Season 15, Episode 17
Location: Derby, Kansas
What’s Memorable: Brittany’s relationship with her dad is really moving. The guy seems so damn cool and a really good father, despite his addiction. I had a lot of respect for his willingness to go to treatment to help get his daughter clean. If that’s what he needs to motivate himself, fine, as long as it keeps him clean and keeps Brittany feeling supported.
Update: Brittany Christine Howard died on August 20th, 2016 of an overdose, 2 days after completing treatment. Her family has a GoFundMe to raise money for funeral expenses. And here is Brittany’s obituary
Official Synopsis: Brittany was part of the all-American family. But rape, drugs, and divorce have caused this family unit to crumble. At the center, Brittany’s heroin and meth abuse has created a tornado that has divided the family and now threatens her life..and worse yet, Brittany may not be the only active user in the house.
Date Aired: Aug 2016
Season 14, Episode 12
Location: Bradenton, Florida
Official Synopsis: Erin spent her teens and 20’s as an A-list rock-n-roll groupie, but a prescription to relieve neck pain got her hooked on Dialudid. Now her mother raises her 5 year old son while Erin prostitutes herself to mantain her habit. Her family calls on Sylvia Parsons, who was intervened on by Jeff VanVonderen in 2006, and who became the first subject of Intervention to ever make the transition to interventionist.
Original Air Date: August 2015
Season 14, Episode6
Age: Late 20’s?
Location: Randolph, New York
Addiction: Heroin, Xanax
What’s memorable: The crazy webs of lies she gets herself into to get money for drugs, the “friend” Rich who is definitely NOT a friend, the horrific rape she suffered as a young teenager, the dad saying “I wish you’d die” and her responding with “me too.” So glad she made it through treatment, she looked awesome.
Synopsis: When Sam was 6 her life took a drastic turn when her parents divorced and her father moved away. At 14, Sam’s life changed forever when she was sexually assaulted. She turned to a life of partying, fueled by alcohol and Ecstasy. A fast downward spiral into heroin followed and today Sam is a full blown addict.
Original Air Date: April 2015
Season 14, Episode5
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Addiction: Alcohol, some meth
What’s memorable: This kid had a rough life, no surprise he drinks too much. But wow does he drink too much. And the way he gets when he’s drunk: self-absorbed, messy, emotional, intimidating, dominant. I’ve known a lot of people who get like this when they’re drunk and they’re incredibly difficult to be around if you’re not just as drunk as they are. Which brings us to his relationship with his girlfriend Sarrah. He says “I’d give up my whole family for Sarrah” but their connection is probably based more on a shared love of drinking than anything else. (I’ve been in several eerily similar drunken relationships. They were intense and unhealthy and entirely dependent on alcohol to survive. They never ended well). I don’t recall if they show said she got sober too but I really hope so. I love what Daniel said after he accepted treatment: “How am I gonna turn all these people down? Everyone I love?” Seems like that’s the reason why a lot of the addicts on this show accept the treatment. Intervention works, dammit!
Synopsis: Daniel could have pursued a career as a songwriter, but a series of personal tragedies culminating in his father’s death led him to abuse a dangerous combination of alcohol and meth. Recently Daneil resumed a romantic relationship with Sarrah, a fellow addict who supplies Daniel with alcohol, and their booze-fuled nights escalate his already serious addiciton to deadly lows.
Original Air Date: April 2015
Season 14, Episode 3
Location: Battle Creek, Michigan
What’s memorable: The horrifying things she went through as a girl, her not knowing that Hep C is sexually transmitted, and that long and brutal intervention. The fact that Ken actually let her shoot up just so she could sit through the intervention, and then when he got real pissy at her for making them miss 2 flights because of her disruptive behavior. The follow up was a relief, and very unexpected.
Official Synopsis: The anguished family of a former soccer prodigy hope an intervention is the push this 24-year-old needs to stop using drugs and giving up a dangerous lifestyle that includes prostitution.
Original Air Date: April 2015
Location: Harbor City, CA
Addiction: OxyContin and meth
What’s Memorable: The man who raped when she was a kid (her sister’s boyfriend) went to jail for raping someone else and is about to be released. Her need to escape is understandable. The way she talks about what happened is excruciating. She has so much pain and reasonable resentment. It seems from the followup like she had found some measure of peace in her sobriety. I hope that continues.
Official synopsis: Kelly, a 27-year-old mother of three, mixes pills and meth to forget the man behind bars who destroyed her childhood. Can Kelly’s family come together to help her face the painful past that consumes her?
