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Episode 9: Cristine

Season 1, Episode 9


Age: 20’s
Age: San Jose, California
Addicted to: Alcohol (beer)
What’s memorable: Cristine seems at first like she’s tough and in denial, but we get glimpses of her crying out for help and realize how vulnerable she is. Also, her tragic history is just chilling.

Official synopsis:  Cristine is a wife and mother who drinks at least 18 beers a day.

Note: Talk about a weak official synopsis!  This is really one of the most unforgettable portrayals of alcohol addiction I’ve seen, on this show or any where else.  This is the first alcoholism episode of Intervention I saw, and it was this that really got me hooked on the show.

Original Air Date: June 2005
Interventionist: Tara

Categories: Alcohol, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Most Powerful Episodes, Most Unforgettable Episodes, Season 1, Tara, Traumatic Incident


33 Responses to “Episode 9: Cristine”

  1. I am Cristine Alvarez from this episode, I did relapse after the show aired and it took 6 years of more drinking till I finally went into recovery. I use to hear my story touched everyone I met. Now that I have been sober for almost 4 years, I continue to believe that the key to quitting anything, is to know you are not alone, you are not the only one with this problem. My question is, I have not yet once see my episode in syndication. I would like my story told..was there an issue?

    Posted by cristine Alvarez | February 6, 2015, 10:18 pm
    • Hi Cristine, thanks so much for writing. Congratulations on your sobriety. Your Intervention was one of the first I ever watched years ago and it really stuck with me. So glad to hear you’re doing well. I haven’t seen your episode in syndication either, I don’t know why or what the issue would be. Although your episode was shared with Kelly, who was anorexic. Maybe there is an issue on that side?

      Posted by Dizzy | February 7, 2015, 1:27 pm
    • Hi Cristine!

      I check this site fairly regularly in the hopes that one of the subjects or their family members will write in with an update (even if it’s not all positive, recovery is a process and any update is better than no update. I care so deeply for almost all of the subjects on Intervention. I’m so happy that you chose to write in and I’m really glad to hear that your story has been ultimately successful.

      I’ve seen your episode available on sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and on the A&E website, but never in syndication! I always wondered why certain stories are shown dozens of times and some are never repeated. However, Cristine, you are NOT forgotten. Your episode was one of the first ones that I watched and every now and then I think of it and wonder how you’re doing. Even more so in the last two years, as I’ve been struggling as the girlfriend of an alcoholic. There’s a lot that I could say in this post, but it is lengthy as is.

      I live in Queens, New York City and there are so many opportunities for public speaking engagements here. I would be more than happy to put you in direct contact with several organizations. I left my email with Dizzy (the site mod) and I would love for you to write to me.

      I’m so glad to hear that you’re making strides on the road to recovery, and wish nothing but the best for you.

      Posted by Rain | February 7, 2015, 2:31 pm
    • Cristine, I wanted to say congrats on your recovery. I also wanted to tell you that I’ll never forget your story, and it really touched me. You are a wonderful person.

      Posted by Kat | February 7, 2015, 6:51 pm
    • Congratulations on your recovery Cristine. I hope you and your family are doing well nowadays. I will never forget you and your story.

      Posted by Elle | April 8, 2015, 12:02 am
    • Cristine, I am a high school teacher in Southern California and I teach Health. I have been showing your episode to high school students for the past 8 years. Watching your episode has helped hundreds of high school students not only understand addiction, but to grasp that there are certain “triggers” that lead almost every addict/alcoholic to use or drink. Your triggers are one of the most severe I’ve seen watching any Intervention. Freshman students are learning that everyone has triggers, things that have happened to them or situations in their life that could lead them to use drugs or drink alcohol. But, there is not a success story ever related to drinking or using. I teach my students that everyone has problems, and that we need to learn how to attend to our problems in constructive manners, learning how talk to someone trustworthy, and not bottle up anything that has damaged us. Cristine, your story has been seen by nearly 3,000 freshman high school students. And your story has helped more young people than you will ever know!!

      Posted by Bill Birinyi | March 22, 2017, 1:21 pm
      • This is so amazing to hear! My son is now in high school and I have my daughter who is now 10 years old. I’ve been sober for over 7 years now and I cant tell you how much I realize how my life has changed and everything I have is due to my sobriety and when it even crosses my mind, I think of my worst last drunk day and I don’t ever want to go back to that. I’m not perfect, I’m just sober and that is enough for me!

        Posted by Cristine Alvarez | November 7, 2017, 9:43 am
        • i’m so glad you got sober

          Posted by mary | June 12, 2018, 6:06 pm
        • Hey bestie! It’s Kim! Just popping in to say I love you. I’ll try to call you tomorrow. I miss you, fam! Give my niece and nephew hugs and kisses from me. Xoxoxoxo

          Posted by Kim Castillo | June 12, 2018, 10:08 pm
    • Congratulations Cristine. I hope that things are still going well for you. I am watching your episode right now on Amazon Prime. I would love to hear an update if you are up for it.

      Posted by Theresa | May 15, 2018, 7:27 pm
  2. Cristine was the 1st episode of Intervention I ever watched. My mom and I watched Intervention every week since I was a Junior/Senior in High School (2005). She wanted to scare me to not try any sort of drug and/or drink. It worked until in my 20s I went through a lot of problems & childhood issues seemed to catch up with me. I can truly see how life trauma & drug abuse can consume a person’s life just to cope with living through pain. I still watch Intervention to this day, 11 years later. This show is the best reality show there is.

    Thank you Dizzy for this site!! It is great to catch up on all the brave souls that poured their personal lives on screen for the world to witness. So happy this site exsists, thank you 🙂

    Posted by KJ | March 21, 2016, 1:11 am
  3. Looks like Katie to me. You guys are the best at finding out stuff like tht.

