when he’s been clean for 90 days. He speaks in eerie monotone and stares at the camera without blinking.  There seems to be no one behind the eyes, but I know that’s not true, there’s always someone in there. I truly hope that the real Matthew appears behind his eyes at some point soon.

Official Synopsis: A difficult relationship with his parents led Matthew to experiment with drugs. But when a drug test came back positive, he lost custody of his son and went from part-time user to full-blown addict. Now, angry and threatening, Matthew huffs 10 cans of computer duster a day. His family fears that every breath of duster he takes could be his last.

Original Air Date: July 2015
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 72: Ed and Bettina

Season 4, Episode 25

edbettina

Ed and Bettina
Age: 53 and 49
Location: Utah
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s Memorable: Dear god, this one. I’ve seen it probably 12 times and the dysfunction/codependency gets me every time. Married almost 30 years, became alcoholics together only 5 years ago, and now they’ve lost almost everything.  Their kids break my heart.

Official Synopsis: Ed, 53, and Bettina, 49, had a picture-perfect life, including three adoring kids, a dream home, sports cars, motorcycles, and a respected place in their church community. But six years ago, Ed made a bad career move and ended up unemployed. He and Bettina lost everything they had worked for. They began to drink, and quickly became alcoholics. Ed has been hospitalized for internal bleeding, and Bettina for withdrawals so excruciating she thought she was dying. Their children have begged them to stop drinking, but it only strengthens the bond between Ed and Bettina, leaving the children to wonder, “How do you intervene on a married couple?”

Original Air Date: September 2008

Interventionist: Candy

Episode 143: Luke

luke

Luke
Age: 23
Location: San Francisco, California
Addiction: Crack
What’s memorable: Living on the streets with his mother who is willingly homeless just so she can keep an eye on her son. That’s some crazy co-dependency there. The craziness that he spouts when he’s high is disturbing.  The intervention and followup is a tear jerker, very affecting. I hope this family is well now.

Official Synopsis: Luke, 23, dreams of a career in photojournalism, but his daily cocktail of drugs has derailed his college plans and left both him and his mother struggling to survive on the streets of San Francisco.

Original Air Date: August 2011

Episode 146: Penny Lee

pennyless

Penny Lee
Age: 48
Location: Waipahu, Hawaii
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: The crazytown drunken rants, how she quit her long-term job because she wanted to drink, how guilty her son feels about going to live with their dad, how she’s forced to babysit her grandson and has to beg to get paid for it because her daughter knows she’d buy beer with it. “If they feel they can’t trust me with money, then why trust me with my grandson?” Penny Lee does make sense sometimes. The intervention is a powerful one.

“We’re gonna do our very best to heal your whole family. You don’t ever have to live this way again” – Candy

“Thank you.” – Penny Lee

Official Synopsis: Living in a small Hawaiian village, Penny-Lee has an infectious laugh and loves to have fun. But despite having a good family life and four children to be proud of, she’s an out-of-control alcoholic who spends most of her time alone, screaming and crying out to no one as she downs beer after beer. An intervention is her family’s last hope for their beloved family matriarch.

Original Air Date: July 2011
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 187: Gina

gina

Gina
Age: 33
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: The mother, oh dear god the Mother. In contrast to Kaila, the other addict in this episode, no one watching this story would wonder for a second how or why Gina became an addict. A heroin addicted prostitute, to be specific. Not shocking. I feel nothing but sympathy for Gina and all she’s been through. Thank goodness her mother was able to see what she had done to her daughter and took responsibility for what happened.

Official Synopsis: Gina has spent her life living in the shadow of her domineering Korean mother, and it was not until she started using heroin that she was able to escape the most painful of her memories, being blamed by her mother for having been raped. Now, with absolutely no sense of self-worth, Gina will do anything to get her fix, even at the cost of losing her son.

Original Air Date: July 2013

Episode 145: Larry

larry

Larry
Age: 32
Location: East Orange, New Jersey
Addiction: Alcohol (Brandy)
What’s memorable: The fact that he beats his wife when he’s drunk, and she’s so in love with him and won’t ever leave him.  And that failed intervention was a doozy. Too bad everyone couldn’t have gotten on board.

