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Pain Meds

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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 63: Sandra

Season 4, Episode 14

 

Sandra Season 4 episode 12

Sandra
Age: 35
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Addiction: Pills, mostly Pain Meds
What’s Memorable: The sitting in the garage, the making NO sense and then nodding off in the middle of a sentence, the poor sad son Dakota who can’t stop crying.

Official synopsis: She sits in her garage every day, popping painkillers, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and sleeping pills. Sandra’s pill use is so bad that her two sons, 17 and 11, have left the house. Her best friend, Julie, moved in with her, and although Julie suffers from multiple sclerosis, she takes care of all the housework. Julie and Sandra’s husband, Dan, ration Sandra’s pills so she doesn’t overdose. They know they’re enabling her, but they’re afraid of what will happen if they stop. Sandra’s family is ready to try an intervention, but they’re not sure she’ll ever choose her family over her addiction.
Original Air Date: December 2007

Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 53: Brooke

Season 4, Episode 4

Brooke
Age: 26
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,God 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

Interventionist: Ken

Episode 100: Linda

Season 7 Episode 1

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

Interventionist: Ken

Episode 117: Andrew

Season 8, Episode 4

Andrew Season 8 episode 117

Andrew
Age:  21
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Addicted to: OxyContin
What’s Memorable: The living in a motel room with his 2 little brothers and father because his addiction (and his dad’s gambling) has bankrupted them.

Official synopsis:  Once bright, likable, and athletic, Andrew has become a gaunt, menacing OxyContin addict. As a child, Andrew learned to manipulate his father, Dan, who now admits, “I can’t stand up to Andrew. He’ll threaten to commit crimes and trash our motel room. I’d rather give him money for a pill than have him out robbing innocent people.” Andrew, his father, and two brothers have been evicted seven times due to property damage and financial hardship, and they can go days without food. Can an intervention help Andrew–and make his father realize that if he doesn’t get tough with Andrew, the whole family will be destroyed?

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 137: Benny

Season 9, Episode 8

benny

Benny
Age:  38
Location: Bridgeport, Ohio
Addicted to: Opiates, Alcohol, Pain Meds
What’s Memorable: Benny really believes he deserves to be crazy rich, and seems confused about why he’s not yet. He thinks it’s just going to magically happen someday, and all his problems will be solved. Also, how horrible he is to his mother, the intervention.

Official synopsis:  An ambitious inventor and entrepreneur, Benny once dreamed of becoming a millionaire. But stress, drugs, and alcohol have turned his dream into a nightmare. Worst of all, he is no longer a dependable father to his six-year-old daughter. Benny, now 38 and living with his mother, has seen his relationship with his family reach the breaking point, and only an intervention can save him now.

Original Air Date: January 2011
Interventionist: Rod

Episode 130: Jimmy

Season 9, Episode 4

jimmy season 9 ep 5 130n

Jimmy
Age:  28
Location: LaSalle, Illinois
Addicted to: Methadone
What’s Memorable: How sick Jimmy’s addiction has made his mother Joanie. She’s way more of a mess than he is, and probably the most enabling and co-dependent parent I’ve seen on this show.

Official synopsis:  Raised by an absentee alcoholic father, Jimmy joined a gang at 13 and was soon addicted to heroin. The birth of Jimmy’s son prompted him to try to get clean, but when things got tough with his new family, he began using again. Now Jimmy shares a dangerous methadone addiction with his ailing mother that threatens to kill them both.

Original Air Date: January 2011
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 134: Cassie

Season 9, Episode 5

Cassie Season 9 Episode 134

Cassie
Age:  22
Location: Coral Springs, Florida
Addicted to: Oxycodone, crack
What’s Memorable: The horrible Costa Rican and Jamaican “modification camps” her father sent her to as a teen.

Official synopsis:  Cassie, 22, is a crack and oxycodone addict who was abandoned by her mother and raised by her father and his string of wives. At 13, she was sent to an overseas behavior modification school that offered her little more than imprisonment and abuse. She escaped into a life of drugs and had a baby she couldn’t care for. Now she’s turned to prostitution to pay for her drugs, and her father enables her addiction while the rest of the family wonders how to keep her from dying.

