Season 16, Episode 6
Location: Sissonville, West Virginia
Addiction: Methadone, Alcohol, Benzos
What’s Memorable: I’ve watched every episode of Intervention, many of them multiple times, and after 16 seasons in 12 years, it’s become more and more difficult for me to get emotional. Maybe it’s because I know the show’s formula so well and I’ve seen all the possible endings – from successful treatment to relapse to death – that it’s hard to surprise me. I don’t even try to guess anymore if an addict is going to be successful or even survive. You just never know until you get to that final black screen. But it bothers me that it doesn’t make me cry so much anymore. I mean this is sad, heavy stuff and I used to cry at every pretty much every episode, now it’s 1 or maybe 2 per season that does it to me. Anyway, this was apparently that episode. I can’t say what it was exactly that cause me to cry like a little baby at the end. Maybe because Sturgill was such a good and warm-hearted guy. Maybe it was how much he and his family cried in pain and in joy, or how hopeful but honest Sturgill was after getting sober. Maybe it was that he wanted to get into Drug & Alcohol counseling to help other people because that’s just the kind of person he is. Maybe it’s just my own issues with addiction being triggered by his story. I don’t know, but this was an excellent episode of Intervention and it gets placed in the Most Likeable Addicts and Most Uplifting episodes. Because that’s how I felt when it was over. Uplifted. Hopeful. Happy. Like Sturgill.
Official Synopsis: Sturgill was a promising young golden gloves boxer and wrestler who dreamed of the Olympics. He was also an academically gifted pre-med student. But a broken arm and multiple surgeries led to a pain pill addiction, which soon turned to heroin. Now, Sturgill’s drug habit includes a dangerous combination of Methadone, benzos and alcohol. His family fears that he’s on the verge of mixing that one fatal dose. Sylvia Parsons is Sturgill’s Interventionist.
Date Aired: Dec 2016
Season 16, Episode 4
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Official Synopsis: Tiffany had the talent to be a successful graphic designer, but severe complications from the birth of her first child led to an addiction to prescribed pain pills. Then post-partum depression after her second and third pregnancies, resulted in an opiate addiction. After her husband took their three kids and filed for divorce, Tiffany became a full time heroin addict. Today, she has a new husband and baby, but her addiction is threatening to end the marriage, and if she doesn’t get help–her life.
Date Aired: Dec 2016
Season 15, Episode 6
Location: Central Square, New York
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)
Season 14, Episode 12
Location: Bradenton, Florida
Official Synopsis: Erin spent her teens and 20’s as an A-list rock-n-roll groupie, but a prescription to relieve neck pain got her hooked on Dialudid. Now her mother raises her 5 year old son while Erin prostitutes herself to mantain her habit. Her family calls on Sylvia Parsons, who was intervened on by Jeff VanVonderen in 2006, and who became the first subject of Intervention to ever make the transition to interventionist.
Original Air Date: August 2015