Official Synopsis:
Growing up with parents who demanded hard work, Larry rebelled with a life of crime. Today, he drinks a fifth of brandy a day even though he’s a spiritual man whose religion prohibits alcohol. Can an intervention save Larry from being ostracized by his spiritual community?
Original Air Date: July 2011
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 172: Cher

Cher

Cher
Age: 50
Location: Dana Point, California
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s memorable: Cher’s alcoholism seems to have made her a pretty awful person to be around.  She’s just so mean and needy and sensitive, so desperate for attention; the things she does and says to try and force her family to “love” her, to treat her the way she thinks she deserves to be treated. The way she harangues her dying father and tries to make her daughter feel guilty for having her own life is just horrific. The followup was briefly awesome.

Official Synopsis: Loud and spunky 50-year old alcohol addiction has led to liver damage and is driving a wedge between herself and her family.
Original Air Date: October 2012
Interventionist: Seth

Episode 169: Susie and Miriam

Susie

Susie
Age: 41
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Crack

Miriam

Miriam
Age: 41
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Alcohol

What’s memorable: The abuse they suffered and how Susie would take the brunt of it to protect her sisters, the amount of violence she experiences now as a result of her addiction, the weird dynamics the twins have, the awesome followup and how amazing and healthy they both looked after treatment. Really there’s lots going on in this one, but what will stick with me the most is Miriam giving in and smoking crack with her sister after everyone was talking about how worried they were that she’d relapse if she spent too much time with her. That scene was harrowing.

Official Synopsis: Attractive, charismatic 41 year-old twins, Susie and Miriam, battle crack and alcohol addictions and each other as their career success and families slowly slip away.
Original Air Date: October 2012
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 175: Britney

Britney

Britney
Age: 21
Location: Escanaba, Michigan
Addiction: Cocaine, Bath Salts
What’s memorable: The abusive drug-addicted husband, the accusations of abuse against her stepmother, which her father denied. The touching intervention where dad said what he needed to say despite his reluctance to believe it, just to get her to accept help.

Official Synopsis: A family begging her to get help and two overdoses in the last two weeks don’t phase 21-year-old Britney as she fearlessly shoots up suboxone and bath salts up to 30 times a day.
Original Air Date: September 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 162: Kaylene

Season 11 Episode 12

kaylene

Kaylene
Age: 21
Location: Barnardsville, North Carolina
Addiction: Pain meds (Percocet mostly) and Xananx
What’s memorable: Girl gets giddy when she’s high! At least when she’s not passing out. She seems really convinced that she’s super happy and loving her life. Her entire goal right now is to just have a good time and get away from all the pain she’s had in her life. I get that. But she is SO not seeing how it’s affecting the people she loves. Watching her mother and 7 year old sister go through the little girl’s penny jar in order to give Kaylene money for drugs is pretty awful and heartwrenching. And that intervention! Holy crap, the tears, they were rollin. There’s a reason why these things work – having someone you love dearly say the thing you’ve been wanting them to say forever, to show emotion that you didn’t know they were capable of, is an incredibly powerful thing.

Official Synopsis: As a child, Kaylene was physically abused by her father. Later, she and her mother began using coke together. Now Kaylene is a 21-year-old who oozes sweetness and charm but who is unafraid to die and will stop at nothing to get her next fix. After so many years of neglect, can Kaylene’s family finally step up and help her get the live-saving treatment she so desperately needs?

Original Air Date: March 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 155: Richard

Season 11 Episode 3

Richard
Age: 34
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Meth
What’s memorable: The pain and abuse he suffered as a child, how delusional he is about how meth is affecting his life and what he thinks it does for him, the non-intervention, the icky and sad predilection toward incest-themed sexual encounters. “I’ve been anticipating the desires of adult males since I was 5 years old.” – Richard.

Official Synopsis: A 34-year-old gay man, Richard grew up knowing he was different and never feeling accepted. His stepfather disciplined him severely for his effeminate behavior. Today, Richard lives in subsidized housing and has done everything from dealing to prostituting himself to support his meth addiction. Richard’s family will have to make amends to him if they hope to get through to him.

Original Air Date: January 2012
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 124: John

John 124 Season 8 Ep 8

John
Age: 30’s
Location: Houston, Texas
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s memorable: “Oh yeah, I’m the party.” Dude’s a super fun guy! And in some serious denial. He’s been arrested 24 times for drunk and disorderly conduct and has been hospitalized more than 20 times. His family thinks he has a death wish. He doesn’t think he has a problem. Also memorable – the profoundly disabled little brother, the obese sister who John thinks should lose weight before talking to him about his drinking, how he was wasted at his mother’s funeral.