Original Air Date: January 2011
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 35: Ryan

Season 3, Episode 1

Ryan Season 3 episode 3

Ryan
Age: 23
Location: Southern California
Addiction: OxyContin
What’s Memorable: I learned more about OxyContin in this one episode than I have anywhere else. Ryan is one of the more unpleasant and apathetic addicts profiled on this show, he’s really very unlikeable here, but I blame the Oxy. Severe apathy is a side effect of long-term use. Also memorable: the shooting up with friends in the house with the kids, the alcoholic stepfather.

Official synopsis: From the outside, Ryan and his family look picture perfect. They live in a beautiful house in an upscale northern California neighborhood. But inside, their world is falling apart. Ryan, once a talented drummer who was awarded a music scholarship to the state university, is addicted to opiates. He injects OxyContin up to 15 times a day. His moods swing wildly from needy to hostile, and his family no longer knows how to deal with him or help him. Their only hope is an intervention.

Original Air Date: March 2007
Interventionist: Ken

Episode 33: Laurie

Season 2, Episode 20
Laurie
Age: 31
Location: East Texas
Addiction: Pain meds, Anxiety meds
What’s Memorable: “If I take enough medication I don’t have to feel the sense that I’m a really bad mother.”  The extent to which Laurie gets obliterated on pills is actually painful to watch. I hope to goodness she was able to get it together since the intervention because she did not have a lot of time left.

Update: Laurie Moses-Roeseler passed away on on July 1, 2015. I do not know what the cause of death was.  Obituary

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
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 107: Sarah

Season 7, Episode 6

Sarah
Age: 23
Location: Pasco County, Florida
Addiction: Oxycontin
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

Interventionist:  Jeff

Episode 21: Billy

Season 2, Episode 8Billy Season 2 episode 3

Billy
Age: 22
Location: New York City
Addiction: Heroin, methadone
What’s memorable: His mom has to keep all her valuables, cash, and prescriptions locked in her car so he won’t steal them.

Official synopsis:  Billy seeks a fix for his terrible drug addiction in many ways–he’s an IV heroin user, he steals his mother’s Xanax, he shoots Ambien intravenously, and he shoots up cocaine.
Original Air Date: March 2006
Interventionist: Candy

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

Episode 1: Alyson

alyson

Alyson
Age: 27
Location: Can’t tell
Addicted to: Morphine, crack, marijuana
What is most memorable about this episode: Alyson stealing morphine from her dying father from a safe in his bedroom as he sleeps.

Official synopsis: Alyson was a White House intern and an award-winning student. She met a boy in college who showed her the world of drugs and she became an addict. Alyson now lives at home with her parents and is a heavy user of morphine and crack. She works hard to alienate herself from the people who love her. Alyson also takes painkillers from her dying father.
Original Air Date: March 2005

Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 3: Jerrie

Jerrie Season 1 Episode 3

Jerrie
Age: 29
Location: Portland, Oregon
Addicted to: Vicodin
What’s memorable: How crazy she gets when the package with her Vicodin doesn’t arrive in the mail. Also, the stealing from the terminally ill boyfriend and the insane amount of debt.

Official synopsis: Jerrie’s family calls interventionist Jeff Van Vonderen to help their 29-year-old daughter, who is addicted to Vicodin. Jerrie is so addicted that she has been forging physician signatures to get the prescriptions that she thinks she needs. She also walks around the waterfront to find drug dealers so she can get high.
Original Air Date: March 2005
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 8: Tina

Season 1 Episode 8

tina

Tina
Age: 30’s
Location:  Columbus, Ohio
Addicted to:  Gambling, Vicodin
What’s memorable: The immediate regret after gambling and buying pills, betting at the horse trackswith her toddler son following her around.

Official synopsis: Once a valedictorian, Tina is now a real-life desperate housewife. This mother of a three-year-old spends her days gambling her house and car payments while stoned on prescription pills. With most of her jewelry in pawn shops, and forced to take paycheck advances, Tina now writes insurance policies from home and spends her days at horse tracks and in Bingo halls. With her marriage, health and finances in complete crisis her husband Harley says that “this show may be the only thing left that can save our lives.”
Original Air Date: May 2005

Interventionist:  Candy

Episode 10: Mark

Season 1, Episode 10

mark

Mark
Age: 49
Location: Texas
Addiction: Morphine
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

Interventionist: Jeff

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