Location: Southern California
Addiction: Alcohol, Bulimia
What’s memorable: How completely wasted he gets, how much he eats, what a brat he is, and how important a life in academia is to him.
Official Synopsis: Born into a mixed-race family in a predominantly white town, Asa struggled with low self-esteem and body image growing up. Classmates teased him because of his size, ethnicity, and effeminate manner. Desperate to loss weight, Asa became bulimic. He came out as a gay man at 19 and started using hard drugs and drinking heavily. For the past 10 years, Asa has been working towards his college degree. Being a medical science student, he understands how his eating disorder and alcoholism are affecting him, but he’s been unable to stop. His family now realizes that an intervention is their last chance to help Asa.
Original Air Date: July 2008
Location: Laguna Hills, California
Addiction: Alcohol (wine)
What’s memorable: How desperate she was to be liked when she was a kid, how much her life changed when she got skinny, how she refuses to believe that she has a problem and that she’s just ‘catching up.’
Official synopsis: Brittney saw her food addiction transformed into a raging alcohol addiction after gastric bypass surgery. Now she stands to lose her family as they grow weary of her alcohol-fueled antics
Original Air Date: August 2011
Season 2, Episode 5
What’s memorable: Throwing up into plastic bags, using a toothbrush. Eating until she physically can’t anymore at all-you-can-eat buffets. The relief after the intervention about not having to worry about hiding her disease anymore.
Official synopsis: For the past eleven years Salina has been suffering from severe bulimia. She also struggles with a shopping addiction and recently began battling a new urge, self-mutilation. Her family is desperate to help her break this cycle and is hoping she will take this lifeline.
Original Air Date: January 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon
Addicted to: Heroin, cocaine
What’s Memorable: Abandoned Indian street kid adopted by a white Christian couple who think that saving a poor dark boy is their ticket to heaven and their kids should live wholly by the Word of God. Who wouldn’t feel sorry for this guy? The dad is especially infuriating in his inability to connect with Gabe on any meaningful level due to his religious beliefs.
Official synopsis: When he was three, Gabe’s mother abandoned him on the streets of Calcutta, but he was adopted by a young American couple. Gabe seemed happy in America, but he secretly felt like an outsider. In high school he started to rebel and resent his Christian upbringing. He began using marijuana and cocaine, and later graduated to heroin. Then he squandered all of the $37,500 he received after a car accident to support his drug habit. Now the family fears that without an intervention, Gabe’s addiction and depression will soon lead to his death.
Original Air Date: May 2009
Addicted to: Heroin
What’s memorable: Michelle’s whole story is a pre-transition narrative.
Official synopsis: Michelle, a lesbian, was abandoned by her father at age three, molested by a stranger at five, and ridiculed in middle school for her skin color. The love of her life left her when she decided to become a man. Now Michelle is struggling with heroin and desperately needs an intervention.
Original Air Date: December 2010