Official Synopsis: John is a flight attendant who loves his job, but his lifestyle is fueling his alcoholism. When he was a boy, John’s parents focused their attention on his “profoundly retarded” brother. His mother blamed herself for the disability and turned her anger towards John. Now John’s alcoholism leaves him prone to blackouts.
Original Air Date: August 2010

Episode 124: Dionicio

dionico

Dionicio
Age: 30’s
Location: El Centro, California
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: What a great dad he is, other than the whole heroin addict thing. “I love my family to death, it just seems that heroin comes first, above all.” He shoots up before seeing his little boys because he’d rather be high around them than not see them at all. I don’t think he knows that his boys know exactly what’s going on. Ugh. Sad.

Official Synopsis: Growing up with an abusive mother, Dionicio turned to crime and drugs as a teen. He became a father, but couldn’t handle the pressure of providing for a family. Now he spends his time panhandling and shooting heroin.
Original Air Date: August 2010

Episode 106: Vinnie

Season 7, Episode 8

Vinnie
Age: 28
Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Addiction: Crack
What’s memorable: How he gets money for crack by stealing and selling auto parts, his poor put-upon enabling mother, his dog Max as primary companion in the place of the family he wants so badly. It’s a very sad story. He’s so lonely, so desperate, so addicted, and completely aware of all of that and truly hates himself for it.

UPDATE: As of the followup that aired July 10, 2016, Vinnie is still clean doing great!

Official Synopsis: When Vinnie was a boy, his father abused him physically and verbally, leaving his mother feeling helpless. He developed a love for fast-paced sports, including BMX, motocross, and car racing, but his need for speed turned into an addiction to crack cocaine. Now, Vinnie lives in his car with his dog and smokes up to $1,000 worth of crack a week. Vinnie’s mother tries to make up for not protecting him when he was younger by giving him money and a place to stay. But Vinnie needs more than that–he needs an intervention.
Original Air Date: January 2010

Interventionist: Candy

Episode 95: Danielle

Danielle Season 6 Episode 95

Danielle
Age: 33
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Addiction: Percocet, Self-injury (cutting, burning)
What’s memorable: 50 percs a day! Damn, girl. But Danielle is severely clinically depressed and suicidal and genuinely believes that she needs these pills in order to not kill herself. Also memorable: the husband who is still there because he made a commitment and will take care of her no matter what, the alcoholic dad who now drinks 10 weeks a year, and the mother who gives her her own legitimately prescribed percocet.

Official Synopsis: Although she has two loving children and an adoring husband, Danielle is dangerously addicted to Percocet. As a teen, Danielle felt neglected by her alcoholic father and began cutting herself. Now she spends each day hiding behind closed curtains, ignoring her children, and self-medicating with up to 40 Percocet a day. An intervention is the last chance Danielle’s children have to get their mother back.

Original Air Date: July 2009

Interventionist: Jeff

Episodes 120: Donna and Josh

Donna Season 8 episode 120

Josh Season 8 episode 120

Donna & Josh
Age: Josh is 20, Donna is 47
Location: Covington, Washington
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s memorable:  The very unhealthy mother-son dynamic. The awesome followup.

Official Synopsis: Every day, Donna, 47, and her son, Josh, 20, cause a storm of drinking, fighting, and chaos in the overcrowded home they share with Donna’s sister, mother, and a stable-full of dogs and cats. Raised by alcoholic parents, Donna was exposed to violence and abuse at an early age, and later drank so heavily that she lost custody of her two children. Josh, now an adult, has moved back in with Donna, and they have become drinking buddies. Both mother and son need help desperately to save themselves and to stop the cycle of alcoholism from being passed down to another generation of their family.
Original Air Date: June 2010

Episode 50: Fabian

Season 4, Episode 2

Fabian Season 4 Episode 50

Fabian
Age: 37
Location: Los Angeles, California
Addiction: Meth and Alcohol
What’s Memorable: I think it’s interesting that Fabian thinks he needs to be high/drunk in order to create, and doesn’t realize he’s not actually making much of anything.

