Season 16, Episode 6
Location: Sissonville, West Virginia
Addiction: Methadone, Alcohol, Benzos
What’s Memorable: I’ve watched every episode of Intervention, many of them multiple times, and after 16 seasons in 12 years, it’s become more and more difficult for me to get emotional. Maybe it’s because I know the show’s formula so well and I’ve seen all the possible endings – from successful treatment to relapse to death – that it’s hard to surprise me. I don’t even try to guess anymore if an addict is going to be successful or even survive. You just never know until you get to that final black screen. But it bothers me that it doesn’t make me cry so much anymore. I mean this is sad, heavy stuff and I used to cry at every pretty much every episode, now it’s 1 or maybe 2 per season that does it to me. Anyway, this was apparently that episode. I can’t say what it was exactly that cause me to cry like a little baby at the end. Maybe because Sturgill was such a good and warm-hearted guy. Maybe it was how much he and his family cried in pain and in joy, or how hopeful but honest Sturgill was after getting sober. Maybe it was that he wanted to get into Drug & Alcohol counseling to help other people because that’s just the kind of person he is. Maybe it’s just my own issues with addiction being triggered by his story. I don’t know, but this was an excellent episode of Intervention and it gets placed in the Most Likeable Addicts and Most Uplifting episodes. Because that’s how I felt when it was over. Uplifted. Hopeful. Happy. Like Sturgill.
Official Synopsis: Sturgill was a promising young golden gloves boxer and wrestler who dreamed of the Olympics. He was also an academically gifted pre-med student. But a broken arm and multiple surgeries led to a pain pill addiction, which soon turned to heroin. Now, Sturgill’s drug habit includes a dangerous combination of Methadone, benzos and alcohol. His family fears that he’s on the verge of mixing that one fatal dose. Sylvia Parsons is Sturgill’s Interventionist.
Date Aired: Dec 2016
Season 15, Episode 12
Location: Laguna Niguel, California
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: This one is painful. Taking care of someone who could literally die if they don’t get alcohol into their system is beyond exhausting and constantly terrifying. Making sure they have enough alcohol in order to stay alive another day while knowing that you’re helping them stay addicted, it’s just too much. And then also having to watch them take a bunch of pills that could easily result in an overdose and not being able to do anything about it? No one should ever have to deal with that kind of turmoil. I have nothing but empathy for Sandi and their family and friends. They did what they had to do to keep him alive, and calling Intervention may have been the thing that actually saved his life. I really hope so, he has a lot to live for and his family deserves to be happy.
Official Synopsis: Daniel is a well-respected Paranormal expert. However, his sensitivity leaves him tormented by those entities needing to cross to the other side. Daniel is now consuming a gallon of vodka per day to quiet the voices. That, combined with easy access to pain meds and opiates Daniel takes for his lupus diagnosis, has left him spiraling out of control. His family fears that it is only a matter of time before he is lost inside a world he cannot escape.
Date Aired: June 2016
Season 15, Episode 11
Location: St Augustine, Florida
What’s Memorable: First of all, Ginjer is awesome. So self-aware, honest, smart, funny. One of the most likable addicts this show has profiled. I think sobriety will suit her well and she’s gonna make a great life for herself. That said, I was not a fan of the way this episode was edited. They focused almost entirely on the whole sugar baby thing which, as upsetting as it was, was likely not the only aspect of her addiction that was worth showing. There was very little interaction with her family, so it’s hard to know how it affected them or how invested they were in her getting sober. Did the audience really need to witness multiple client interactions? Not to mention the audio – I can’t even believe they’re doing that now. This isn’t a show that’s supposed to titillate viewers and I really think they focused on that aspect of Ginjer’s story for that reason – because it was provocative. Come on A&E, we know you can do better than that, and you certainly could have done better by Ginjer.
Official Synopsis: Ginjer is a professional Sugar Baby who trolls ‘dating’ websites to maintain a severe Dilaudid addiction. Once a top contender to become a Naval Officer, Ginjer has fallen so far that she juggles ‘men who pay’ to keep the drugs flowing. Ginjer’s family is desperate, fearing she is on the fast track to an early death.
Date Aired: June 2016
Season 14, Episode 14
Location: Bryan, Texas
Addiction: Heroin, Methadone
Official Synopsis: The black sheep of a successful family, Justin got hooked in prescription opiates after he was run over by a truck. Now he begs, borrows, and steals from family and friends to maintain his methadone and heroin habit.
Original Air Date: August 2015
Location: Saugerties, New York
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: Damn. Now THAT’S an Intervention. Memorable stuff in Ryan’s story – being disabled, his good deeds, his terribly low sense of self-worth, his pregnant fiance getting arrested during his fight – but that Intervention, that he found out about and STILL went to, willingly (although fully prepared to say no thanks), was just awesome. You could just see him slowly realizing that they were right and he desperately needed help. The stuff his parents said obviously had a huge impact, and the fact that the fiancee who was pissed about the whole thing actually came around and ultimately convinced him to go – it was all just incredibly powerful and amazing. And that followup, sheesh. Glad I had tissues.
Official Synopsis: Ryan, 25, is a sweet, sensitive man whose alcohol addiction is spiraling out of control as he and his fiance are expecting their first child in a matter of months.
Original Air Date: October 2012
Location: Seattle, Washington
What’s memorable: How isolated he’s become, so distant from his loving and forgiving son.
Update: A friend has let us know that Nik died on November 29, 2014 after having surgery. Read more here.
Official Synopsis: Beloved by his five sisters and his teenage son, Nik 35, was the glue that holds his large family together. He was a proud college graduate who became the director of a multi-million-dollar casino chain at a young age. But now Nik is a homeless drug addict. Four years ago, after a debilitating back injury, he became addicted to OxyContin. His addiction worsened and he turned to heroin. Now Nik has lost his job, his home, and custody of his son.
Original Air Date: July 2008
Location: Wendell, North Carolina
What’s memorable: Richard is the epitome of the self-loathing addict. He positively hates himself and what he’s doing to his family, but his pain is so great that he just can’t stop. He is so very, very sick. And so is his wife. She and their daughter have sacrificed their livelihoods to take care of him and keep him alive.
Official Synopsis: Now 53, Richard has kept a traumatic childhood event secret all his life. As early as age 11, he used alcohol to numb the emotional pain. As an adult, he was diagnosed with diabetes, and his health problems were exacerbated by his drug and alcohol abuse. He was able to keep his addictions in check while he and his wife, Sandy, raised two children. But when he was injured at work, Richard abused his prescriptions and eventually became addicted to crack cocaine.
Original Air Date: May 2010
Location: Tuscon, Arizona
Addiction: Eating disorder – Eats things he most certainly should not eat as a diabetic. Also, he seems a bit addicted to attention and to being sick.
What’s memorable: “Sometimes I think he just wants to be the sickest one in the house.” – mother with MS and Lupus. The whole thing with him going out with friends from work and being all excited about having some people to hang with, and then no one shows up…that’s just depressing as hell. Poor guy, so embarrassing to have that happen on camera. Is he suicidal because he has no friends or does he have no friends because he’s suicidal? I hope he’s ok now.
Update: Sadly, John passed away on September 30, 2014. Read more here.
Official Synopsis: John has type one diabetes but refuses to be diligent about checking his blood sugar, or taking his insulin. A social misfit and an outcast for many years, John wants to be considered a regular guy, and pretends to be one by eating whatever he wants without regard for his illness. He has been in a near-coma and hospitalized multiple times. His parents want to stop enabling his self-destructive behavior, but won’t kick him out of the house because they fear he’ll die without their supervision.
Original Air Date: January 2009
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Addiction: Oxycontin primarily, but also Percocet, Vicodin, Xanax, etc.
What’s memorable: Dude gets HIGH on those pills, man. Can’t even keep his eyes open. The relationship with his addict dad is interesting, how far he went down after his death. Also, the delusions about his Italian ancestry is fascinating. He’s clearly just desperately searching for an identity and has been for a long time.
Official Synopsis: A talented cellist and an aspiring music producer, Shane’s musical aspirations are now out of reach because he abuses prescription drugs and deals drugs out of his grandmother’s house. After injuring his neck in a car accident, he began abusing OxyContin. His father was a drug addict, too, who died from an overdose. Now Shane is following in his father’s deadly footsteps–can an intervention break the cycle?
Original Air Date: January 2010
Location: North Carolina
Addiction: Morphine, Internet scams
What’s memorable: What an awesome and respectable southern family man he was before the addiction took hold, so in love with his home and his wife and kids. How shockingly gullible he is with the internet scams, to the point of bankrupting his family. $600,000 and counting! I really had no idea ANYONE ever fell for advance-fee scams, but he is fully invested in that craziness. He seriously believes he’s going to get that money. It’s people like Greg that keep those Prince of Nigeria emails coming into my inbox. The conversation with “Mr. Washington” trying to get Greg’s pin number is just brutal to listen to. “It’s hard to believe that all of them are liars.” Yeah, it is, but they are. #Capitalism. I don’t think Greg would be believing any of their crap if he wasn’t on morphine.
Official Synopsis: Greg once owned a thriving business and was a devoted husband and father. But after a back injury left him disabled, he lost his business, started gambling, and became dependent on pain medication. He also became obsessed with Internet sweepstakes scams, and he has bankrupted his family in a relentless pursuit of big winnings. Having lost everything, Greg’s family just wants their proud father back.
