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Episode 226: Tanisha

Season 17, Episode 2

Tanisha
Age: 39
Location:  Los Angeles, California
Addiction:  Heroin

What’s Memorable: “When I think about myself being a drug addict, I hate myself… The thing I’m most afraid of is that I’m not gonna get clean. Ever. And completely ruin my life and never go back to a normal life.” Those are sentiments I think every addict can relate to. Tanisha came off here as a really sweet, honest person caught up in something she just couldn’t control. Her intervention is one (much like Courtney’s) of very close female family members coming together to say “Enough. We love you but enough.”  And Donna was the perfect interventionist for this one. Being a black woman maybe helped her relate and establish trust with the family but she had a really perfect balance of empathy and realness about this particular situation. The more interventions I see her do the more I’m convinced Donna is very good at this.

Official Synopsis: Tanisha was living the dream life as an assistant to rap icon, Snoop Dogg. But when her fiance was brutally killed in front of her, grief-stricken, Tanisha turned to her mother, who introduced her to heroin. Tanisha has become a full-time junkie, and her family is terrified that without help, they will lose her.

Date Aired:  August 2017
Interventionist:
Donna

Episode 224: Todd

Season 16, Episode 8

Todd
Age: 36
Location:  Sacramento, California 
Addiction: Meth, benzos

Official Synopsis: Todd was a successful house flipper from a prominent real estate family who was on track to take over the family business, but when the housing market collapsed in 2009, Todd lost everything. Financially busted, Todd moved his wife and daughter into his parents’ home and began to work for them. But two severe construction accidents led him to painkillers and ultimately to dependency. When Todd’s wife divorced him, he shifted to meth and his addiction careened out of control. His close-knit family is devastated as they watch their “Golden Boy” fall apart before their eyes. Donna Chavous is Todd’s Interventionist.

Date Aired:  Jan 2017
Interventionist: 
Donna

Episode 216: Robert

Season 15, Episode 16

Intervention Robert

Robert
Age: 31
Location: Lamar, South Carolina
Addiction: Crack

Official Synopsis: Rob was already a successful business owner when he inherited over a million dollars and several valuable properties from his father. But after his father’s recent death, Rob, a former crack addict, picked up the pipe again after years of sobriety. In just 12 months, Rob has blown through 200k of his inheritance, has shut down his once thriving business, and now his wife and family fear for his life.

Date Aired:  July 2016
Interventionist:
Donna

Episode 215: Jonel

Season 15, Episode 15

Jonel
Age: 24
Location: Browning, Montana (Blackfeet Indian Reservation)
Addiction: Suboxone

What’s Memorable: The fact that the episode takes place on a reservation.  For one, it’s been a while since we’ve seen anyone profiled who isn’t white. (The racial & cultural diversity on this show is seriously lacking). Second, this episode was a bit of a historical and cultural education about why American Indians have a high rate of addiction and that suboxone is becoming a drug of choice. Third, Jonel’s mother explained that talking about what happens on the reservation to people on the outside is highly discouraged, so for this family to reach out to Intervention and be willing to talk about their family on TV shows how much they love her and need her to get help.  There is a lot of love in this family and it showed. So glad Jonel accepted treatment and stayed there long enough to get solid in her sobriety. That’s just what she needed.

Official Synopsis: Jonel was born into the Blackfeet Indian Tribe in Montana. When she was 9 months pregnant, her boyfriend was tragically killed in a car accident and then she gave birth to her daughter just days after the funeral. Shocked and grief stricken, Jonel began using suboxone and meth – two drugs that are rampant on the reservation. 14 months ago, Jonel gave birth to her second child who was born addicted to suboxone.

Date Aired:  July 2016
Interventionist: D
onna

Episode 205: Sierra

Season 15, Episode 2


Sierra
Age: 19
Location: Redding, California
Addiction: Meth

What’s Memorable: Everything is memorable. Her eyes, her bare feet, how the words coming out of her mouth mean something to her and nothing to anyone else.  Every person in her entire support system is an addict in recovery and she felt like she needed war stories but then couldn’t handled them when they happened. Sierra’s brain cannot deal with drugs. Donna shows up for this one in a big way. I don’t think that any other interventionist could have done this intervention better than she did.