Official synopsis:  Fabian, 37, was once a successful entertainment entrepreneur, but his escalating addiction has cost him everything.
Original Air Date: December 2007

Interventionist: Ken

Episode 60: Dan

Season 4, Episode 13

dan

Dan
Age: 40
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s Memorable: How creepy and violent he gets when drunk, the falling down, the awesome wife.

Official synopsis: To the outside world, his life may seem ideal. Dan, 40, is married and has a beautiful daughter, Ava. He loves music and works as a first mate for a snorkeling and whale-watching boat company on a stunning Hawaiian Island. But everything is not what it seems. Dan is an alcoholic. An adolescence filled with physical violence and verbal abuse left Dan with deep emotional pain. Dan’s family desperately hopes that an intervention will turn his life around.
Original Air Date: June 2008

Interventionist: Ken

Episode 55: Ben

Season 4, Episode 6

Ben
Age: 25
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Addiction: DXM (cough medicine)
What’s Memorable: The psychosis he displays as he walks around the city, the older dude that had a sexual relationship with him and still supports him to some extent, the things this kid could have done with his life.

Official synopsis: Ben, 25, experienced a childhood filled with domestic violence, homelessness and isolation. He never got to fulfill the potential of his 170 I.Q. and found a new way to find comfort when he was in high school–a drug called DXM. Now, Ben spends his days shoplifting, panhandling, and even prostituting himself to finance his drug addiction. Desperate to help Ben, his mother arranges an intervention that’s her last hope for saving his life.
Original Air Date: January 2008

Intereventionist: Jeff

Episode 59: Lawrence

Season 4, Episode 10

lawrence

Lawrence
Age: 34
Location: Las Vegas
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: Oh man, the denial Lawrence was in is absolutely shocking. “Half the time I don’t even think he realizes that he’s drinking.” The bruises all over his body, how weak he is, how he needs his co-workers to totally take care of his basic needs. And, of course, the followup.

Update: Lawrence did on February 23, 2008 from bleeding resulting from cirrhosis of the liver.

Official synopsis: Having graduated high school with academic and athletic honors, Lawrence, 34, became a successful owner of a chain of tanning salons. But he was never able to dull the pain of emotional and physical abuse suffered in childhood. Alcohol took hold and Lawrence became a shell of his former self, often drinking a liter of vodka a day. A recent battle with cancer left him further weakened. Lawrence’s loved ones stage an intervention in the hope that this show of love and support will help Lawrence get the help he needs, and that by sharing his story he might help others.
Original Air Date: February 2008

Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 54: Jason

Season 4, Episode 5

jason

Jason
Age: 23
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Addiction: Alcohol, cocaine
What’s Memorable: The huge singing Christian family, the addicted little sister, the terribly repressed and abusive childhood.

Official synopsis: Jason, 23, was born into a strict Southern Baptist family. His father, a preacher, and his unstable mother doled out excessive punishments. But when Jason’s mother revealed she’s a lesbian, Jason’s father was banished from the church and had to take several jobs to feed his family. Left with no supervision, Jason turned to drugs and alcohol. And now his younger sister, Joy, is heading down the same self-destructive path, too. Can a double intervention save them?
Original Air Date: January 2008

Interventionist: Candy

Episode 134: Cassie

Cassie Season 9 Episode 134

Cassie
Age:  22
Location: Coral Springs, Florida
Addicted to: Oxycodone, crack
What’s Memorable:The horrible Costa Rican and Jamiacan “modification camps” her father sent her to as a teen.

Official synopsis:  Cassie, 22, is a crack and oxycodone addict who was abandoned by her mother and raised by her father and his string of wives. At 13, she was sent to an overseas behavior modification school that offered her little more than imprisonment and abuse. She escaped into a life of drugs and had a baby she couldn’t care for. Now she’s turned to prostitution to pay for her drugs, and her father enables her addiction while the rest of the family wonders how to keep her from dying.
Original Air Date: January 2011

Episode 133: Jenna

jenna

Jenna
Age:  28
Location: Boston, Massachusettes
Addicted to: Heroin
What’s Memorable: The stepfather and the intense long-term emotional turmoil Jenna and her siblings have suffered as a result. Jenna’s decision to meet with her stepfather at a waterpark – while I personally understand it, I get why the siblings don’t.  I also really respect Jenna’s boyfriend (and eventual husband) John for participating in this intervention despite being an addict himself. It takes a lot to do that.

