Location: Alvin, Texas
Addiction: Pain killers, crack
What’s memorable: This is one of those addict stories that begins entirely with a horrendously traumatic incident. It’s also one where no one really blames her for becoming addicted and wanting to numb out. Few of us could ever imagine the pain that losing 3 children at one time would cause. It’s simply unfathomable. The fact that she still has one child left is her saving grace.
Official Synopsis: Once a vibrant supermom, Dana numbs the haunting memories of almost dying in an apartment fire with a dangerous cocktail of crack and prescription pills.
Original Air Date: June 2013
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Addiction: Alcohol and crack mostly, but also whatever else he can get, including heroin, meth, pain killers.
What’s memorable: I can’t begin to imagine the guilt and pain that Tyler feels over his siblings’ overdoes deaths, considering he was the one who introduced them both to heroin, they died within weeks of each other, and he found them both. This is one of those where I have no problem at all understanding why the guy needs to numb out every day. What’s awful about that is that he’s on his way to dying too, and if or when he goes his parents will have lost ALL of their children to drugs. So unimaginably tragic.
Official Synopsis: A gifted mechanic, Tyler, 26, worked in the family business with his brother, Zach, and his sister, Ashley. Their father built the business to provide his children with a wonderful life. But the family’s dreams turned to tragedy when Tyler found both Zach and Ashley dead from drug overdoses. Unable to cope with his loss, Tyler now fills his days with drugs and alcohol
Original Air Date: May 2010
What’s memorable: Bret was in a strange denial – he admitted to being addicted to alcohol, felt the addiction, but was convinced that he didn’t actually drink that much and he didn’t seem to see the health and family consequences of his drinking. His son is absolutely heartbreaking. And, of course, the follow-up is shocking and sad.
Official Synopsis: Now 43, Bret once had a promising career in real estate. But the stress to make more money to provide for his family took its toll, and Bret became an alcoholic. Two years ago, Bret’s family held an intervention and sent him to rehab programs, but he relapsed. His wife finally divorced him, he lost his job, and he continues to be totally focused on drinking.
Original Air Date: July 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
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
Addiction: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: How lost he is without his wife, how much he needs his beer. Every 15 minutes, all day long. This is a very sad story.
Update: Jeffrey Karl James passed away on November 17th, 2016. Here is his obituary.
Official synopsis: A college graduate who now works as a genealogist, Jeff can’t give up his 30-cans-of-beer-per-day habit even though his health is failing, he recently lost his wife, and his children are struggling to cope with the loss of their mother. Now Jeff faces a choice–his life or his beer. Can an intervention bring him to his senses?
Original Air Date: September 2011
Location: Madras, Oregon
What’s memorable: The brutal event that triggered the addiction and the way she’s responded to the trauma. Just awful all the way around. By far one of the most tragic episodes of this show.
Official synopsis: Jeanna conquered generations of addiction until the murder of her four-year-old son sent her spiraling into a $100-a-day meth addiction. An intervention is the only way to help Jeanna start to heal her troubled soul.
Original Air Date: September 2011
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
Addicted to: Alcohol (Vodka)
What’s Memorable: All the pain and loss she’s experienced. The shocking physical toll that alcohol has taken on her.
Official synopsis: After the tragic and shocking loss of her two young children years ago, Maryanne turned to alcohol to cope with the pain. Today Maryanne is the mother of three, but her inability to stay sober has jeopardized the safety of her children. She’s lost custody of two and lives in squalor with her youngest daughter. Maryanne needs an intervention before her tragic streak continues.
Original Air Date: February 2011