Official Synopsis: The daughter of a small business owner, Sierra was an honor student with dreams of college and a career in journalism. But when a double-dealing artist charmed his way into her mother’s life, he gambled away their home and the bottom fell out of Sierra’s world, leading to a frightening drug-induced psychotic break. Today, the 19-year-old is a feral junkie, scrapping for a fix on the streets of Northern California.

Original Air Date: March 2016
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 191: Mindie

Season 14, Episode 7

mindie

Mindie
Age: 29
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Addiction: Meth
What’s memorable:  Her parents not understanding how a 3 year old could even be molested, and not doing anything to support her when she finally told them about it. The things she said to her sister in law were awful and insenstive – there’s gotta be some amends to make there. I loved that she met Sam (from the last episode) in treatment and they became fast friends. Having someone there that just went through an intervention (televised!) must be so comforting. I hope they continue to help each other through recovery.

Official Synopsis: Suffering post-traumatic stress after being molested as a child, Mindie developed a drug habit in her teens that gave way to a full-on meth addiction in her 20’s.

Original Air Date: May 2015
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 182: Sandi

sandi

Sandi
Age: 64
Location: North Aurora, Illinois
Addiction: Alcohol (gin)
What’s memorable: The relationship with her adult daughter and the things they say to each other – disturbing and heartbreaking.  After watching the episode a 2nd time after finally getting my own mother into rehab only to have her leave after 5 days, I have a much more empathetic understanding of daughter’s Andrea’s feelings (or lack thereof).  There comes a point when the only way to protect yourself from being sucked into the emotional manipulation is to convince yourself you don’t care what happens to them.  Of course you care, and you’ll eventually have an emotional breakdown, but right now it’s just easier to act like you don’t and to try to move on with your life. Andrea finally letting her guard down and begging her mom to get help, that’s what got Sandi into treatment and it saved their relationship. But I totally get what took Andrea so long to get there.

Official Synopsis: Sandi, 64, is a vivacious, spunky and fun grandmother who loves gardening. But as her drinking escalates throughout the day, Sandi turns her gin-fueled anger on her 88-year-old mother and her 45-year-old daughter, alienating everyone in her wake.

Original Air Date: December 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 186: Jessica

jessica-13

Jessica
Age: 29?
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: Jessica seems like a really likable person trapped in an addiction that makes her unbearable. The house she squats in and her mother’s level of enabling are both pretty shocking.

Note: Jessica has commented below that she is doing well, and in the 4.10.16 episode (Karissa) there was a video update from her. She looks amazing and has custody of all of her kids, plus a new one! Congrats Jessica. So happy for you.

Official Synopsis: Jessica is smart as tack with a lust for life. Unfortunately, it’s the life of a heroin addict, living in an abandoned building, being shot up by a boyfriend, that she is committed to. Having spent her youth yearning for an absent, alcoholic father, Jessica followed the footprint of addiction left to her by her father, and now her own children are at risk of losing their mother.

Original Air Date: June 2013

Intervetionist: Donna

Episode 175: Britney

Britney

Britney
Age: 21
Location: Escanaba, Michigan
Addiction: Cocaine, Bath Salts
What’s memorable: The abusive drug-addicted husband, the accusations of abuse against her stepmother, which her father denied. The touching intervention where dad said what he needed to say despite his reluctance to believe it, just to get her to accept help.

Official Synopsis: A family begging her to get help and two overdoses in the last two weeks don’t phase 21-year-old Britney as she fearlessly shoots up suboxone and bath salts up to 30 times a day.
Original Air Date: September 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 167: Nichole

Nichole

Nichole
Age: 25
Location: Calgary, Canada
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: The shaking, seizing, slurring, blackouts, and prostituting herself for beer are disturbing, as is the way she and her mother blame her sister for Nichole’s drinking. I mean what her sister and her boyfriend did was super shitty (Nichole’s boyfriend of 5 years left her for her sister and now they’re engaged) but to say that’s the whole reason she’s an alcoholic is just absurd. I know people need a scapegoat for stuff like this, I get it, but it’s all pretty unfair to pin it all on the sister.

