Season 15, Episode 14
Location: Miami, Oklahoma
What’s Memorable: How much Oklahoma City still affects him, the strength it must have taken to do the job he did, his wife having to drive herself to the hospital when she was in labor because he was passed out. Also, the distant vacancy on his face when he’s drunk and the way he reacts to his mother taking care of him. Some of the things she said really struck me – calling him ‘white trash’ and his internet date ‘some floozy’ – and make me wonder if there were class expectations set for Brian that he struggled to live up to.
Official Synopsis: Brian had it all. He married his high school sweetheart, had two beautiful children, and became the owner/director of his family’s successful funeral home in Oklahoma. But while assisting with the recovery of bodies during the Oklahoma City bombings – including those in the building’s nursery – Brian fell apart and turned to alcohol for comfort and never turned back. He’s now lost his wife, kids, and career due to his addiction, and his family feels that at the rate he’s going, the next funeral will be for him.
Note: The above ‘official synopsis’ from A&E has some details and the sequence of events out of order, and it really creates a different story than reality. He didn’t start drinking heavily right after Oklahoma. He was a 21 year old apprentice when the tragedy happened and became owner/director of his own funeral home years later, and that’s when the drinking got bad. I feel like that’s an important difference.
Date Aired: July 2016
Season 15, Episode 7
Daniel and Robert
Age: 30 and 31
Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
What’s Memorable: Oof. This is a tough one but also hugely satisfying. The ugly situation at their dad’s house, the bedroom Daniel & Renee live in, the heated custody fight between the grandparents in the intervention room, Renee refusing to admit to using drugs but still going to treatment (no surprise that she had to address an eating disorder, she was scary skinny). These three people were all so damn sick, and all of them went to treatment and got healthy. Intervention saves lives.
Date Aired: April 2016
Season 14, Episode 14
Location: Aberdeen, Ohio
Addiction: Heroin, Xanax
Official Synopsis: After his mother died, Kayne turned to drugs to cope, which eventually cost him his marriage and the custody of his children. This drove him further into his addition and now he spends each day getting high on a deadly combination of heroin and Xanax.
Original Air Date: August 2015
Season 14, Episode 13
Location: Arlington, Washington
What’s Memorable: The room she squats in, how she started doing drugs because she lost a boxing match.
Official Synopsis: Carrie was a yong boxer with a shot at going pro, but losing an important fight triggered the trauma of being deserted by her father and she turned to drugs to cope. Now Carrie’s boxing career is on hold, she’s living on the streets and hustling for her next fix.
Original Air Date: August 2015
Season 14, Episode 12
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
Season 14, Episode 9
Location: Milford, Ohio
Addiction: Inhalants (keyboard duster)
What’s memorable: This guy will haunt my dreams, and not even because of the demon-posessed voice and psychotic behavior he exhibits when he takes a hit. It’s the absolute vacancy in his eyes at all times. When he’s high, when he’s being interviewed, when he’s been clean for 90 days. He speaks in eerie monotone and stares at the camera without blinking. There seems to be no one behind the eyes, but I know that’s not true, there’s always someone in there. I truly hope that the real Matthew appears behind his eyes at some point soon.
Official Synopsis: A full-blown addict is confronted by his family, who worry that his habit of huffing 10 cans of computer duster a day is going to kill him sooner rather than later.
Original Air Date: July 2015
Season 14, Episode 8
Location: Brandon, Florida
Addiction: Alcohol and spice (I just had to add a new category for this first time in years)
What’s memorable: Well that was quite the ride. Bryceton seems like a pretty fun and interesting person trapped in the life of an addict, treating people like crap and in full denial about how his behavior is affecting the people who love him. I think this episode may have had more bleeps that any other in the history of Intervention. Man is he a scary dude when he’s high. On spice. WTF, SPICE? Is he just doing it instead of actual weed because it doesn’t show up on piss tests? I loved the follow up, and I will remember this quote forever: “When I look in the mirror I see a loser; a loser trying to convince himself he’s a winner.” That gave me chills for some reason.
Official Synopsis: A talented singer-songwriter, Bryceton’s addicton to alcohol and spice (synthetic marijuana) is completely out of control. His wife struggles to raise their son while coping with Bryceton’s erratic behavior, but she’s fighting a losing battle.
Original Air Date: May 2015
Interventionist: Jeff (JVV!)