Official synopsis:  Jenna, 28, once a sweet natured and compassionate young girl, endured a brutal childhood that still haunts her and her siblings. Today she steals and manipulates her family to support her destructive heroin habit. Can Jenna and her siblings overcome their past to work together as a family and get Jenna into treatment?
Original Air Date: January 2011

Episode 136: Jamie

jamie

Jamie
Age: 27
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Alcohol, Ketamine

What’s Memorable: The death of Jamie’s twin sister, the really messed up ways that her family thinks they’re helping her, the weird intervention. (“Since I arrived here, none of this has been about Jamie” – Candy)

Official synopsis: At a teen, Jamie did drugs and abused alcohol to deal with her traumatic upbringing. At 21, she turned to the church and got sober, but then the fatal overdose of her twin sister triggered a relapse. Now Jamie suffers from alcohol-induced pancreatitis and has suicidal tendencies. As Jamie’s family struggles with their own loss, Jamie feels alone in her fight against addiction. Can an intervention bring the family together?

Original Air Date: March 2011

Episode 39: Trent

trent

Trent
Age: 33
Location: Denver, Colorado
Addiction: Heroin
What’s Memorable: This is a sad one. Trent is a decent guy who just can’t stop, even though he’s lost everything and everyone. This is one of those episodes that powerfully hits home how the need to get high and the belief that it’s impossible to stop can completely take over a person’s life.

Official synopsis: Trent, 33, is a four-star chef who’s served U.S. presidents and Hollywood stars. But as the child of alcoholics, Trent’s formative years were marked with violence and abuse. He ultimately turned to drugs to cope, and today he is homeless, sick, battling freezing temperatures, and has an insatiable heroin addiction. His friends and family fear he won’t make it through the winter on the streets, but will Trent be willing to listen to the family he feels deserted him?
Original Air Date: April 2007

Episode 37: Kim

kim

Kim
Age: 34
Location: Northern California
Addiction: Anorexia
What’s Memorable: The extent to which Kim hates herself is truly disturbing. She is clearly mentally ill, just completely drowning in her horrible thoughts.

Official synopsis: Kim is a beautiful 34-year-old make-up artist who grew up a cheerleader and popular. But fearing her good looks and slim figure were deteriorating, Kim turned to bulimia and anorexia. Now Kim’s weight issues have taken over her life. She is entrenched in a divorce with her high school sweetheart, who she still loves dearly. She’s moved in with her mother and stepfather, with whom she can’t get along. Kim’s needs have taken over the household and no one believes it can get better unless Kim agrees to get help.
Original Air Date: March 2007

Episode 21: Antwahn

Season 2, Episode 8Antwahn Season 2 episode 3

Antwahn
Age: 39
Location: Los Angeles, California
Addiction: Crack
What’s memorable: Man, Antwahn has just about every possible addiction trigger out there. He had a really rough life. Also he seems like a super decent guy (other than doing things like stealing his daughter’s birthday presents to buy crack with) and you really root for him to get his shit together.

Official synopsis: Antwahn played professional basketball for the Los Angeles Clippers and in Europe for over a decade, but when a serious knee injury ended his career he began to binge on crack-cocaine and ended up on skid row.
Original Air Date: March 2006
Interventionist: Ken

Episode 138 – Tiffany

tiffany2

Tiffany
Age:  24
Location: Florida
Addicted to: Meth, GHB, Xanax
What’s Memorable: How insanely skinny she is. Doing drugs in the storage unit. The GHB.

Official synopsis:  Tiffany, a former beauty queen, has always wanted the family she never had. Now, after ten years of using crystal meth and looking for love in all the wrong places, Tiffany may lose the one thing she values most, her one-year-old daughter. Her family is terrified that they’re going to lose Tiffany, and desperately hope that an intervention will save her from her abusive boyfriend and constant drug use.
Original Air Date: March 2011

Episode 13: Brooks

Season 1, Episode 13

Brooks
Age: 20’s
Location: South
Addiction: Cocaine, marijuana, and more
What’s Memorable: What a sweet guy he is, in such unfortunate circumstances despite being a millionaire, his equally messed up brother.

Official synopsis:  A mother fears for the life of her son, a former wrestling star who turned to drugs after an accident left him wheelchair-bound.
Original Air Date: July 2005

Interventionist: Candy


Cross-Category Search

Select a category:
Select another: