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Mental Problems

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Episode 221: Kristie

Season 16, Episode 5

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Kristie
Age: 31
Location:  Macedon, New York
Addiction:  Alcohol, inhalants (duster)

Official Synopsis:  Kristie dreamed of being a museum curator and was getting her masters degree at Johns Hopkins University. But a childhood diagnosis of OCD caused by anxiety, worsened and caused her to drop out of school and begin to self medicate with alcohol. Though she married three years ago, her addiction ultimately spiraled out of control to include a large mix of drugs and huffing. She’s been admitted to the hospital several times this year alone and after her husband divorced her, Kristie hit rock bottom and now her family fears that without help, she will soon die. Ken Seeley is Kristie’s Interventionist.

Date Aired:  Dec 2016
Interventionist: 
Ken

Episode 212: Daniel M.

Season 15, Episode 12

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Daniel M.
Age: 43
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
Interventionist:
Candy

Episode 192: Bryceton

Season 14, Episode 8

bryceton


Bryceton

Age: 41
Location: Brandon, Florida
Addiction: Alcohol and spice (I just had to add a new category for this first time in years)

What’s memorable: Well that was quite the ride. Bryceton seems like a pretty fun and interesting person trapped in the life of an addict, treating people like crap and in full denial about how his behavior is affecting the people who love him. I think this episode may have had more bleeps that any other in the history of Intervention. Man is he a scary dude when he’s high. On spice. WTF, SPICE? Is he just doing it instead of actual weed because it doesn’t show up on piss tests?  I loved the follow up, and I will remember this quote forever: “When I look in the mirror I see a loser; a loser trying to convince himself he’s a winner.” That gave me chills for some reason.

Official Synopsis: A talented singer-songwriter, Bryceton’s addicton to alcohol and spice (synthetic marijuana) is completely out of control. His wife struggles to raise their son while coping with Bryceton’s erratic behavior, but she’s fighting a losing battle.

Original Air Date: May 2015
Interventionist: Jeff (JVV!)

Episode 143: Shantel

shantel

Shantel
Age: 18
Location: Dunnville, Ontario
Addiction: Oxycontin
What’s memorable: I wonder how many kids with ADHD and get put on Ritalin end up being drug addicts.  There’s been a couple of them on this show. I’ll bet it happens a lot as a way to calm their brains. Anyway, Shantel. So young, so on the wrong path. Too bad the intervention didn’t take, she had potential.

Official Synopsis: Shantel uses OxyContin to cope with learning and mood disorders and to find friends in the drug culture. An overprotective mother provides her with money, and now Shantel, who faces potential jail time for a robbery, spends her days feeding her addiction in a motel.

Original Air Date: August 2011

Episode 181: Tiffany

Tiffany

Tiffany
Age: 19
Location: Inwood, West Virginia
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: Wow. Lots. I don’t recall any other addict that came from a religious family but where the religion wasn’t a trigger or contributed to the distance between the addict and their family. Tiffany is an addict who actually still fully embraces her spirituality and relationship with God despite her behaviors, which seems to be keeping her close to her family. I didn’t word that very well, hopefully it made sense. Anyway, what else: the relationship she has with her biological dad, the reversal that happened at the intervention (also don’t think I’ve seen that happen before – the intervention addict actually having to give consequences to another addicted family member), the tearful and inspiring followup, the Haiti mission. I mean jeez, Tiffany is truly amazing. She makes me wanna be a better person.

Official Synopsis:
Tiffany is a 19-year-old, doe-eyed, innocent looking young woman who treks to the seediest parts of Baltimore to score heroin while her family tries to pray the “devil” out of her.

Original Air Date: January 2013
Interventionist: Ken

Episode 164: Sean

Sean
Age: 39
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s memorable: His need to feel popular and the resulting $200 bar tabs, the 58 year old nympho sugar mama, the mother who believed his childhood anxiety was a result of being possessed by demons, how terribly he manipulates his fragile daughter, how hard it is for him to imagine stopping, even though he’s on the verge of esophageal cancer. “I’ve lost my fear of dying, and I want my misery to be over with.” – Sean

Update: Sean died of liver failure in January 2014.

