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Addicts Who Have Died

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Episode 217: Brittany

Season 15, Episode 17

Brittany Intervention

Brittany
Age: 27
Location: Derby, Kansas
Addiction: Heroin

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
Interventionist:
Ken

Episode 209: Karissa

Season 15, Episode 6

karissa

Karissa
Age: 28
Location: Central Square, New York
Addiction: Heroin

UPDATE: Karissa Hilts was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Florida on March 8, 2017. By all accounts she was sober at the time. Here is her obituary.

What’s Memorable: Despite her intimidating and manipulative behavior, Karissa is still somehow very likable. It’s not a mystery why she became an addict given her childhood traumas, but it’s clear that if she wasn’t addicted she would be such a cool person to be around. Also: That family diner has such personality, but it was disturbing to me what the non-family employees had to deal with everyday. I mean that’s a borderline abusive working environment, having to be witness to all that and pretend to not be affected.  The idea that Karissa thinks she’s a ‘functional junkie’ because she gets up in the morning to go to work shows how deluded she is about what “functional’ means.  Leaving work to go lie to the doctor in order to get Suboxone and immediately selling it for 10 bags of heroin and then needing people to stay up watching you all night with an overdose kit at hand because they’re afraid you’ve taken too many benzos with your heroin and you might die – that is not functional.  I’m so glad Karissa made it and as of February 2016 is still sober.  She deserves such a better life.

Official Synopsis:  Karissa was always a talented cook – so much so, that her mother had one day hoped to pass the family diner down to her as a legacy. But Karissa’s life took a drastic turn when a close family friend fed her Oxycodone, and then ultimately made her a drug courier. From there Karissa was lost. Now, years of self-abuse, self-medication, and a severe addiction to heroin have left her volatile and desperate. Her family fears that if she does not heal from her violent past and the childhood she lost, she will never have the future she deserves.

Date Aired:  April 2016
Interventionist: 
Sylvia (who rocked this one)

 

Episode 201: Joshua

Season 14, Episode 12

joshua

Joshua
Age: 28
Location: Rocklin, California
Addiction: Heroin, alcohol

Official Synopsis: At the age of 14, Joshua was badly beaten by his girlfriend’s father – two years later he was molested by the leader of his youth group. He turned to heroin to cope with his traumas.

Update: Joshua Lee Turek passed away on March 23rd, 2017.  It was reported to me that he died of a heroin overdose. Condolences to all the people who loved him, of which there were obviously many.

Note: Joshua commented below that he was not molested by his youth group leader and resents A&E’s inaccurate depiction of him in this episode.

Original Air Date: August 2015
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 184: Eric

eric

Eric
Age: 31
Location: New Bedford, Massachussettes
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: The things he does for money, how crossed his eyes get when he’s loaded, the ex-girlfriend best friend that he’s hopelessly in love with. And I love that he’s grateful for the intervention as its happening. That’s rare.

Update: Eric McDonnell died of an overdose on August 19th, 2017.  Here is his obituary. 

Official Synopsis: Eric, 31, has been known by his family for being funny, generous and full of life. But his downward spiral into addiction has replaced all of his amazing traits and turned him into a junkie who hustles, steals and pawns.
Original Air Date: July 2013

Episode 108: Jackie

Season 7 Episode 7
jackie

Jackie
Age: 42 -ish
Location: South – maybe North Carolina?
Addiction: Alcohol (wine)
What’s memorable: It’s weird how Jackie says she isn’t an alcoholic but hides her wine bottles around the house and wraps them up when she throws them out so she doesn’t have to hear the clinking. Not to mention having completely lost her daughter as a result of her drinking. I mean how many more signs does she need?

Official Synopsis:
Once known as the “the prettiest girl in town,” Jackie had a promising career as a radiation therapist. She became a wealthy doctor’s wife, a country club member, and a proud mother. But Jackie was haunted by childhood traumas. She was devastated when her father died when she was 13. And as an overweight adolescent, she was teased with the nickname “Fat Jack” and felt she was never as good as her pretty sister. After Jackie’s second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, she turned to alcohol. She’s had three failed stints in rehab and an ugly divorce. Today, Jackie drinks two bottles of wine a day and regularly suffers broken bones and bruises in her drunken state.