Season 14, Episode 7
Age: Early 30’s?
Location: Warner Robins, Georgia
What’s memorable: She lost her kids because of the incredibly sketchy living environment they were in. I don’t blame the parents for taking custody at all, seems like they were pretty endangered there. Katie (at least as she was portrayed in the episode) is definitely not a very present as a mother. Watching her hiding in the car smoking meth while her kids were asking where she was, that was brutal. And the whole claiming her friend stole the journal that had her mother’s bank account info in it? No. How awful for that family. I don’t know if Katie really had the perfect childhood with no obvious addiction trigger or if the show’s new format of spending very little time on backstories meant they/we just didn’t find out the ways that her childhood wasn’t so perfect.
Official Synopsis: Katherine got hooked on pain pills after a botched epidural during childbirth. Now she’s addicted to meth and lost her home and custody of her kids.
Original Air Date: May 2015
Season 14, Episode 4
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Addiction: Heroin and cocaine, smoked together
What’s memorable: This is a tough one. Zach continuously pawns his grandfather’s possessions for drug money (his laptop, guns, vacuum cleaner) and then immediately feels tremendously guilty about it, even admits that he did it as soon as he gets home and then deals with his grandfather’s frustrated rage. The amount of guilt and shame he carries around is visible on his face and the way he carries himself, but he just can’t stop doing it. The drugs come first, consequences be damned. And Whitney is an interesting case. She first makes it sound like she just started doing it within the last few weeks to “get closer” to him, but it seems clear she’s been addicted for a while and probably submitted Zach to the show in hopes of getting help for herself as well. Can’t say I blame her, and I guess it’s not technically against the rules. The intervention was pretty powerful, with Zach in tears as soon as he walked in. I’m so glad he’s taking his sobriety seriously and doing what he has to do to get his family back together.
Synopsis: While still a child, Zach’s father was incarcerated, and Zach and his sister were adopted by their loving grandparents. When Zach’s father was released from jail he moved in with the grandparents, hoping for a fresh start. It didn’t take long for his father to fall off the wagon, and in fact, it was Zach’s father who first introduced Zach to heroin. Using, but still functional, Zach met his girlfriend Whitney, and two years ago, she had their son. Today Zach’s cocaine and heroin addiction is out of control. Whitney has turned to Intervention for help.
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
Location: High Point, North Carolina
Addiction: Alcohol, Heroin
What’s memorable: The strange, slightly creepy, sweet, war-traumatized, outrageously enabling father. The mother’s suicide attempt with Amanda’s sister, the obsessive but kinda of awesome boyfriend who convinced her to go to treatment and then got some for himself, the beautiful and amazing follow up. This was a good one.
Official Synopsis: Thirty-one year-old Amanda has exchanged her dreams of teaching for an alcohol and heroin addiction, while her family erupts in anger over her dad’s chronic enabling
Original Air Date: October 2012
Location: Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Fentanyl (injected)
What’s memorable: His funny and oddly charming little laughs, the room he keeps for his daughter, his swollen hands and track marks, his seemingly proud identity as an addict, the sexual abuse he suffered as a child and his parents doing nothing about it (that’s a very common experience among addicts profiled on this show, I’ve noticed). “I feel like I’m a shell, nothing inside but emptyiness.” – Terry.
Terry, 32, is a chef who dreamed of opening and managing his own restaurant, but his career, marriage and parental rights to his nine-year-old daughter have hit a dead end as a result of his $500 a day cocaine and fentanyl addiction.
Original Air Date: September 2012
Location: Belton, Missouri
What’s memorable: How he walks 20 miles a day just wandering the streets, how he took the rap for his dad and went to prison and everything went to shit while he was there, but he still managed to get out and make a great life for his family until the housing market collapsed and it all went to shit again. How great his family was doing after his intervention.
Official Synopsis: Once a big-hearted Christian family man, Dennis uses his meth addiction to run from the past that haunts him, while his family falls apart
Original Air Date: August 2012
Location: Glendale, Arizona
Addiction: Bath Salts
What’s memorable: Bath salts, holy crap! Still new enough to be legal and bought at the store. The psychosis it causes is truly alarming and this guy has completely lost it. The things he does to combat against the hallucinations, how they tell him to kill himself. Also, the teenage reality show he was on, as the unlikeable “geeky Asian kid” that totally demoralized him, and the horrible way he talks to his mother and adores his absent father.
