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Season 4

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Episode 71: Kristen

kristen

Kristen
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.

 

Episode 72: Ed and Bettina

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Ed and Bettina
Age: 50’s?
Location: Utah
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s Memorable: Dear god, this one. I’ve seen it probably 12 times and the dysfunction/codependency gets me every time. Married almost 30 years, became alcoholics together only 5 years ago, and now they’ve lost almost everything.  Their kids break my heart.

 

Episode 61: Tom

Tom

Tom
Age: 50’s?
Location: South Boston, Massachusettes
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: The mobster life, the late introduction to heroin, the odd relationship with his ex-wife.

Official Synopsis: Tom got caught up in a gangster lifestyle while growing up in a South Boston neighborhood run by an Irish mob. By the time he was 20, Tom was holding down a job in the day as a Boston fireman and dealing drugs and running with the wiseguys at night. But through it all, Tom remained a loving, loyal father to his four children. But all his came crashing down one day when he was caught and indited on drug charges, losing his home, his job and his family’s respect. Can an intervention help cement Tom and his family back together again?
Original Air Date: July 2008

Episode 65: Marie

Marie Season 4 Episode 65

Marie
Age: 49
Location: Undetermined, but I’m assuming New York or New Jersey (accent, mafia ties).
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s memorable: How addicted her body is to the alcohol, and how messed up that body is as a result. You can see the toll alcohol takes on a body by seeing what she looked like before she was addicted and how much better she looks in the post-treatment transformation. Also, her serial marriages and how her relationship with Bora just completely destroyed her.

Official Synopsis: A Sophia Loren look-alike, Marie was born into an Italian mob family. When her parents’ marriage end, Marie and her mother struggled with extreme poverty. Marie’s three marriages ended in divorce, but she was still determined to give her children what she didn’t have growing up. Despite her own unhappy love life, she became a highly successful matchmaker and well known socialite. She even appeared on shows like 60 Minutes. Then Marie met her fourth husband, Bora, an addict and alcoholic. Marie tried to clean him up, but developed her own addiction to alcohol. Bora’s alcoholism killed him, and now Marie is headed down the same road–fast. Marie’s family knows an intervention is her last hope.
Original Air Date:  July 2008

Episode 66: Asa

asa

Asa
Age: 28
Location: Southern California
Addiction: Alcohol, Bulimia
What’s memorable: How completely wasted he gets, how much he eats, what a brat he is, and how important a life in academia is to him.

Official Synopsis: Born into a mixed-race family in a predominantly white town, Asa struggled with low self-esteem and body image growing up. Classmates teased him because of his size, ethnicity, and effeminate manner. Desperate to loss weight, Asa became bulimic. He came out as a gay man at 19 and started using hard drugs and drinking heavily. For the past 10 years, Asa has been working towards his college degree. Being a medical science student, he understands how his eating disorder and alcoholism are affecting him, but he’s been unable to stop. His family now realizes that an intervention is their last chance to help Asa.
Original Air Date:  July 2008

Episode 62: Charles

Charles

Charles
Age: 23
Location: California
Addiction: Heroin
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

Episode 63: Sandra

Sandra Season 4 episode 12

Sandra
Age: 35
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Addiction: Pills, mostly Pain Meds
What’s Memorable: The sitting in the garage, the making NO sense and then nodding off in the middle of a sentence, the poor sad son Dakota who can’t stop crying.

Official synopsis: She sits in her garage every day, popping painkillers, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and sleeping pills. Sandra’s pill use is so bad that her two sons, 17 and 11, have left the house. Her best friend, Julie, moved in with her, and although Julie suffers from multiple sclerosis, she takes care of all the housework. Julie and Sandra’s husband, Dan, ration Sandra’s pills so she doesn’t overdose. They know they’re enabling her, but they’re afraid of what will happen if they stop. Sandra’s family is ready to try an intervention, but they’re not sure she’ll ever choose her family over her addiction.
Original Air Date: December 2007

Episode 50: Dawn

dawn

Dawn
Age: 40’s
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Addiction: Meth
What’s Memorable: The psychosis, her poor heartbroken sons that love her so much, how quickly she went from functional to homeless crazy person.