Original Air Date: January 2010
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 145: Megan

Season 10, Episode 5

Megan

Megan
Age: 27
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Addiction: Cocaine, opiates (oxy, heroin, xanax)
What’s memorable: All the degrees she has, how smart she is. How her mom stayed with the husband who was abusive toward Megan, then left him as soon as he started being abusive to her instead. Shameful. And Megan really holds on to that resentment. Also the first trip to a new john, not knowing if she would come out alive. That was frightening. But an AWESOME followup. She looked so much better!

Note: Megan died in February of 2014 of a heroin overdose.  News story  Obituary

Official Synopsis:
Megan is struggling with her own demons. Her mother divorced and remarried, but Megan never felt included in her new family. She became an addict and even turned to prostitution to pay for her drugs. Can Megan still realize the dreams she once had of becoming a lawyer or professor?

Original Air Date: July 2011

Interventionist: Candy

Episode 164: Sean

Season 11 Episode 14

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
Interventionist: Seth

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 83: Nik

Season 5 Episode 14

nik2

Nik
Age: 35
Location: Seattle, Washington
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: How isolated he’s become, so distant from his loving and forgiving son.

Update: A friend has let us know that Nik died on November 29, 2014 after having surgery.  Read more here. 

Official Synopsis: Beloved by his five sisters and his teenage son, Nik 35, was the glue that holds his large family together. He was a proud college graduate who became the director of a multi-million-dollar casino chain at a young age. But now Nik is a homeless drug addict. Four years ago, after a debilitating back injury, he became addicted to OxyContin. His addiction worsened and he turned to heroin. Now Nik has lost his job, his home, and custody of his son.

Original Air Date: July 2008
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 67: Derek

Season 5, Episode 1

Derek

Derek
Age: 35
Location: Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Alcohol

What’s memorable: Memorable to me as the only episode of Intervention that I turned off halfway through out of sheer annoyance and still can’t watch the whole thing. I don’t actually even know what happened to Derek in the end. Did he go to treatment? No idea. Why? Because Derek is portrayed here as one of the most insecure, pathetic, selfish, inconsiderate, shallow people I have ever known of in my life. Maybe he’s not that bad in real life, I dunno. I just don’t want to participate in his story, as portrayed in this episode, in any way.

Update: Derek Muzyka was killed in a car accident on December 30, 2016.  Obituary

Official Synopsis: He was once a championship bodybuilder and successful property owner. But when he turned 30, Derek felt he was over the hill and became severely depressed. He started drinking to cope with the pressures of marriage and the responsibilities of getting older. His beautiful wife left, and now Derek’s days are all the same–he sits in his dark basement, smoking and drinking and bemoaning the loss of his wife. He narrowly survived one suicide attempt and his family is worried he’ll try again. An intervention is their last hope
Original Air Date: August 2008

Interventionist: Candy

Episode 76: John C.

Season 5 Episode 6
johnc

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
Interventionist: Ken

Episode 93: Bret

Season 6 Episode 7

Bret
Age: 43
Location: Tampa,Florida
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s memorable: Bret was in a strange denial – he admitted to being addicted to alcohol, felt the addiction, but was convinced that he didn’t actually drink that much and he didn’t seem to see the health and family consequences of his drinking. His son is absolutely heartbreaking. And, of course, the follow-up is shocking and sad.

Official Synopsis: Now 43, Bret once had a promising career in real estate. But the stress to make more money to provide for his family took its toll, and Bret became an alcoholic. Two years ago, Bret’s family held an intervention and sent him to rehab programs, but he relapsed. His wife finally divorced him, he lost his job, and he continues to be totally focused on drinking.

Original Air Date: July 2009
Interventionist: Ken

Episode 84: Sandy

Season 5 Episode 12

sandy

Sandy
Age: 40’s
Location: Gloucester, Massachusetts
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka), pills
What’s memorable: Her husband, also an alcoholic, beat the shit out of her and then got sober 9 months ago. And Sandy loves him more than anything, just wants him back. Also, the completely vacant look Sandy always has on her face, and the lovely daughter that takes care of her – I just want to hug her.

Note: Sandy passed away after she left treatment.

