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Traumatic Incident

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Episode 154: Zeinah

Season 11, Episode 7

zeianh

Zeinah
Age: 24
Location: Bradenton, Florida
Addiction: Oxycodone, Xananx, Oxycontin

What’s memorable: What a messed up family she comes from. Her father pretty much ignored her once he had a son and now he outright considers her an investment gone bad. Also, the mother who writes books about being married to a muslim terrorist, and the creepy boyfriend. Wonder what happened to that guy? They don’t mention him after those couple of disturbing scenes. Also, Zeinah’s intervention is one of the most powerful I’ve seen. “I’m not scared of going to fucking rehab, it’s failing I’m scared of.”

Legacy Update: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3DQ6NLo0cE

Official Synopsis: Once a successful, outstanding student, Zeinah turned to drugs to deal with the drama-filled divorce between her Christian mother and Muslim father. After her husband overdosed, her drug use increased, and she lost custody of her daughter. Can Zeinah’s family forget their grudges and religious differences to come together and save her from her prescription pill death spiral?

Original Air Date: February 2012
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 156: Dallas

Season 11, Episode 2

Dallas

Dallas
Age: 21
Location: Portland, Oregon
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: Shooting up in the femoral veins, the insanely oblivious enabling mother, how ridiculously good-looking Dallas and her fellow Portland street kid boyfriend would be if they weren’t junkies, the fact that they both prostitute themselves for heroin. “You have to what you have to do and there’s no shame in this crazy heroin game that we’re in.” -Jason

Official Synopsis: Strikingly beautiful with a great sense of humor, Dallas is nevertheless addicted to heroin and lives on the streets. After her mother attempted suicide, Dallas turned to drugs to deal with the confusion and pain. But Dallas’s mother is in denial about her addiction and supports her “heroin-chic” lifestyle. Dallas’s family needs a wake-up call and face her problems head-on if they’re going to save her.

Original Air Date: January 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 152: Christina

Season 11, Episode 1

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 41: Jessica

Season 3, Episode 6

jessicaS2

Jessica
Age: 21
Location: Missouri
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: The very close but co-dependent relationship with her grandfather Paw Paw, the things that she puts him through to get high, the disturbing nodding off over the coffee table with a needle in her hand, how self-aware Jessica is. She knows perfectly well what she’s doing and how awful her life is, and despite her apathetic attitude, it’s clear that she hates it and feels hopeless.

Official Synopsis: Jessica, 21, comes from a tight-knit family. Her father, mother, sister and grandfather all work at the family-owned gas station. But Jessica’s not allowed to work there any more. Ever since Jessica became addicted to heroin at 17, her family cannot trust her. And even worse–her addiction is straining family relationships. Everyone wants to see her go to treatment, however just organizing the intervention is tearing them apart.

Original Air Date: April 2007
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 118: Richard

Season 7 Episode 17

Richard
Age: 53
Location: Wendell, North Carolina
Addiction: Crack
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
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 102: Jennifer

Season 7 Episode 3

Jennifer
Age: 22
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s memorable: I’d like to have sympathy for Jennifer, she’s been through a lot, but she’s got such a bad attitude and is so ungrateful and annoying, it’s pretty hard. It’s interesting how she believes that drinking alone is a sign of alcoholism, so she drags her reluctant friends around with her while she drinks. Also, her obsession with parties and how she goes to random parties that she finds on MySpace and gets wasted. Sketchball.

Update: Looks like Jennifer is doing pretty well. Newspaper article.

Official Synopsis: Once an effervescent, beautiful young woman, Jennifer was considered a genius by her teachers and was the pride and joy of her parents. But at age 17, Jennifer was involved in a car accident that caused a brain injury and kidney damage. Jennifer survived, but only three days after she left the hospital another family car accident ended in a fatality. Jennifer turned to drugs and alcohol to cope and now spends her days searching for parties or drinking companions. Her parents know that only an intervention can save her.