Original Air Date: November 2012
Age: Early 20’s
Location: West Virginia and Baltimore
Addiction: Heroin mostly, also coke
What’s Memorable: This is the episode I think I will remember more than any other in 20 years. The insanely dangerous time she spends in Baltimore and what she has to do for drugs, how much her mother loves her, the amazing follow up. She’s one of the addicts from this show that I actually would like to know in real life (sober). I really hope she’s well now.
Location: San Antonio, Texas
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
Location: Porter Ranch, California
Addiction: Alcohol, Bulimia
What’s memorable: How her parents can’t figure out where she gets the money to buy alcohol, the married boyfriend that’s 30 years older and was her customer at the strip club, how skinny and unhealthy she is, the awful way her parents treat her and each other, the way her mom hides bottles of wine in the closet and doesn’t think anyone knows.
Update Dec 2014: It appears that Katie is sober but still struggles with her eating disorder. Her dad has set up a GoFundMe to help get her into treatment. The photos I’ve seen are shocking – she looks to have lost quite a bit of weight and she was skinny to begin with. I hope she is able to get the help she truly needs. Facebook page and GoFundMe page
Official Synopsis: Twenty-five year-old Katie uses her eating disorder and binge drinking to cope with her mother’s secret alcoholism and parents war with each other while her worried siblings pray someone can step in and save them all.
Original Air Date: August 2012
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: New Mexico
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka), anorexia, self-injury (cutting)
What’s memorable: How morose and depressed she is, suicidal to the point of people being tired of hearing her threaten to kill herself. She’s clearly reaching out for help and attention though, and has been for many many years, but her family consistently has ignored and dismissed her. “You shouldn’t have to work so hard to convince your parents that you need help.” Indeed. Oh, and also, her sister telling her SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN HERSELF RAPED. “I warned her not to put herself in those situations.” That’s a seriously messed up thing to say.
Official Synopsis: Amy grew up feeling unloved and unable to meet her parents’ high expectations. She was also molested by a neighbor when she was eight, but never told anyone in her family. She began to self-mutilate and restrict her diet, and by 17, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now, Amy eats only 500 calories a day, drinks up to two bottles of vodka a night, and regularly self-mutilates. Amy’s family is ready to give up on her, but they still don’t know about Amy’s sexual abuse. Only Amy’s friend, Jessica, knows the truth, but will she have the courage to tell Amy’s family before it’s too late?
Original Air Date: December 2009
Addiction: Self-injury (hits herself), plastic surgery, shopping
What’s memorable: Sharon hits herself with her hairbrush in the head, in the stomach. She tried to kill her dog in the toilet, and she still spends everyday with her grandchildren. No one has any idea what’s going on her her head. It’s hard for anyone watching to know what’s going on in her head. Needless to say, her self-esteem issues have seriously affected her life, yet she seems like a really good, caring, sympathetic person.
Official Synopsis: A 51-year-old grandmother, Sharon is a compulsive shopper who has undergone numerous plastic surgeries to feel better about her appearance. She also feels she must hit herself. She has bruises on her thighs and stomach and repeatedly hits her head with a hairbrush. Now things are getting even worse. Sharon recently got the urge to drown one of her Chihuahuas; she didn’t harm the dog, but now Sharon’s daughter is terrified that Sharon might try to harm her grandchildren. Sharon’s dangerous compulsions need to stop.
Original Air Date: March 2009
Location: St. George, Utah
Addiction: Alcohol & Pain pills
What’s memorable: Lana makes the Most Disturbing list on account of what happened to her only 6 months before the episode aired. I can’t begin to imagine the feeling of watching yourself being raped for 5 hours on video and not knowing it ever happened (she was drugged). I understand why the police showed her the tape, but I can’t help but wonder how different things could have been if she didn’t know it ever happened. I just don’t know how I would feel in her situation. It’s so upsetting to even think about. Also memorable: the darling, sad little brother who takes care of her, her very decent family that just don’t get it, the violent boyfriend, the sheer amount of wine she drinks.
Official Synopsis: Lana grew up in a family of 11 children, and her older sister introduced her to drinking at the age of seven. Despite this precarious start, Lana excelled in sports and was active in the church. But at 18, Lana began to enter into dangerous relationships with men and started abusing drugs and alcohol. She was in two near-fatal car accidents. And now, too make things even worse, she is in a relationship plagued by physical violence.