Official Synopsis: By her late 20’s, Sandy had achieved the American Dream. She was married with four beautiful daughters and owned a home she and her husband built themselves. But today, Sandy’s life is unrecognizable from what it once was. Her days consist of combining prescription drugs with a pint of vodka, and relying on her daughters to monitor both her diabetes and drinking. Her speech is slurred, and she’s been hospitalized several times. Her family has only one option left–an intervention.

Original Air Date: March 2009
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 82: Chris

Season 5 Episode 15

chris

Chris
Age: 34
Location: Delaware
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: Chris and Shawn’s story absolutely breaks my heart. Chris was in so much pain over being treated as less-than because his partner is a man. What he wanted more than anything was for his relationship of 15 years to be recognized as a legitimate one and his family just couldn’t do it. This may the saddest and most tragic episode of Intervention that has ever aired.

Note: Chris committed suicide while under the influence of alcohol. Read about it here.

Official synopsis: Born into a family with traditional Catholic values, Chris struggled with his sexuality until coming out at 18. Now, at 34, Chris feels that being gay has cheated him out of the things he wants most–marriage, children, and inclusion in his family. He drinks first thing in the morning to ward off tremors, he’s abusive to his partner, and he can’t keep a job. His father believes Chris should be able to stop drinking by sheer force of will, but his mother believes that genetics is to blame for his alcoholism. Can the family overcome its divisions and work together for Chris?

Original Air Date: February 2009

Interventionist: Ken

Episode 62: Charles

Season 4, Episode 15

 

Charles
Age: 23
Location: California
Addiction: Heroin
What’s Memorable: “I’ll probably die on the streets, and I hope it’s sooner rather than later.” The scene of him shooting up in the fast food restaurant bathroom is disturbing. What a life. The followup is amazing.

Update: Sadly, Charles died of an overdose on March 10, 2014.  My heart goes out to his loved ones and everyone who was touched by his story.

Official synopsis: A talented motocross rider, Charles, 23, is still dealing with terrible childhood memories. When he was seven, his father went to jail for molesting him and his younger brother, and his mother became an alcoholic. Today, he uses heroin and alcohol to blot out his memories, but he’s pushed most of his family away. Now, his half-sister, Lindsey, is reuniting the family in one last attempt to help Charles with an intervention.

Original Air Date: July 2008
Interventionist: Ken

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 55: Ben

Season 4, Episode 6

Ben
Age: 25
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Addiction: DXM (cough medicine)
What’s Memorable: The psychosis he displays as he walks around the city, the older dude that had a sexual relationship with him and still supports him to some extent, the things this kid could have done with his life.

Official synopsis: Ben, 25, experienced a childhood filled with domestic violence, homelessness and isolation. He never got to fulfill the potential of his 170 I.Q. and found a new way to find comfort when he was in high school–a drug called DXM. Now, Ben spends his days shoplifting, panhandling, and even prostituting himself to finance his drug addiction. Desperate to help Ben, his mother arranges an intervention that’s her last hope for saving his life.
Original Air Date: January 2008

Intereventionist: Jeff

Episode 57: John T.

Season 4, Episode 8

johnt

John T.
Age: Late 20’s
Location: Arizona
Addiction: Alcohol, hallucinogens
What’s Memorable: His sad, desperate attempts to get his supposed friends to hang out with him.

Update: John died in January 2013 – suicide. Obituary

Official synopsis: As a former clean-cut track star, John’s life used to revolve around athletics. Now, after a leg injury ended his running career, John spends his time abusing his body with alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy and hallucinogenic drugs.  He believes he is living a charmed life as a successful and popular DJ when the reality is that he is losing his friends, his family and his chance at success in the music industry to an addiction that could result in permanent brain damage or death. His family believes that his only hope lies in an intervention, but can they convince him that he has a problem before it is too late?

Original Air Date: February 2008

Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 59: Lawrence

Season 4, Episode 10

lawrence

Lawrence
Age: 34
Location: Las Vegas
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: Oh man, the denial Lawrence was in is absolutely shocking. “Half the time I don’t even think he realizes that he’s drinking.” The bruises all over his body, how weak he is, how he needs his co-workers to totally take care of his basic needs. And, of course, the followup.

Update: Lawrence did on February 23, 2008 from bleeding resulting from cirrhosis of the liver.