Official Synopsis: Sean was once a popular DJ and charismatic crowd-pleaser, but now he’s rapidly going downhill due to his extreme alcoholism. Sean struggled as a child, growing up in a rough neighborhood with an openly gay father. Today, he spends his days and nights drinking himself to death. He desperately needs an intervention before he loses his family and his life.
Original Air Date: March 2012

Episode 152: Christina

Christina-meth

Christina
Age: 21
Location: Riverside, California
Addiction: Meth, Norco
What’s memorable: How crazy, violent, and paranoid she gets when high, how abusive she is towards her mother, hallucinating her crying son and bugs crawling under her skin, and a first-of-its kind intervention: Genuine yes followed by a freak out session and violent demand for drugs and refusal to go. (And then a heart-wearming followup)

Official Synopsis: A beautiful 21-year-old addicted to Norco and meth, Christina has violent outbursts, believes that bugs are crawling under her skin, and has threatened suicide. Can an intervention save Christina before she loses her mind entirely?

Original Air Date: January 2012
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 40: Dillon

Dillon

Dillon
Age: 20
Location: Oklahoma
Addiction: Meth
What’s memorable: His lifetime of risk-taking, his total apathy about what he’s doing to the people around him, his sad frustrated co-dependent mother, the dilapidated trailer he lives in with his addict father, the completely insane intervention. Dillon’s story has an exceptionally tragic ending, which you can read about here.

Official Synopsis: Growing up, Dillon showed tremendous promise. But after a bitter divorce, his mother, Tammy hoped that Dillon wouldn’t follow in the footsteps of his violent, alcoholic father. But today Tammy’s worst fears have come true. Dillon, 20, is living with his father in a dilapidated trailer where he injects methamphetamines every day and refuses any overtures for help. Tammy has one final hope–an intervention.
Original Air Date: April 2007

Episode 76: John C.

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John C.
Age: 21
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

Episode 106: Vinnie

Vinnie Season 7 Episode 106

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

Episode 99: Marci

marci

Marci
Age: late 30’s?
Location: Chico, California
Addiction: Meth, pain meds
What’s memorable: The seriously high-speed crazy stuff she says that makes absolutely no sense to anyone else. Her in-denial mother and dying brother. How shockingly different she was as a wife and mother just a few years ago.

Official Synopsis: To outsiders, Marci’s family life seemed ideal. But while her mother worked, Marci was left home with her alcoholic father. She endured his abuse while her mother looked the other way. Marci began drinking and doing drugs. Her marriage failed, and she lost custody of her children. But her mother still denies that Marci has a bad problem. Can an intervention help Marci and her mother to stop their dangerous behavior before it’s too late?
Original Air Date: September 2009

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

Episode 74: Nicole

nicole

Nicole
Age: 32
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Addiction: Dyspahsia- not swallowing, also pain pills
What’s Memorable: She hasn’t swallowed food or liquid in 14 years! I mean seriously. Not even saliva. That’s disturbing enough, but her inability to swallow is a traumatized response to being forced to perform oral sex on her friend’s father when she was a child. The man who did is admitted to it, got probation, and still lives in her neighborhood, triggering her over and over. Her parents did nothing when it happened. And now everyone just tells her she should get over it and move on, that she’s just looking for attention. No one in her life seems to have any kind of sympathy for her, they just think she’s disgusting. I mean she clearly needs help, she’s very unhealthy, and she’s been resistant to getting that help, but I just think that if her family could get a grip on WHY she is the way she is, and that she needs their support and not their judgment, she would be more willing to get better.

Official synopsis: After being molested as a child, Nicole developed an unusual eating disorder–she was unable to swallow. By age 16, she weighed just 68 pounds, and doctors inserted a feeding tube into her stomach. The tube was supposed to be temporary, but 16 years later, Nicole still relies on the tube and can’t swallow any food or liquids. She also abuses prescription drugs and neglects her two daughters. Her husband plans to divorce her if she continues to neglect their children.
Original Air Date: December 2008

Episode 115: Amy P

amy-p

Amy
Age: 24
Location: Toronto, Canada
Addiction: Bulimia, exercise
What’s Memorable: Her parents basically locking her in the basement so they don’t have to see her food issues. Her severe body dismorphia. The way she believes that bulimia is her “thing”, what makes her special and unique. Her 100% focus on her eating disorder.