Official synopsis: Dawn, 49, was once a model, but today she’s homeless and wanders around town using meth and suffering from the effects of Meth Psychosis.
Original Air Date: December 2007

Episode 50: Fabian

Fabian Season 4 Episode 50

Fabian
Age: 37
Location: Los Angeles, California
Addiction: Meth and Alcohol
What’s Memorable: I think it’s interesting that Fabian thinks he needs to be high/drunk in order to create, and doesn’t realize he’s not actually making much of anything.

Official synopsis:  Fabian, 37, was once a successful entertainment entrepreneur, but his escalating addiction has cost him everything.
Original Air Date: December 2007

Episode 64: Chad

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Chad
Age: 34
Location: Sacramento, California
Addiction: Crack
What’s Memorable: “At the end of the day I love being on the street. Best times of my life.” Chad’s a voluntarily homeless panhandler who teats women like shit and makes like 2 grand a month and spends it all on crack. To be honest, I think Chad’s kind of an entitled self-righteous ass. He was a jerk before he became an addict and he’s way more of one as a crackhead. I wish him well though.

Official synopsis: After a troubled childhood that sent him to juvenile hall for felony arson, Chad’s father introduced him to cycling at age 15. Chad went pro and cycled on the same team as Lance Armstrong. But after getting kicked off the team for “personality conflicts,” Chad was crushed and turned to drugs. Now homeless, Chad spends his days panhandling, smoking crack, and drinking. His family’s many efforts to get him off the streets have failed. Their last hope is an intervention.
Original Air Date: June 2008

Episode 60: Dan

dan

Dan
Age: 40
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s Memorable: How creepy and violent he gets when drunk, the falling down, the awesome wife.

Official synopsis: To the outside world, his life may seem ideal. Dan, 40, is married and has a beautiful daughter, Ava. He loves music and works as a first mate for a snorkeling and whale-watching boat company on a stunning Hawaiian Island. But everything is not what it seems. Dan is an alcoholic. An adolescence filled with physical violence and verbal abuse left Dan with deep emotional pain. Dan’s family desperately hopes that an intervention will turn his life around.
Original Air Date: June 2008

Episode 68: Allison

Allison
Age: Mid-20’s
Location: Looks like New England, maybe Massachusettes?
Addiction: Inhalants (computer duster)
What’s Memorable: This one comes in 2nd as the most famous episode (after Cristy (Season 2), mostly due to the “I’m walkin on sunshine!” soundbite. 10 cans of duster a day is completely insane and she’s just out of it. I think what’s most shocking about this episode is that she survived this addiction.

Update: Allison continues to do really well in recovery. You can follow her on Twitter here. She’s an inspiration.

Official synopsis: She was a pre-med student on her way to becoming a surgeon, but the trauma of being molested as a child and her parents’ brutal divorce haunted Allison. She started to inhale computer dust remover, which is potentially fatal with each breath. Her erratic behavior and absence from classes got Allison dropped from the pre-med program. Allison is currently inhaling up to ten cans of dust remover a day. Can interventionist Jeff help Allison and her family?
Original Air Date: August 2008

Episode 53: Brooke

Brooke Season 4 episode 3

Brooke
Age: 26
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

Episode 55: Josh

Josh Season 4 episode 5

Josh
Age: 22
Location: Undetermined
Addiction: Food
What’s Memorable: How sad he is that he got so big, the incredibly messed-up family dynamic, especially dealing with his father. The followups and Josh’s subsequent youtube videos that shed more light on his situation. Here’s the latest video I could find.

Note: Josh is in the “Homosexuality as possible addiction trigger” category because he came out after the episode aired. I don’t know for sure that being in the closet was a part of his overeating, but it certainly makes sense.