Official synopsis: Having graduated high school with academic and athletic honors, Lawrence, 34, became a successful owner of a chain of tanning salons. But he was never able to dull the pain of emotional and physical abuse suffered in childhood. Alcohol took hold and Lawrence became a shell of his former self, often drinking a liter of vodka a day. A recent battle with cancer left him further weakened. Lawrence’s loved ones stage an intervention in the hope that this show of love and support will help Lawrence get the help he needs, and that by sharing his story he might help others.
Original Air Date: February 2008

Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 128: Ryan

Season 8 Episode 9

Ryan
Age: 30’s
Location: Denver, Colorado
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s Memorable: Knows he’s an alcoholic, doesn’t care, doesn’t want to stop. It’s unnerving really.

Update: Ryan passed away on December 14, 2014 of cirrhosis of the liver.

Official synopsis:  A chef for 15 years, Ryan dreams of running a kitchen in a four-star restaurant. But alcoholism stands in his way. Ryan always felt like the black sheep of the family compared to his successful, police officer brother. His mother supplies him with alcohol so that he doesn’t go into withdrawal. But now the family feels that “it’s not if we lose him, but when.”

Original Air Date: August 2011
Interventionist:

Episode 34: Lauren

Season 2 Episode 21

Lauren

Lauren
Age: Late 20’s
Location: Lansford, PA
Addiction: Heroin
What’s Memorable: The childhood friend, Dea.

Update: Sadly, Lauren died of lung cancer in June 2016.  She was clean and sober.

Official synopsis: Lauren has known plenty of success in her life. Growing up, she was a cheerleader, a dancer, a swimmer and a great student. After college, she became a high school health and phys-ed teacher, and the students loved her. But amid all the accomplishments, Lauren was hiding a growing problem: an addiction to heroin. In the past three years, Lauren has lost her job and her apartment. She’s living with her mother and her moods swing constantly between volatile and depressed. Her family’s only hope is an Intervention.
Original Air Date: December 2006

Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 33: Laurie

Season 2, Episode 20
Laurie
Age: 31
Location: East Texas
Addiction: Pain meds, Anxiety meds
What’s Memorable: “If I take anough medication i don’t have to feel the sense that i’m a really bad mother.”

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

Episode 97: Sebastian and Marcel

sebastian marcel

Sebastian and Marcel
Age: Sebastian 21, Marcel 20
Location: Palm Springs, California
Addiction: Heroin (black tar, smoked)
What’s memorable: So much! How awful and sick these kids look, how they take advantage of their parent’s kindness, the enabling in-denial sweetness of their father, selling drugs out of the house, the forgotten, ignored, caring older brother.

Note: Sebastian (on the right, above) died in April 2013. Link to memorial service video. 

Official synopsis: Sebastian, 21, and his brother Marcel, 20, were soccer celebrities in their town at a very young age. Cool and rebellious, Sebastian hung out with older teammates and started doing marijuana, cocaine and meth. Then Marcel got strung out on cocaine, Xanax and OxyContin, and also sold drugs. Now their older brother is angry, their mother feels betrayed, and their father is ready to give up his wife, his oldest son, and his own life to save them. An intervention is the last hope for the entire family.
Original Air Date: August 2009

Episode 150: Jeff

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

Episode 129: Austin

austin

Austin
Age: 23
Location: Colorado
Addicted to: Alcohol

Update: Austin died of a heroin overdose in December 2011.

Official synopsis:  When Austin’s stepfather died from alcoholism, he turned to alcohol himself to numb the pain. His girlfriend is now pregnant, and he’s doing as much partying as he can before his child is born. Austin needs an intervention to become a sober dad and break his family’s cycle of alcoholism.
Original Air Date: December 2010

 

Episode 4: Brian

Brian Season 1 episode 3

Brian
Age: 24
Location: Arizona
Addicted to: Sex, Meth
What is most memorable about this episode: Multiple middle of the night sex-line hookups, addiction to porn shop, sweet family in Vermont.

Update: Brian J. Bellamore passed away on November 29th, 2016 due to a medical error in treating an infection. His death was not related to his addiction.

Official synopsis: Brian has a bad crystal meth habit. He is also a sex addict. Brian roams around the streets to find new partners every night.
Original Air Date: March 2005

Interventionist: Candy

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