Update: Amy wrote something about her Intervention episode here. 

Official synopsis: Amy and her family escaped the violence of apartheid-era South Africa and immigrated to Canada 22 years ago. But Amy suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem, and she became anorexic and, soon after, bulimic. Now she lives alone in the basement of her family’s house and steals from family members to pay for her eating binges. Weighing only 92 pounds, Amy is on the brink of death.

Original Air Date: April 2010

Episode 100: Linda

linda2

Linda
Age: 39
Location: Los Angeles, California
Addiction: Fentanyl
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

Episode 128: Jason

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Jason
Age: 23
Location: Palm Beach Country, Florida
Addiction: Heroin, Xanax
What’s Memorable: He was a difficult child with ADHD that couldn’t handle it when his mom had twins and he felt left out. His screaming at his elderly grandmother “WE NEED TO GO RIGHT NOW” so that he can go get sticks.  He is a spoiled, petulant child who is capable of so much more.

Official synopsis: When Jason’s mother and stepfather had twins, Jason felt abandoned. He dropped out of school and turned to drugs. Now he lives with his grandmother in a retirement community and takes up to 30 mgs. of Xanax and shoots heroin up to five times a day. After an overdose, Jason had multiple hospitalizations and four grand mal seizures. Worn out from the drama, his family is frustrated with their inability to get Jason to stop using drugs and into treatment.

Original Air Date: August 2011

Episode 33: Jessie

Jessie
Age: 21
Location: Oregon
Addiction: Bulimia, Food
What’s Memorable: This was the first episode I ever saw and it just blew me away. Her binges are absolutely epic – 3 days worth of junk food in 3 hours. She throws it up so that she can eat more. The food garbage in the back of her truck. She works as a stripper in order to afford food. Her parents had to put a lock on the fridge. It’s hard not to feel really sorry for her, and for her family. She is so very sick. I hope she’s okay now.

Official synopsis: Jessie is a beautiful young woman who once dreamed of becoming a doctor. But that was before bulimia trapped her in cycle of despair.
Original Air Date: December 2006

Episode 29: Tim

Tim Season 2 Episode 29

Tim
Age: Mid-20s
Location: Florida
Addiction: Crack
What’s Memorable: Oh, Tim. This is the episode the gave us the iconic image of the crack addict curled up and crying in the storm drain. Sums his addiction up pretty well. Also memorable for the way he treats and is treated by his pretty singing girlfriend and her show biz family, and his intense neediness,  mental instability, and violent tendencies when high.

Official synopsis: Tim was an accomplished producer and a talented musician with a lucrative career in the entertainment industry, but a crack addiction nearly destroyed everything he treasures. An intervention is his last chance–but will it work?
Original Air Date: August 2006

Episode 10: Kelly F.

kellyf

Kelly
Age: 20’s
Location: California
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s Memorable: Your standard West Coast stinky street kid, self-righteous spare-changer who constantly drinks 40’s of malt liquor, hates his parents, and is convinced that he’s totally happy with his life and has no problems. He reminds me way too much of my little brother, maybe that’s why I got so angry at this kid when I watched. I really hope that eventually he got some help.

Official synopsis:  Kelly, a man with a 160 IQ who lives on the streets and survives on beer and other people’s spare change
Original Air Date: June 2005

Episode 13: Michael

Season 2, Episode 3michael2

Michael
Age: 20’s
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Addicted to: Alcohol, Cocaine, Marijuana, Benzos, Opioids
What’s Memorable: Doing lines off the toilet in the restaurant bathroom.

Official synopsis:  A former top high school athlete gets hooked on pills and beer, after suffering an emotionally devastating incident – he was not put into a big game against a rival school.
Original Air Date: July 2005

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