Original Air Date: February 2009
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
What’s Memorable: Oh this poor messed-up girl, living her whole life under the shadow of her older sister, to the point that her mother thought she may be the reincarnation of her. She was also molested as a kid and gang raped as a teenager – it’s not a mystery why she needs to numb out. I just hope she was able to find her way out and figure out who she is.
Official synopsis: Brittany was born five years after the brutal rape and murder of her 9-year-old sister, Terry. Brittany struggled with the pressure to live up to her mother’s perfect image of Terry. At 12, Brittany was molested, and she began taking drugs and sneaking out at night–anything to get out from under Terry’s shadow. Now she shoots up Dilaudid six times a day, begs family members for money and prostitutes herself. Brittany’s mother scrambles to give Brittany enough money for her fix. Desperate and on the verge of bankruptcy, Brittany’s family prepares for an intervention.
Original Air Date: December 2008
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
What’s Memorable: The psychosis, her poor heartbroken sons that love her so much, how quickly she went from functional to homeless crazy person.
Official synopsis: Dawn, 49, was once a model, but today she’s homeless and wanders around town using meth and suffering from the effects of Meth Psychosis.
Original Air Date: December 2007
Addiction: Anorexia, exercise
What’s Memorable: How sick and frail her body is. How weird it is to see what she would look like if she wasn’t Anorexic (twin sister). The crazy food rituals.
Official synopsis: Emily, 26, grew up struggling to meet her parents’ high expectations. Despite winning many academic and athletic honors, Emily suffered from depression and low self-esteem, and her shameful feelings intensified when she became a date-rape victim in college. She dieted in hopes of regaining control of her emotions and life, but now she weighs less than 90 pounds. Her family’s last hope is an intervention that will stop her from starving herself to death.
Original Air Date: December 2007
Addiction: Alcohol (rum)
What’s Memorable: This is the rich crazy lady who takes limos across the country so she can bring her cat and drink. Her story is much more than that though. Yes, Laney is a disaster; what’s upsetting is seeing how far she’s fallen and how little hope she has.
Official synopsis: Laney is an outgoing, intelligent 36-year-old woman who used to have the kind of life other people dream of: a handsome, loving husband, plenty of money and the opportunity to travel the world. Unfortunately, all the wealth and status in the world could not help Laney escape alcoholism. She lost her husband, her health and is quickly spending what’s left of her sizable divorce settlement on endless bottles of rum. Her organs are deteriorating fast and Laney is too weak to take care of herself. She is so dependent on attention from her frustrated family that Laney will attempt suicide in an effort to win back their love. But will her damaged body survive yet another trip to the ICU?
Original Air Date: June 2007
Location: Pasco County, Florida
What’s memorable: The old guy boyfriend who takes care of her and really truly seems to love and care about her. He’s sober and wants her to quit using; he honestly doesn’t realize how he enables her. I was surprised at how much sympathy I had for him by the end. Also, Sarah’s a really interesting and complex person who knows she’s messed up but doesn’t know how to not be, and at times it’s just heartbreaking. She’s loudly crying out for help, and no one seems to know how to help her. The scene at the restaurant, ugh. She’s so clearly telling them she needs their help and not to just walk away again. Good on them for stepping up and doing something about it.
Official synopsis: Raped when she was 14 and feeling abandoned by her family, Sarah turned to drugs, even becoming a stripper to support her drug habit. She’s prohibited by the courts from seeing her three-year-old son, and now lives with a man who is more than twice her age and manages a massage parlor. Can an intervention save her from her self-destructive lifestyle?
Original Air Date: January 2010
Season 2, Episode 4
Addicted to: Shopping, plastic surgery
What’s memorable: How happy she is when she’s shopping. “I’m all the ladies of Sex & the City rolled into one”
Official synopsis: Heidi leads a busy social life and takes great pride in maintaining her health and personal appearance. Unfortunatley, she is addicted to plastic surgery and compulsive shopping. She cites that while she was raped at the age of 16, she blames no one for her need to “fill the void.”
Original Air Date: December 2005
Addicted to: Alcohol (Rum)
What’s Memorable: Everything she’s given up in order to just hang out on the couch and drink, how dependent she is on her mother.
Official synopsis: While Andrea was growing up, she yearned for a relationship with her mostly absent alcoholic father. During high school, she sought solace with her boyfriend, moved out and started a family at 19. Andrea soon became overwhelmed with parenting duties and turned to alcohol. As her drinking escalated she turned to the only person she felt would understand–her father. Four years ago, Andrea’s father passed away and her drinking has since spiraled out of control. Now, she is unable to raise her children and spends her days on her mother’s couch drinking.
Original Air Date: July 2009