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Season 1 Episode 4


Age: 24
Location: Michigan
Addicted to: Gambling
Addiction Trigger: Accident caused facial disfigurement.
What’s memorable: Lives off of her boyfriend, doesn’t work, just loses at gambling day after day in hopes of hitting a jackpot.

Official synopsis: Alissa’s parents and friends try to save her from her gambling addiction. She has lost over $30,000 on 25-cent slots. Her boyfriend has three jobs and makes all of the money, while Alissa gambles it away.

Original Air Date: March 2005
Interventionist: Jeff

All comments.

  1. Nicole

    I can’t imagine being in a car wreck so bad that the doctor needed old pics to reconstruct my face! I could see how she’d be paranoid that she didn’t look like her old self because she didn’t. She looked very close and looked good, and probably as close as the doctors could get to looking like her old self but I know I would notice the differences. I am a rape victim and feel like I have an old self and a new self internally which is hard and I will compare my new self to my old self looking from a negative view. But she literally has an old and new self to compare to. It’s a vicious cycle! I hope she is ok now!

    1. molly b

      Best of luck to you as well. 🙂

  2. Marissa Robyn

    It’s been so long since I’ve seen this episode I wondered what ever happened to this girl?? Looked like she was at one of the casinos in Detroit, I used to go once in a while years ago. Makes me wonder where in Michigan she’s from. Anyone have an update or know if she quit gambling?

    1. Stefan

      According to Wikipedia, she has reduced, but not stopped gambling. She also broke up with her boyfriend on the show and has since gotten

    2. Bill

      She’s from Metro Detroit. The casinos pictured are the ones downtown.

  3. Melissa E.

    I was reading the book “The Dead Travel Fast” by Eric Nuzum. In it, he investigates the history of vampires. It’s a fact-based book but he encounters different groups of people in his research and when he took a trip to Transylvania, Alissa and her boyfriend Adam were on the trip, only when he talks about them in the book, he says their names are Elaina and Brad. I don’t know how much of the info about her in the book was true or what besides her name was changed to prevent a lawsuit, but he describes her as a vegan PETA supporter who lived on nothing but bad pizza, Doritos, and Pepsi during the trip. She and her boyfriend were always late and she was basically paranoid that everyone was talking about her. Nuzum even describes the intervention episode in the book. If you ever get the chance, read it, not only because the whole book is great but because the chapter dealing with the Transylvania trip is insane.

    1. Brooke

      that is so incredibly bizarre but very, very interesting haha. how in the world do you know this? thanks for the info! 🙂

    2. Gigi

      That is VERY interesting and it’s also sad. It strongly reinforces my belief that Alissa has a pretty significant underlying traumatic brain injury that impacts her reasoning, decision making, etc. I really think that’s at the root of her problem.

  4. Cecilia

    Those eyebrows drove me crazy! I hope she is able to get the help she needs. I’m sure she has a traumatic brain injury from the accident she was in. Poor thing. Her parents have to stop enabling her.

  5. Gigi

    Alissa was a tough case…I suspect there’s a more profound brain injury than was disclosed. Brain injuries can be very subtle but very impactful when it comes to things like decision making, reasoning, etc. Her response to the Intervention was VERY telling…the mere idea of it instilled terror in her. I wish her the best but I suspect that without some type of intervention her life will be very challenging.

  6. Dahlia

    Wow, this episode. NO ONE HELD THEIR BOTTOM LINES??? Shameful. This is why Jeff is the worst interventionist, then and now. Never follows through with anything.

    1. Stefan

      Well the blame for that lies more with her father and boyfriend. She did at least attend a local day treatment program.

      1. Dahlia

        True enough. Just frustrated at this episode.

    2. Evie

      Dahlia, I totally agree with your assessment of Jeff. I think he is a slimy Midwestern Dr. Phil with overused catchphrases and outmoded paradigms of addiction. He’s also made some strange and unforgivable choices over the years- not sure if that is completely on him or on the show’s producers, but either way, he should be the advocate for the person being profiled for the episode and not a yes-man who operates entirely at the whims of the producers and network. Never understood why people liked him so much.

      1. Andy

        Oh, I agree. Jeff always says the same script.

        Hi, blank, I’ve been here since yesterday and I’ve met these people that just love your like crazy.

        Does anyone have any updates on Alissa?

    3. Maz

      Not Jeffs fault, he has a great script and it works. If you check him out on the internet he is pretty experienced and has written a ton of books, holds seminars and talks etc.

      Also in some if the episodes he holds workshops the day before, and gets out his wipeboard 😂😂

    4. AMA

      Jeff isn’t my favorite interventionist, but I’m perplexed by the idea that family members of addicts not sticking to their bottom lines serves as a reflection of his skill as an interventionist? I mean, by the time most of these addicts come to the attention of the show, they’ve been engaging in the dance of codependency for years. It stands to reason that as much as the people who love the addict hate the slow spiral to death, they have nevertheless enabled the behavior. Just as most addicts need to accept that they need help, so do those who love them. And for people as addicted to the chaos as their loved ones are to whatever substance, it takes an authentic willingness to change. Apparently, this family wasn’t ready.

  7. Todd

    I watched this episode last night. I thought Alissa was all right. Her Mom seemed at her wits end and her Dad seemed a bit too enabling. Here’s the thing though – why would you push this girl into treatment? Over and over and over again she said she wasn’t to go. At some point, I think you would have to conclude that even if she did go, with that attitude, it would just be a ploy on her part to get everyone off her back. It seemed to me that treatment was wasted on her. I don’t see any current info on her so I don’t know if I’m right or wrong.

    1. Stefan

      According to Wikipedia, she has reduced, but not stopped gambling. She also broke up with her boyfriend on the show and has since married someone else.

      1. Todd

        Hey Stefan, yeah I saw that – I think it said she had gotten married to the new boyfriend. You know I hope she is ok and is doing fine. It just didn’t make sense to me to keep pushing her when it was very obvious she had no desire to go to treatment. Hopefully she truly is ok now.

      2. Diane S.

        Her boyfriend (Adam?) dodged a bullet when she married someone else.

  8. Chandler

    No one has any more updates?

  9. Courtney

    This episode frustrated me beyond belief. The fact that her parents and boyfriend didn’t hold their bottom lines really ticked me off. Don’t her parents and boyfriend understand that if they held their bottom lines, they wouldn’t be enabling her and having her throw her life away? Also, what ticked me off was that Alissa kept making excuses about not getting a job, claiming they weren’t getting back to her or forgot about her. If she really wanted a job, she could’ve called up or kept applying all over to different places. The biggest kicker for me was when she kept smoking nonstop while gambling, indoors and in her intervention. Like, that stuff is going to age you faster, Alissa.