Original Air Date: December 2009

Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 46: Coley

Season 3, Episode 11

coley-meth

Coley
Age: mid 30’s?
Location: Northern California or Southern Oregon coast, near Arcata and Humboldt County
Addiction: Meth

What’s memorable: This one hits close to home more than any other. I come from a poor Pacific Northwest logging town, raised and surrounded by loggers and mill workers who snorted crank like other people drink coffee. Coley, his lifestyle, the way he uses, is intimately familiar to me in a way that actually makes me uncomfortable to watch. ANYWAY, since this isn’t about ME…Coley and Francine’s story is powerful. Their love is so strong, and they’re such good people. What else is memorable – Coley so focused on finding the burl, risking his life for it. Doing lines in the garage. (Again, a personal connection to that). The amazing and inspiring follow up.

Official Synopsis: As a timber cutter, Coley has one of the most dangerous jobs in America. But instead of taking serious precautions, he increases his risks every day by snorting crystal meth. Because of his addiction, Coley’s business is falling apart. His wife can barely stand to talk to him any more and his relationship with his three young children is deteriorating. They all believe his only hope is rehab, but will he be willing to go before it’s too late?

Original Air Date: August 2007
Intervention: Candy

Episode 116: Tyler

Season 7 Episode 16

Tyler
Age: 26
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Addiction: Alcohol and crack mostly, but also whatever else he can get, including heroin, meth, pain killers.

What’s memorable: I can’t begin to imagine the guilt and pain that Tyler feels over his siblings’ overdoes deaths, considering he was the one who introduced them both to heroin, they died within weeks of each other, and he found them both. This is one of those where I have no problem at all understanding why the guy needs to numb out every day. What’s awful about that is that he’s on his way to dying too, and if or when he goes his parents will have lost ALL of their children to drugs. So unimaginably tragic.

Official Synopsis: A gifted mechanic, Tyler, 26, worked in the family business with his brother, Zach, and his sister, Ashley. Their father built the business to provide his children with a wonderful life. But the family’s dreams turned to tragedy when Tyler found both Zach and Ashley dead from drug overdoses. Unable to cope with his loss, Tyler now fills his days with drugs and alcohol

Original Air Date: May 2010
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 86: Jeff

Season 6, Episode

Jeff
Age: 40
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: You know, what’s interesting about Jeff is that his addiction was so clearly a direct result of a traumatic work-related incident. It wasn’t just exacerbated by it, it was CREATED by it as a response to the trauma. He was a hero and family man until this one thing, and now he’s lost everything. It’s lovely how much his firefighter friends are looking after him even as he pushes them away, and it’s harrowing how he can see himself losing everything and can’t stop it. This is one episode that truly frightens me, in that any one of us can experience something so profoundly traumatizing that we can at any time become an addict in need of an intervention.

Here’s an interesting article about Jeff’s story in relation to firefighting PTSD.

Official Synopsis: Forty-year-old Jeff was once known as a heroic firefighter after he saved his partner’s life. But Jeff was traumatized by the harrowing event, and his drinking increased drastically. Jeff has received two DUI’s and been rushed to the hospital numerous times for seizures. Jeff’s alcoholism has also forced his son and wife to move out. Now his family’s last hope is that an intervention will stop Jeff from drinking himself to death.

Original Air Date: June 2009
Interventionist:  Ken

Episode 112: Shane

Season 7 Episode 12

Shane Season 6 Episode 112

Shane
Age: 26
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
Interventionist:  Jeff

Episode 89: Jason

Season 6 Episode 5

Jason
Age: 28
Location: Denver, Colorado
Addiction: Heroin and cocaine (speedballs)
What’s memorable:  Yeah, knowing that your bullying had something to do with the Columbine massacre has got to be pretty hard to deal with. The house he stays in with other junkies is disturbing. The relationship he has with his father, and the way he talks about it after treatment, is really interesting.