    This site is great. Thx Diz

    Posted by Dewey | November 27, 2016, 12:11 am
  4. O gosh my comment went wrong place. Sorry

    Posted by Dewey | November 27, 2016, 12:13 am
  5. Christine, your husband seems like an amazing guy. Very soft spoken but when he does speak he says what matters. I know it’s been a long time, so I’m wondering how old your son is now and how he’s doing. I’m glad to hear you’re doing well! John seems like a great friend too! I hope all is well for you! 🙂

    Posted by Nicole | June 5, 2017, 12:27 am
    • My son is now 15 and I’m now over 6 years sober. We are all doing great! My husband and I will be celebrating our 17th anniversary on 12/21/2017!! Thank you so much for your post. We are all fine. And everyday is just another one day at a time.

      Posted by Cristine Alvarez | November 7, 2017, 9:44 am
  6. From one recovering alcoholic to another (I’m almost two years sober now), I’m wishing Cristine the very best. One day at a time!

    Posted by Melanie | June 17, 2017, 4:40 am
  7. This story is my story, except substitute food for alcohol. Going in to work late, accomplishing nothing, and leaving early. The guilt over wanting to stop, yet every day is exactly the same. This story explains my life better than I ever could. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 8, 2017, 4:42 pm
    • This story relates to any substance. You pray when you wake up that “today will be different” and automatically you find that you are doing the very same thing and you hate yourself for it. Thus begins the cycle of self loathing and shame. I just want to let you know that there is a life beyond this sickness!!Thank you for your comment!

      Posted by Cristine Alvarez | November 7, 2017, 7:16 pm
  8. I just watched this episode for the first time and it was so moving and inspiring. Congratulations on your sobriety and your beautiful family.

    Posted by Geena | December 2, 2017, 9:03 am
  9. Just watched this, never seen this interventionist before. I didn’t like her, i think she got annoyed very easily and was not very patient. Wonder if that’s why she does not appear in other episodes.

    Posted by Anna | December 26, 2017, 11:28 am
    • Tara was only featured on a handful of episodes through seasons 1 and 2. I agree that here she came off that way, but she was better in other episodes. Perhaps it’s because she was a doctor and not an official interventionist?

      Posted by Stefan | August 19, 2018, 7:27 pm
  10. Hi Cristine-
    I’ve watched approximately 50 episodes of Intervention now and this is literally the only one that brought tears to my eyes. Seeing the pain while you are on the train saying that you need someone to help you was heartbreaking. I am so happy to hear that you are still married and that your sweet little boy is almost grown. I hope you are staying strong and staying sober.

    Posted by Theresa | May 15, 2018, 7:31 pm
  11. Hi, Cristine!

    Congratulations on 7 years of sobriety! I’m so proud of you and so happy to hear that you & your family are together and thriving. I wanted to let you know that I saw your episode for the first time tonight on A & E – I guess they’ve added it to the rotation finally. I’m so glad — your story is very powerful & moving and deserves to be shown. May life continue to be sweet for you, you deserve it!

    Posted by Kat | June 12, 2018, 6:58 pm
  12. Hi Cristine, your episode aired tonight in the 8pm A&E slot (just before the brand new episode). It was my first time seeing it and it was amazing to do a quick google search and learn that despite some stumbles and obstacles, you found a path to 7 years of sobriety. Amazing. Congratulations!

    Posted by Kevin | June 12, 2018, 9:07 pm
  13. Cristine, your episode is available on YouTube currently (thanks to ramoin!)
    Congrats on your recovery! So glad to see you’re doing well.

    Posted by Siouxsie | September 22, 2018, 3:25 pm
  14. I’m up for a job working with women in recovery, or women who want to or should be in recovery. If I get the job, this episode is definetly something I’m going to use with clients because I feel like it covers all the bases of what addiction truly is and how it affects people, and because you’ve been so honest about recovery. Thank you.

    Posted by Tobie | September 22, 2018, 5:04 pm
  15. I’m glad you’re doing well Cristine! 🙂

    Posted by Andy | October 18, 2018, 7:56 pm
  16. Hi Christine!!

    I’m so happy that you are well and happy ❤️

    Posted by Tiffany Dykes | November 7, 2018, 8:13 pm
  17. awesome news that cristine is sober! what a loyal and supportive husband! i didn’t like that cristine’s mother was going to kick out her son-in-law and grandson along with cristine if she didn’t accept treatment. don’t punish them for cristine’s choices, that makes no sense to me. plus, allowing them to stay (with cristine having to leave) would have played in to the husband’s bottom line quite well, which was he and their son separating from cristine had she said no. buuuut luckily, none of that needed to come in to play and all is well!

    Posted by Brooke | July 14, 2019, 2:37 am
  18. Dear Cristine,

    When I watched your episode today (never had cable, so I missed Intervention when it aired many years ago), I bawled my eyes out when I read at the end you had relapsed after your pregnancy. I am so glad I hunted this page down and saw your comments and saw your amazing progress in life. You and your whole family deserve so much happiness and I hope your life continues to flourish. I am thrilled your husband has supported you all these years, and I hope your children are living their lives to their fullest!

    Posted by Mandii | April 24, 2020, 8:37 am
  19. Crisitine and Kelly’s episode is on YouTube. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cosKQsAq5S8

    Posted by Andy | October 21, 2020, 12:02 pm
  20. Christine, I’m so happy to hear that you’re doing well. Your story felt very much like my own and it took me many years to come to term with my addictions, but I’ve made a lot of progress. I credit this show and episodes like yours for helping countless numbers of addicts to come to be able to come to terms with their own addicts, seek treatment and understand that sobriety is a process and not an on/off switch. Sending you and your family good thoughts.

    Posted by Brooks | October 28, 2020, 3:06 pm

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