Update: Here’s and interview with sober Nichole

Official Synopsis: Nichole, 25, has constant tremors due to a severe alcohol addiction as she struggles to overcome her sister’s betrayal.
Original Air Date: August 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 163: Terry D

terry

Terry
Age: 44
Location: Kingston, Pennsylvania
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s memorable: Her chronic weight issues and her turn to alcohol instead of food (a gallon of vodka a day!), her mother’s abusive obsession with Terry’s looks. “I think appearances do make the person” – Mom. Also, how her mom didn’t believe her when she told her she was sexually abused as a child. It’s really no wonder why Terry drinks herself stupid everyday.

Official Synopsis: Once a stunning model and devoted mother, Terry binges on vodka every day to escape her mother’s taunts and her father’s neglect. She ignores her doctor’s warning that she will be dead in six months if she doesn’t stop drinking.

Original Air Date: April 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 162: Kaylene

kaylene

Kaylene
Age: 21
Location: Barnardsville, North Carolina
Addiction: Pain meds (Percocet mostly) and Xananx
What’s memorable: Girl gets giddy when she’s high! At least when she’s not passing out. She seems really convinced that she’s super happy and loving her life. Her entire goal right now is to just have a good time and get away from all the pain she’s had in her life. I get that. But she is SO not seeing how it’s affecting the people she loves. Watching her mother and 7 year old sister go through the little girl’s penny jar in order to give Kaylene money for drugs is pretty awful and heartwrenching. And that intervention! Holy crap, the tears, they were rollin. There’s a reason why these things work – having someone you love dearly say the thing you’ve been wanting them to say forever, to show emotion that you didn’t know they were capable of, is an incredibly powerful thing.

Official Synopsis: As a child, Kaylene was physically abused by her father. Later, she and her mother began using coke together. Now Kaylene is a 21-year-old who oozes sweetness and charm but who is unafraid to die and will stop at nothing to get her next fix. After so many years of neglect, can Kaylene’s family finally step up and help her get the live-saving treatment she so desperately needs?

Original Air Date: March 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 161: Courtney

Courtney
Age: 20
Location: Miami, Florida
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: This whole story is about women. Ladies everywhere! Ok there’s the junkie boyfriend who never actually speaks to the camera and the totally absent father who Courtney met when she was 10 and who quickly abused her and she never talked to again. But other than that, this is a story about a family of women horribly affected by their precious girl’s addiction. 20 years old with abscesses and scars all over, hooking for heroin. Also memorable: The crazy, breathless, on-the-go intervention and the surprising followup.

Official Synopsis: Nicknamed the “junkie princess” by her drug-abusing friends, Courtney, 20, injects heroin up to eight times a day and prostitutes herself to finance her own and her boyfriend’s addiction. But now Courtney’s mother, sister, and grandmother are planning an intervention in one last-ditch attempt to convince her to leave her boyfriend and accept treatment.
Original Air Date: March 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 157: Jessa

Jessa
Age: 22
Location: Osseo, Minnesota
Addiction: Alcohol, Meth, Marijuana
What’s memorable: How mean and angry she gets, her mother’s disgust at her being a lesbian, the overly supportive, enabling father, the very tense but ultimately successful intervention.  I know she’s portrayed here as a real pisser, but I have a feeling Jessa’s a pretty awesome person in real life, especially after getting sober.

Official Synopsis: Jessa’s meth and alcohol addiction have caused her to hole up in the her parents’ basement, drinking and using drugs until she blacks out, punches walls, and even attempts suicide. An intervention is desperately needed before Jessa overdoses and dies right under her parents’ noses.

Original Air Date: February 2012
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 156: Dallas

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 149: Brittney

britney

Brittney
Age: 24
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
Interventionist: Donna

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