Sturgill’s episode put me in a good mood and I thought I’d extend it a bit by asking you: Which Intervention addict do you think was the Most Likeable?
The names listed here are those that either I’ve already put on my Most Likable list or that I’ve heard mentioned in the comments more than once. If you have someone else in mind, leave a comment.
If you need a memory refresher on what these folks were all about, click on their name (opens in a new tab).
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 15, Episode 11
Location: St Augustine, Florida
What’s Memorable: First of all, Ginjer is awesome. So self-aware, honest, smart, funny. One of the most likable addicts this show has profiled. I think sobriety will suit her well and she’s gonna make a great life for herself. That said, I was not a fan of the way this episode was edited. They focused almost entirely on the whole sugar baby thing which, as upsetting as it was, was likely not the only aspect of her addiction that was worth showing. There was very little interaction with her family, so it’s hard to know how it affected them or how invested they were in her getting sober. Did the audience really need to witness multiple client interactions? Not to mention the audio – I can’t even believe they’re doing that now. This isn’t a show that’s supposed to titillate viewers and I really think they focused on that aspect of Ginjer’s story for that reason – because it was provocative. Come on A&E, we know you can do better than that, and you certainly could have done better by Ginjer.
Official Synopsis: Ginjer is a professional Sugar Baby who trolls ‘dating’ websites to maintain a severe Dilaudid addiction. Once a top contender to become a Naval Officer, Ginjer has fallen so far that she juggles ‘men who pay’ to keep the drugs flowing. Ginjer’s family is desperate, fearing she is on the fast track to an early death.
Date Aired: June 2016
Age: Early 20’s
Location: West Virginia and Baltimore
Addiction: Heroin mostly, also coke
What’s Memorable: This is the episode I think I will remember more than any other in 20 years. The insanely dangerous time she spends in Baltimore and what she has to do for drugs, how much her mother loves her, the amazing follow up. She’s one of the addicts from this show that I actually would like to know in real life (sober). I really hope she’s well now.
Location: Salem, Massachussettes
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s memorable: Sean is one very likable dude, that’s what I’ll remember. Also, the condescending, good-life-choices brother, the co-dependent “Drunk Sean is who I fell in love with” wife Jules, the family that all denies that what Sean says happened when he was a kid actually happened. How much must it suck to not have anyone in your family believe you about something so huge? And the way Jules came through at the last minute, after Sean basically said he would disappear into the night with her if that’s what she wanted. Good on you, Jules. Good on you.
A gregarious man with an intense personality, 32 year-old Sean’s alcohol addiction is causing him to blackout and suffer seizures, which have his wife and family on edge.
Original Air Date: February 2013
Location: Inwood, West Virginia
What’s memorable: Wow. Lots. I don’t recall any other addict that came from a religious family but where the religion wasn’t a trigger or contributed to the distance between the addict and their family. Tiffany is an addict who actually still fully embraces her spirituality and relationship with God despite her behaviors, which seems to be keeping her close to her family. I didn’t word that very well, hopefully it made sense. Anyway, what else: the relationship she has with her biological dad, the reversal that happened at the intervention (also don’t think I’ve seen that happen before – the intervention addict actually having to give consequences to another addicted family member), the tearful and inspiring followup, the Haiti mission. I mean jeez, Tiffany is truly amazing. She makes me wanna be a better person.
Tiffany is a 19-year-old, doe-eyed, innocent looking young woman who treks to the seediest parts of Baltimore to score heroin while her family tries to pray the “devil” out of her.
Original Air Date: January 2013
Location: Fortuna, California
Addiction: Meth, Painkillers
What’s memorable: A lovable lady, this one, despite being pretty damn loopy. This is a very real and touching story, from Elena’s conflicts with her family over being a lesbian and the tragic loss of her partner, to the heartwarming and awesome followup. This is the first Intervention episode about an elderly meth addict.
Official Synopsis: Elena, 63, has no intentions of stopping her daily meth addiction, even though her children and grandchildren desperately want their adoring grandmother to get well.
Original Air Date: August 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon
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
Location: Los Angeles, California
What’s memorable: By all accounts an amazing, happy, fun, cool guy that is now homeless on the streets of LA and drinks all day. Hubert’s story is the episode that made me realize what it is I learned from this show that makes me love it so much: That every addict you meet is so much more than what they seen. It’s harder to appreciate an addict’s humanity when you see them living at their rock bottom – homeless, panhandling, prostituting – but people like Hubert remind you of it. Also memorable: his bipolar homeless friend John who really tries to take care of him despite wanting to walk away but caring too much to that. The neighborhood real estate officer who saw Hubert’s humanity and called the Intervention producers. The awesome, caring family who loves him so much. Hubert’s need to please his father.
