Location: Carson City, Nevada
What’s memorable: Her parents. Wow. Yeah they came around and stepped up in the end, but during Megan’s childhood and even throughout the show they were just plain terrible at dealing with things. That a mother would hold her 15 year old daughter responsible for “sleeping with” her own boyfriend, blame Megan for doing it to try and ‘get back’ at her, and then run off with him in order to get away from her daughter’s supposed seductions – holy shit, that’s just unbelievable. Also memorable is how awesome the interventionist Seth was here. He made the parents take responsibility for their part in Megan’s addiction, forcing the mom to accept that she was “1000 percent wrong” and the dad that he didn’t do anything to help Megan when she needed him the most. I have new respect for Seth – he was rightfully hard on them and the outcome of the intervention was positive.
Megan is a 24-year-old addict who turned to drugs to kill the excruciating pain she experienced as a young teen after her innocence was stolen by her mother’s boyfriend. Today, Megan’s life is at a critical point and she is facing a long stint in prison with her next mistake.
Original Air Date: November 2012
Location: Saugerties, New York
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: Damn. Now THAT’S an Intervention. Memorable stuff in Ryan’s story – being disabled, his good deeds, his terribly low sense of self-worth, his pregnant fiance getting arrested during his fight – but that Intervention, that he found out about and STILL went to, willingly (although fully prepared to say no thanks), was just awesome. You could just see him slowly realizing that they were right and he desperately needed help. The stuff his parents said obviously had a huge impact, and the fact that the fiancee who was pissed about the whole thing actually came around and ultimately convinced him to go – it was all just incredibly powerful and amazing. And that followup, sheesh. Glad I had tissues.
Official Synopsis: Ryan, 25, is a sweet, sensitive man whose alcohol addiction is spiraling out of control as he and his fiance are expecting their first child in a matter of months.
Original Air Date: October 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: Roseville, California
Addiction: Meth, Alcohol, Norco
What’s memorable: How far she’s fallen, with the homelessness and prostitution and abusive boyfriend. Her emotionless and seemingly uncaring mother (i.e. “There are times I should have pretended to care more than I did”) and how she refused to tell her she loved her even at the intervention. Most of all, her kids. How much they adore her and care about her, how emotional they are about seeing where she’s at now. The post-rehab airport reunion at the end was so full of love and joy, it was beyond heartwarming. This was a truly powerful family story and reminded me of why I love this show so much. “I can’t believe my family gives that much of a shit about me. Unbelievable” – Diana. That is the point of Intervention right there.
Official Synopsis: Former ‘Super Mom’ to her three children, Diana has exchanged her apron for an alcohol and meth addiction and is unraveling her marriage, family and sense of self-respect.
Original Air Date: September 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: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
What’s memorable: The pain and abuse he suffered as a child, how delusional he is about how meth is affecting his life and what he thinks it does for him, the non-intervention, the icky and sad predilection toward incest-themed sexual encounters. “I’ve been anticipating the desires of adult males since I was 5 years old.” – Richard.
Official Synopsis: A 34-year-old gay man, Richard grew up knowing he was different and never feeling accepted. His stepfather disciplined him severely for his effeminate behavior. Today, Richard lives in subsidized housing and has done everything from dealing to prostituting himself to support his meth addiction. Richard’s family will have to make amends to him if they hope to get through to him.
Original Air Date: January 2012
Location: Don’t remember
What’s memorable: How needy and depressed and downright annoying she gets when she’s drunk, the childhood abuse that still haunts her everyday and that she is obviously self-medicating to deal with.
Official Synopsis: Pam is a 49-year-old alcoholic who has suffered a string of abusive, failed marriages and horrific molestation as a child. Drinking is her only way to cope. Her frightened family has already lost one sibling to cirrhosis of the liver. Their greatest fear is that Pam will fall to the same fate unless an intervention can save her life.
Original Air Date: August 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: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: You know, what’s interesting about Jeff is that his addiction was so clearly a direct result of a traumatic work-related incident. It wasn’t just exacerbated by it, it was CREATED by it as a response to the trauma. He was a hero and family man until this one thing, and now he’s lost everything. It’s lovely how much his firefighter friends are looking after him even as he pushes them away, and it’s harrowing how he can see himself losing everything and can’t stop it. This is one episode that truly frightens me, in that any one of us can experience something so profoundly traumatizing that we can at any time become a sad tragic person in need of an intervention.
Here’s an interesting article about Jeff’s story in relation to firefighting PTSD.
Official Synopsis: Forty-year-old Jeff was once known as a heroic firefighter after he saved his partner’s life. But Jeff was traumatized by the harrowing event, and his drinking increased drastically. Jeff has received two DUI’s and been rushed to the hospital numerous times for seizures. Jeff’s alcoholism has also forced his son and wife to move out. Now his family’s last hope is that an intervention will stop Jeff from drinking himself to death.