Official Synopsis: When Skyler was a kid, his mother pushed him to do modeling and TV work, but the tension drove Skyler to drugs. Now he uses the new synthetic drug “bath salts,” which cause him to hallucinate. Can an intervention save Skyler’s sanity–and his life?
Original Air Date: February 2012
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.”
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
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
What’s memorable: The huge ass mansion she lives in while drinking herself to death everyday, the way her boyfriend thinks of addiction and of her as an asset to fix up and turn around like he does his properties, and his locking her up in the spare room for 3 days to detox her. “When he let me out, I walked to the nearest liquor store, came back, locked myself back in, and proceeded to get drunk” – Kimberly. Why is this episode on the Most Disturbing list? The follow up. Just watch it. See the vacancy, the superficiality of the words, the complete lack of commitment. You know as soon as she starts talking into the camera that she’s not staying sober for long. So damn awkward and real.
Official Synopsis: To the outside world, Kimberly lives a dream life in an extravagant mansion without a financial care in the world. But the “dream” is really a nightmare because Kimberly is an alcoholic with no limits. She lives with her boyfriend, who has locked her in a bedroom in an effort to stop her from drinking. Kimberly’s father has written her off, but the family must come together or Kimberly will continue to drown her pain in alcohol.
Original Air Date: January 2012
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
Location: Las Vegas. Nevada
Addiction: Heroin (black tar) and Xanax
What’s memorable: Oh, that hacking. At 20 years old she can’t breathe, has to use a nebulizer several times a day just to survive. Also, the strange relationships with her mother & aunt, the snorting off the sidewalk using a tampon applicator.
Official Synopsis: Ashley was raised by a mother who was addicted to methamphetamines and gambling. Ashley flourished when her aunt and uncle became her legal guardians, but she started using heroin when her beloved grandfather died. Now she bounces back and forth between her rigid aunt’s house and her permissive mother’s house, and she’s developed serious asthma from smoking heroin. The family fears that Ashley will soon overdose and die.
Original Air Date: April 2010
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Addiction: Percocet, Self-injury (cutting, burning)
What’s memorable: 50 percs a day! Damn, girl. But Danielle is severely clinically depressed and suicidal and genuinely believes that she needs these pills in order to not kill herself. Also memorable: the husband who is still there because he made a commitment and will take care of her no matter what, the alcoholic dad who now drinks 10 weeks a year, and the mother who gives her her own legitimately prescribed percocet.
Official Synopsis: Although she has two loving children and an adoring husband, Danielle is dangerously addicted to Percocet. As a teen, Danielle felt neglected by her alcoholic father and began cutting herself. Now she spends each day hiding behind closed curtains, ignoring her children, and self-medicating with up to 40 Percocet a day. An intervention is the last chance Danielle’s children have to get their mother back.
Original Air Date: July 2009
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
Addicted to: Gambling
Addiction Trigger: Accident caused facial disfigurement.
What’s memorable: Lives off of her boyfriend, doesn’t work, just loses at gambling day after day in hopes of hitting a jackpot.
Official synopsis: Alissa’s parents and friends try to save her from her gambling addiction. She has lost over $30,000 on 25-cent slots. Her boyfriend has three jobs and makes all of the money, while Alissa gambles it away.
Original Air Date: March 2005
Location: New England
Addicted to: Crack
What’s memorable: What an otherwise decent guy he is.
Official synopsis: Matt, who comes from an upper-middle class home, is addicted to crack-cocaine and has stolen from his family and friends to support his habit. Desperate, his parents turn to an interventionist to save Matt from himself.
Original Air Date: April 2005
Location: New Jersey
Addicted to: Video Games
What’s memorable: The insane amount of time he spends playing, and his poor little brother that just wants to hang out with him.
Official synopsis: Peter is so addicted to video games that he identifies himself as the characters in the games he plays and refers to other characters as people he hangs out with.
Original Air Date: May 2005
What’s Memorable: Kelly really helped me understand the thought processes of an anorexic. She’s very articulate about her disease, and she seems like a wonderful person.
Official synopsis: Kelly is an anorexic who weighs 93 pounds and whose young daughter is following in her footsteps, often picking at her food or refusing to eat altogether. Her friends are seeking help not just to save Kelly, but her daughter as well.
Original Air Date: June 2005