Official Synopsis: Jason grew up in a seemingly perfect upper-middle class family in Littleton, Col., but he struggled to gain his father’s approval. When Jason failed to make the baseball team his freshman year, Jason and his father were devastated. Jason began rollerblading and excelled, but he quit because his father disapproved of the sport. Jason turned to drugs and by his senior year he was an addict. A year later, the Columbine High School shooters named Jason one of the bullies they retaliated against. Overcome with guilt and grief for his dead classmates, Jason’s addiction escalated. Now Jason lives on the streets of Denver, and his family is in pieces.

Original Air Date: June 2009
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 81: Lana

Season 5 Episode 10

lana

Lana
Age: 24
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
Interventionist: Ken

Episode 75: Janet

Season 5 Episode 3

janet2

Janet
Age: 40’s
Location: near Portland, Oregon
Addiction: Alcohol, sex
What’s Memorable: A gallon of wine a day! The glamorous drug dealing life she had before, the crusty old boyfriend, what a hot crying mess she is ALL THE TIME, and the amazing followup.

Official synopsis: At age 6, Janet was molested. She was also bullied by other kids, making her extremely self-conscious about her looks. At 18, she married a drug dealer who made her rich, but her husband was sent to prison, leaving her alone with two sons. She turned to drugs and alcohol, and had multiple affairs. Her husband discovered one of her affairs and divorced her. Janet remarried and had two more children, but she missed her old luxurious lifestyle and began drinking heavily. Now she frequently passes out, threatens suicide, and puts herself in life-threatening situations.

Original Air Date: December 2008
Interventionist:  Ken

Episode 78: Brittany

Season 5 Episode 5

 

Brittany
Age: 20’s
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Addiction: Dilaudid
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
Interventionist: Candy

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 49: Jill

Season 3, Episode 13

Jill

Jill
Age: 23
Location: Bountiful, Utah
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s Memorable: Poor girl is a wreck when she’s drunk! Can’t stand without falling kind of thing, to the point that she’s been hospitalized 7 times in the last year for drunk-related injuries. Also, her horrendous high school experience.

Official synopsis: Jill was a beautiful woman with a Victoria’s Secret body until a boyfriend betrayed her by secretly distributing a tape of them having sex. Now Jill uses alcohol to numb her pain. Her family is planning an intervention–but will they succeed in saving their loved one’s life?

Original Air Date: August 2007
Interventionist: Ken

Episode 121: Adam

Season 8, Episode 2

adam-alcoholic

Adam
Age:  28
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Addicted to: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: How much he seems to hate himself and how much pain he’s in, his unwillingness to discuss what happened when he was serving in the war, the angry girlfriend who seems to have total control over him except when it comes to drinking.

Official synopsis:  Adam was once one of top skiers in the United States. As a Marine, he served in 15 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan on terrorist-related missions. But when he came back home from overseas, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and started drinking. His alcohol abuse is ruining his body.

Original Air Date: July 2010
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 131: Darick

Season 9, Episode 2

darick-meth

Darick
Age:  34
Location: LaFollette, Tennessee
Addicted to: Meth, OxyContin
What’s Memorable: Darick’s story is so sad and he seems like a really cool, likable guy off the drugs. “I could care less about myself. I’m just a worthless redneck meth-cookin nobody” – Darick.

Official synopsis:  Once a football player with a bright future, Darick dropped out of school to get married when his girlfriend got pregnant. Darick loved being a father, but when his marriage ended, Darick learned his daughter was not his biological child, and he was denied all contact with her. Devastated, Darick turned to drugs. Having already lost one family member to addiction, Darick’s close-knit family is enabling his habit. They fear that if they don’t, they’ll bury Darick, too.

Original Air Date: December 2010
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 136: Jamie

Season 9 Episode 10

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
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 36: Jacob

Season 3, Episode 3

jacob2

Jacob
Age: 24
Location: Sacramento, California
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s Memorable: Jacob is a sad angry mess, but he’s so incredibly smart and self-aware and open about how he feels and where he’s at in his life, it’s very easy to like him. You root for him to get his shit together because you can tell he’d be an awesome and happy sober person. The followup is pure joy. I found myself wishing I could track him down and try to be his friend. If you’re reading this Jacob, email me. Let’s hang.