Original Air Date: December 2009
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Addiction: Pain meds & muscle relaxers
What’s Memorable: Poor Brooke. Such a sad story. She’s in unbearable physical pain EVERYDAY and wants so badly for her family to understand that, and they just don’t. All they see is an addict that inconveniences them and requires too much attention. It’s hard to watch how horribly they treat her and how much emotional pain it causes her. The intervention, oy vey. I cried so hard.
Update: Brooke died on December 21, 2014 of an apparent overdose. Our condolences to her family and loved ones. Read Obituary
Official synopsis: Brooke, 26, was a beautiful teenager with a magnetic personality. An elite gymnast on the cheerleading squad, she looked forward to a successful and athletic life. But tragedy struck in her senior year when she was crippled by Still’s disease, an early form of rheumatoid arthritis. Her doctors prescribed narcotics to ease her pain, but Brooke soon became addicted. Her heartbroken family has sought new treatments to help Brooke, but she denies she’s an addict. Now her family has turned in desperation to their last hope–an intervention.
Original Air Date: January 2008
Location: Davis County, Utah
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: How her parents actually blamed her for their divorce. The hiding of the bottles all over the house. The sad relationship with her husband. How little she seems to care about whether she lives or dies.
Official synopsis: Although she has a blood clot in her brain that makes drinking dangerous, Kristine is an alcoholic. But she doesn’t believe her condition is a reason to quit because she recently learned that she may have leukemia. Now she figures she may as well keep drinking because the leukemia might kill her anyway. Can an intervention save her–and if she does have a terminal illness, is a successful intervention even an answer?
Original Air Date: February 2010
Location: Los Angeles, California
What’s Memorable: There’s a lot to learn about Chinese family dynamics in this one. The things that her little brother Sam has to do to take care of her at her parent’s request is horrible. The intervention is a doozy.
Official synopsis: After graduating college, Linda found success working as an extra in Hollywood, achieving the glamorous life she always wanted. But her dreams died when she came down with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by joint dislocations. Linda started taking fentanyl, a painkiller 100 times stronger than morphine. As her painkiller use escalated, she claimed that different sources were causing her pain, including electricity, energy, colors, and even specific people. Despite Linda’s wild claims, her mother clings to the belief that Linda’s pain is real and she must do everything to help her, including depleting the family’s savings and sending her son to be Linda’s caretaker.
Original Air Date: November 2009
Location: Bay Area, California
What’s Memorable: Given the number of years Gloria has been an alcoholic, and her denial of having a problem, it was absolutely shocking that she agreed to treatment and then actually got sober. Probably the most surprising “yes, I’ll go” that I’ve seen.
Official synopsis: At 53, Gloria prides herself on being a good cook and an independent, fun-loving woman. But Gloria uses her cooking and charm to manipulate her family into letting her drink as much as she wants. Gloria had difficulty raising her children, and was married to an abusive man. At 42, Gloria got breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiation but did not stop drinking. Now Gloria drinks and drives, misses work, and spends all her money on alcohol. Gloria’s family has had enough of her selfishness, and they’re ready for an intervention.
Original Air Date: August 2009
Official synopsis: At one time, Laurie was a psychotherapist and mother of three. But then an addiction to pain killers and alcohol led to the loss of her job and her family, and now only an intervention can stop her from losing her life.
Original Air Date: December 2006
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Addiction: Meth, gambling
What’s memorable: What goes on in the shadows of Las Vegas. The 10-hours a day gambling and the things she’ll do to get money for it. How much she’s lost. The grueling intervention.
Official synopsis: Gina is bright, fun-loving, and ambitious, but she’s losing a difficult battle with drugs and compulsive gambling. Gina’s family feels an intervention is the only way to save her.
Original Air Date: April 2006
Season 2, Episode 2
Addicted to: Alcohol (whiskey)
What’s memorable: How relatively high functioning he is in his career considering his depression and alcoholism.
Official synopsis: Howard, 39, is a driving instructor to celebrities, the CIA, and the FBI, but he drinks when he can’t get high from driving fast. Now, Howard’s doctor has told him his liver is failing, and unless he stops drinking, he will die.
Original Air Date: November 2005
Addicted to: Gambling
Addiction Trigger: Accident caused facial disfigurement.
What’s memorable: Lives off of her boyfriend, doesn’t work, just loses at gambling day after day in hopes of hitting a jackpot.
Official synopsis: Alissa’s parents and friends try to save her from her gambling addiction. She has lost over $30,000 on 25-cent slots. Her boyfriend has three jobs and makes all of the money, while Alissa gambles it away.
Original Air Date: March 2005
What’s Memorable: The dying wife, only 2 people at the intervention.
Official synopsis: Mark, who’s so addicted to painkillers that he’s had a morphine pump surgically implanted in his abdomen.
Original Air Date: June 2005
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