Original Air Date: June 2009
Location: Camden, New Jersey
What’s memorable: Well, the cry. It may be a “funny” meme, but there’s a whole lotta pain and suffering in that cry, and maybe some relief. And the son who declares that he hates his dad, but during the intervention he cries as he reveals how he really feels. It’s very powerful stuff, all of it.
Official Synopsis: Rocky Lockridge, once a world champion lightweight boxer, is now a homeless crack addict living on the streets of Camden, New Jersey. He began abusing cocaine whilst the champion, but switched to crack after his boxing career ended. His addiction has alienated him from his twin sons and his brother, and his only support left is from his best friend Joey, an aspiring boxer who provides him with food and money to finance his addiction. When short of cash, Rocky panhandles to finance his $75/day habit. In spite of Rocky’s long-term crack addiction, it’s clear that he still has a heart and a soul and wants to get well and reconnect with his family. Can an intervention save him before he loses his life to this disease?
Original Air Date: April 2010
Location: St. George, Utah
Addiction: Alcohol & Pain pills
What’s memorable: Lana makes the Most Disturbing list on account of what happened to her only 6 months before the episode aired. I can’t begin to imagine the feeling of watching yourself being raped for 5 hours on video and not knowing it ever happened (she was drugged). I understand why the police showed her the tape, but I can’t help but wonder how different things could have been if she didn’t know it ever happened. I just don’t know how I would feel in her situation. It’s so upsetting to even think about. Also memorable: the darling, sad little brother who takes care of her, her very decent family that just don’t get it, the violent boyfriend, the sheer amount of wine she drinks.
Official Synopsis: Lana grew up in a family of 11 children, and her older sister introduced her to drinking at the age of seven. Despite this precarious start, Lana excelled in sports and was active in the church. But at 18, Lana began to enter into dangerous relationships with men and started abusing drugs and alcohol. She was in two near-fatal car accidents. And now, too make things even worse, she is in a relationship plagued by physical violence.
Original Air Date: February 2009
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.
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
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Addiction: Dyspahsia- not swallowing, also pain pills
What’s Memorable: She hasn’t swallowed food or liquid in 14 years! I mean seriously. Not even saliva. That’s disturbing enough, but her inability to swallow is a traumatized response to being forced to perform oral sex on her friend’s father when she was a child. The man who did is admitted to it, got probation, and still lives in her neighborhood, triggering her over and over. Her parents did nothing when it happened. And now everyone just tells her she should get over it and move on, that she’s just looking for attention. No one in her life seems to have any kind of sympathy for her, they just think she’s disgusting. I mean she clearly needs help, she’s very unhealthy, and she’s been resistant to getting that help, but I just think that if her family could get a grip on WHY she is the way she is, and that she needs their support and not their judgment, she would be more willing to get better.
Official synopsis: After being molested as a child, Nicole developed an unusual eating disorder–she was unable to swallow. By age 16, she weighed just 68 pounds, and doctors inserted a feeding tube into her stomach. The tube was supposed to be temporary, but 16 years later, Nicole still relies on the tube and can’t swallow any food or liquids. She also abuses prescription drugs and neglects her two daughters. Her husband plans to divorce her if she continues to neglect their children.
Original Air Date: December 2008
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
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
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.
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
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: 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: Los Angles, California
What’s memorable: There’s a lot that’s memorable about Chuckie. He was born addicted to heroin, his parents were junkies and lived the literal rock star lifestyle. Now he’s the stereotypical junkie – he shoots up 20 times a day goes to skid row to get his dope. Despite all this, he remains likeable and you’re really rooting for him.
Official synopsis: Chuckie, 28, is the son of a famous musician, and was born into the rock ‘n’ roll world of the 70’s. Surrounded by famous musicians and privilege all his life, he aspired to be an athlete or singer. However, drugs have over-shadowed every moment of Chuckie’s life. Born addicted to heroin, this third generation addict lives on the streets, and is the last remaining member of his family not to get clean. Chuckie’s loved ones hope an intervention will help him break free of his family disease.
Original Air Date: March 2006
Season 2, Episode 2
Addicted to: Heroin
What’s memorable: The nodding off into the bathroom mirror. Man, that was horrifying. Also, her reaction to the intervention.
Official synopsis: Audrey, 24, was popular and artistic. Now, she is a heroin addict living on the streets. She has been an addict for 5 years and her family feels like the next time they will see her is going to be in a coffin. Her family plans an intervention to save her, if they can.
Original Air Date: November 2005