Official synopsis: Next, a talented singer and the owner of his own karaoke business, 22-year-old Josh is addicted to food and weighs 550 lbs. Josh’s father, Rex, has the same weight problem–at 317 lbs., he’s a diabetic who’s had six strokes. Now, Rex watches helplessly as Josh follows in his footsteps toward an early death. Josh’s mother and two brothers hope that an intervention will be a wake-up call for the whole family to choose health.

Original Air Date: January 2008
Interventionist: Ken

Episode 55: Ben

Ben
Age: 25
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Addiction: DXM (cough medicine)
What’s Memorable: The psychosis he displays as he walks around the city, the older dude that had a sexual relationship with him and still supports him to some extent, the things this kid could have done with his life.

Official synopsis: Ben, 25, experienced a childhood filled with domestic violence, homelessness and isolation. He never got to fulfill the potential of his 170 I.Q. and found a new way to find comfort when he was in high school–a drug called DXM. Now, Ben spends his days shoplifting, panhandling, and even prostituting himself to finance his drug addiction. Desperate to help Ben, his mother arranges an intervention that’s her last hope for saving his life.
Original Air Date: January 2008

Episode 57: John T.

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John T.
Age: Late 20’s
Location: Arizona
Addiction: Alcohol, hallucinogens
What’s Memorable: His sad, desperate attempts to get his supposed friends to hang out with him.

Update: John died in January 2013 – suicide. Obituary

Official synopsis: As a former clean-cut track star, John’s life used to revolve around athletics. Now, after a leg injury ended his running career, John spends his time abusing his body with alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy and hallucinogenic drugs.  He believes he is living a charmed life as a successful and popular DJ when the reality is that he is losing his friends, his family and his chance at success in the music industry to an addiction that could result in permanent brain damage or death. His family believes that his only hope lies in an intervention, but can they convince him that he has a problem before it is too late?

Original Air Date: February 2008

Episode 59: Lawrence

lawrence

Lawrence
Age: 34
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

Episode 58: Brad

brad

Brad
Age: 24
Location: Undetermined
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: His mother trying to kidnap his sisters and leaving him on the front steps crying – abandonment issues understandable, right? How quickly he became an alcoholic after coming home from Iraq. How completely wasted he gets and the constant blackouts. The guilt he feels about not being back in Iraq while his buddies are still fighting.

Official synopsis: The chaos and bloodshed that Brad witnessed as a young soldier in Iraq, including the death of a close friend, left him emotionally damaged. He now suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and uses alcohol and marijuana to quell the endless nightmares and flashbacks that haunt him. Brad’s temper also flares and he’s had several incidents of blackout drinking which have led to two car accidents. His parents and sisters are terrified that Brad will kill himself or someone else in a drunken stupor. An intervention is their final attempt to save his life.
Original Air Date: February 2008

Episode 57: Tressa

tressa

Tressa
Age: 32
Location: Nebraska
Addiction: Meth
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

Episode 54: Jason

jason

Jason
Age: 23
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Addiction: Alcohol, cocaine
What’s Memorable: The huge singing Christian family, the addicted little sister, the terribly repressed and abusive childhood.

Official synopsis: Jason, 23, was born into a strict Southern Baptist family. His father, a preacher, and his unstable mother doled out excessive punishments. But when Jason’s mother revealed she’s a lesbian, Jason’s father was banished from the church and had to take several jobs to feed his family. Left with no supervision, Jason turned to drugs and alcohol. And now his younger sister, Joy, is heading down the same self-destructive path, too. Can a double intervention save them?
Original Air Date: January 2008

Episode 51: Emily

emily

Emily
Age: 26
Location: Ohio
Addiction: Anorexia, exercise
What’s Memorable: How sick and frail her body is. How weird it is to see what she would look like if she wasn’t Anorexic (twin sister). The crazy food rituals.

Official synopsis: Emily, 26, grew up struggling to meet her parents’ high expectations. Despite winning many academic and athletic honors, Emily suffered from depression and low self-esteem, and her shameful feelings intensified when she became a date-rape victim in college. She dieted in hopes of regaining control of her emotions and life, but now she weighs less than 90 pounds. Her family’s last hope is an intervention that will stop her from starving herself to death.
Original Air Date: December 2007

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