Official synopsis: By day, Jacob, 25, is a banker. But most nights, Jacob is drinking, driving and often engaged in barroom brawls. He recently overdosed on alcohol and prescription drugs. His heart stopped and he had to be revived with paddles. Jacob blames his mother — a drug user and former dealer — for his addiction. But will he be able to hear her when she pleads for him to get help?

Original Air Date: March 2007
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 98: Gloria

Season 6 Episode 13

Gloria
Age: 53
Location: Bay Area, California
Addiction: Alcohol
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
Interventionist:  Candy

Episode 150: Jeff

Season 10, Episode 11

jeff

Jeff
Age: 30’s
Location: Arkansas
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: How lost he is without his wife, how much he needs his beer. Every 15 minutes, all day long. This is a very sad story.

Update: Jeffrey Karl James passed away on November 17th, 2016. Here is his obituary.

Official synopsis:  A college graduate who now works as a genealogist, Jeff can’t give up his 30-cans-of-beer-per-day habit even though his health is failing, he recently lost his wife, and his children are struggling to cope with the loss of their mother. Now Jeff faces a choice–his life or his beer. Can an intervention bring him to his senses?

Original Air Date: September 2011
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 151: Jeanna

Season 10, Episode 12

jeanna

Jeanna
Age: 24
Location: Madras, Oregon
Addiction: Meth
What’s memorable: The brutal event that triggered the addiction and the way she’s responded to the trauma. Just awful all the way around. By far one of the most tragic episodes of this show.

Official synopsis:  Jeanna conquered generations of addiction until the murder of her four-year-old son sent her spiraling into a $100-a-day meth addiction. An intervention is the only way to help Jeanna start to heal her troubled soul.

Original Air Date: September 2011
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 24: Gina

Season 2, Episode 11

gina

Gina
Age: 26
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
Interventionist: Tara

Episode 24: Andrea

Season 2, Episode 14

Andrea Season 2 episode 8

Andrea
Age: 30
Location: Pennsylvania
Addiction: Alcohol, cocaine

What’s memorable: The strong bond she has with her son and how she turned to drugs when her husband got cancer. And also that she reminds me so much of me and my friends when we were in our 20’s.

Official synopsis:  Andrea is a 30-year-old, divorced, single mother addicted to alcohol, cocaine and marijuana. She says that she loves the party lifestyle and that she can’t end the cycle of drinking and drugs in which she’s immersed herself. Can an intervention can bring her the “peace” she’s looking for?

Original Air Date: April 2006
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 18: Salina

Season 2, Episode 5salina

Salina
Age: 24
Location: Texas
Addiction: Bulimia
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
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 15: Howard

Season 2, Episode 2

Intervention-S01E14-Howard

Howard
Age: 39
Location: California
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
Interventionist: Tara

Episode 135 – MaryAnne

Season 9, Episode 9

Maryanne Season 9 Ep 10 135 b

MaryAnne
Age: 40
Location: Utah
Addicted to: Alcohol (Vodka)
What’s Memorable: All the pain and loss she’s experienced. The shocking physical toll that alcohol has taken on her.

Official synopsis:  After the tragic and shocking loss of her two young children years ago, Maryanne turned to alcohol to cope with the pain. Today Maryanne is the mother of three, but her inability to stay sober has jeopardized the safety of her children. She’s lost custody of two and lives in squalor with her youngest daughter. Maryanne needs an intervention before her tragic streak continues.

Original Air Date: February 2011
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 126: Jimbo

Season 9, Episode 6

jimbo2

Jimbo
Age: 30’s
Location: North Carolina
Addicted to: Opiodes/Opiates, Benzodiazepenes
What’s Memorable: Passed out on the train tracks and got hit by a train, had his leg amputated. The knives and scary threats.

Official synopsis:  Jimbo’s addiction to painkillers has already resulted in a devastating injury and a strained relationship with his devoted dad. Unable to stop using he now spends his days snorting drugs and flying into rages that have terrorized his family and community. Can an intervention stop this small-town menace?

Original Air Date: January 2011
Interventionist: Jeff

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