Official Synopsis: Growing up Hubert, now 50, never felt truly loved by his stepfather. And his stepfather admits giving more love and attention to his three biological children. Meanwhile, Hubert protected his brother and sisters from hearing and seeing their parents screaming and hitting one another. Forty years later, it’s Hubert’s siblings’ turn to help him overcome a horrible alcohol addiction that has left him living on the streets of Los Angeles for the past six months.
Original Air Date: April 2007
Age: mid 30’s?
Location: Northern California or Southern Oregon coast, near Arcata and Humboldt County
What’s memorable: This one hits close to home more than any other. I come from a poor Pacific Northwest logging town, raised and surrounded by loggers and mill workers who snorted crank like other people drink coffee. Coley, his lifestyle, the way he uses, is intimately familiar to me in a way that actually makes me uncomfortable to watch. ANYWAY, since this isn’t about ME…Coley and Francine’s story is powerful. Their love is so strong, and they’re such good people. What else is memorable – Coley so focused on finding the burl, risking his life for it. Doing lines in the garage. (Again, a personal connection to that). The amazing and inspiring follow up.
Official Synopsis: As a timber cutter, Coley has one of the most dangerous jobs in America. But instead of taking serious precautions, he increases his risks every day by snorting crystal meth. Because of his addiction, Coley’s business is falling apart. His wife can barely stand to talk to him any more and his relationship with his three young children is deteriorating. They all believe his only hope is rehab, but will he be willing to go before it’s too late?
Original Air Date: August 2007
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, oy vey. 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
What’s Memorable: How humble and self-aware she is about how her meth addiction has affected her life. Her father being in denial of her being a lesbian and her whole family believing that she should get over it and have a relationship with a man and with God, that that would solve all of her problems. It’s all kind of tragic really, but Tressa is so strong and a total survivor. I really like her.
Official synopsis: Tressa, 32, attended college on a track and field scholarship and became one of the world’s top female shot-putters, earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. But Tressa’s dreams were shattered when a routine drug test revealed that she had been living a double life as an Olympic hopeful and an IV drug user. With her Olympic career in shambles, Tressa uses crystal meth daily as her life spirals out of control. Can her family step in and save Tressa before she loses not only her career, but her life?
Original Air Date: February 2008
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
Location: Denver, Colorado
What’s Memorable: This is a sad one. Trent is a decent guy who just can’t stop, even though he’s lost everything and everyone. This is one of those episodes that powerfully hits home how the need to get high and the belief that it’s impossible to stop can completely take over a person’s life.
Official synopsis: Trent, 33, is a four-star chef who’s served U.S. presidents and Hollywood stars. But as the child of alcoholics, Trent’s formative years were marked with violence and abuse. He ultimately turned to drugs to cope, and today he is homeless, sick, battling freezing temperatures, and has an insatiable heroin addiction. His friends and family fear he won’t make it through the winter on the streets, but will Trent be willing to listen to the family he feels deserted him?
Original Air Date: April 2007
Location: Sacramento, California
What’s Memorable: Jacob is a sad angry mess, but he’s so incredibly smart and self-aware and open about how he feels and where he’s at in his life, it’s very easy to like him. You root for him to get his shit together because you can tell he’d be an awesome and happy sober person. The followup is pure joy. I found myself wishing I could track him down and try to be his friend. If you’re reading this Jacob, email me. Let’s hang.
Official synopsis: By day, Jacob, 25, is a banker. But most nights, Jacob is drinking, driving and often engaged in barroom brawls. He recently overdosed on alcohol and prescription drugs. His heart stopped and he had to be revived with paddles. Jacob blames his mother — a drug user and former dealer — for his addiction. But will he be able to hear her when she pleads for him to get help?
Original Air Date: March 2007
Location: North Carolina
What’s Memorable: Sylvia has a truly powerful and memorable story. The crying for her babies, the drinking out of little liquor bottles in her car during work, the drinking at work, the stealing wine in her mother’s kitchen and getting too drunk to go to the game she had wanted so badly to be sober for. She’s also a very inspiring story. I think she ended up becoming an addiction counselor. Good for her. I’m sure she’s really good at it too.
Official synopsis: Sylvia had four wonderful kids, a strong marriage, and a successful business. But when family tragedies struck, Sylvia looked for solace in the bottle, and today she is a frail, vulnerable, alcoholic. An intervention is her only hope.
Original Air Date: December 2006
Location: Pasco County, Florida
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
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
Addiction: Cocaine, marijuana, and more
What’s Memorable: What a sweet guy he is, in such unfortunate circumstances despite being a millionaire, his equally messed up brother.
Official synopsis: A mother fears for the life of her son, a former wrestling star who turned to drugs after an accident left him wheelchair-bound.
Original Air Date: July 2005