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Episode 87: Gabe

Season 6 Episode

Age: 20’s
Location: Portland, Oregon
Addicted to: Heroin, cocaine
What’s Memorable: Abandoned Indian street kid adopted by a white Christian-American couple who seem to think that saving a poor brown boy is doing right by God and that all their kids should live wholly by the Word. The dad is infuriating in his inability to connect with Gabe on any meaningful level due to his religious beliefs. Gabe seems like a genuinely good person in a family that just doesn’t understand him.

Official synopsis:  When he was three, Gabe’s mother abandoned him on the streets of Calcutta, but he was adopted by a young American couple. Gabe seemed happy in America, but he secretly felt like an outsider. In high school he started to rebel and resent his Christian upbringing. He began using marijuana and cocaine, and later graduated to heroin. Then he squandered all of the $37,500 he received after a car accident to support his drug habit. Now the family fears that without an intervention, Gabe’s addiction and depression will soon lead to his death.

Original Air Date: May 2009
Interventionist: Candy

Categories: Adopted, Candy, Heroin, Most Unforgettable Episodes, Racial Alienation, Religious Family, Season 6


33 Responses to “Episode 87: Gabe”

  1. So how is Gabe doing? Was he successful in his choosing to give up the drugs?

    Posted by Anna | September 27, 2011, 3:20 am
    • They re-ran his episode the other night and it looks like he’s relapsed a few times but has been clean and sober since March 2009. Yay Gabe!

      Posted by Intervention Directory | September 28, 2011, 7:44 pm
      • I saw the episode today.(in Holland) I’m from Indian heritage myself. I also had an Christian upbringing, which in comparison made sense to me, by the way. If i’m down i always ask my self what would have happened to me if i stayed in the motherland. I probably would not be alive.. Gabe had an impact on me. We all deserve a decent life….. I hope he’s doing well…

        Posted by Manish | October 19, 2014, 12:23 pm
  2. Gabe – I searched the web and came across this site. If you happen to read this, I can identify with how you feel in pics..I’m adopted as well. You have a good sense of peace within you as the show alluded to..stay strong and it was inspiring to see you continue to value your family through feeling different

    Posted by s hutch | December 10, 2014, 9:00 pm
  3. I was wondering how gabe is doing. I seen the rerun episode of his and that I was wonderinghow he is doing I have been having a tough time to stay on track without slipping to my old ways if you can help in some way that would be nice thank you and for gabe you helped me through my time in need

    Posted by Alexa Morales | January 13, 2015, 6:02 pm
  4. Alexa I’m not sure if I can help much. I have never used intravenously but I have had plenty of crushed powder up my nose. My boyfriend who I met when he got out of jail used most of his adult life. He promised me when we met he would never use again but I am sure you can guess how that turned out. He has been on methadone for the past 3 years but has still used on and off. As of right now he is doing well. We found out about 7 months ago he is HI positive. He has been for some time now. He had been tested in the past but it didn’t show. I am negative as of right now but will continue testing . What I wish they would address on the show is the biological affect of opiate use. The withdraw comes from the chemicals in your brain trying to over compensate for the lack of opiates the drug provides. Which our body natural produces when we take the drug we flood the brain will feel goods then when they aren’t there anymore the body doesn’t like it. Which will also make us feel more depressed so regardless of what the addiction was it IS now a sickness. You will know when you are ready you will need a detox drug and you will likely test that drug by using with it. Some people have a longer path than others. The biggest advice I can offer is get away from every person you call friend. Those you use with or buy drugs with. They are not your friends. Even when you get sober you can’t go back to associating with them. You also need to find the root of what triggers you to use. When we fix our mind we can fix our bodies. Good Luck I will pray for you to find a way to be strong enough to take that step.

    Posted by Amanda | January 14, 2015, 1:25 am
  5. Man I really liked this guy.. he’s a big hearted guy who’s emotionally lost & longing. (Not to mention seriously handsome!) I pray he’s happy, well, clean & sober. Neat individual. Take care Gabe

    Posted by Jennifer | January 21, 2015, 9:27 pm
  6. I think the gabe v story effected me more than any of the others. I check the Internet regularly for updates and never really find them. Gabes beautiful spirit shines through the ugliness of addiction and so does his intense inner turmoil. You just wish so bad you could figure it out and fix it for him. ( you if u ever read this gabe) I think to say the parents think bringing them into the family as one of their own is because they think it’s their ticket to heaven is extremely unfair. I am native American and poverty is real. To provide a child in desperate need with a home and true love is clearly in this case a choice of love. Does the dad have a problem connecting? Is he a little harsh? Yes but that’s not uncommon in dads. Communication is not a mans thing. I hope gabe gets intense therapy in addition to clinging to the faith he was raised with because it’s the only way to untie all the emotional knots tied up inside. Embrace yourself because no doubt your an awesome person, embrace healing and staying clean and it might help you to look into your birth culture with pride not pain. Find the beauty in it rather than the pain and uglyness of being left. You were chosen and they all obviously love you as if blood even through your lows so u are blood. I know this will be hard my prayers are with you.

    Posted by Jacquie | March 11, 2015, 11:16 am
    • The dad was blinded by religious indoctrination, plain and simple. It prevented him from fully seeing what his son needed to get better, which is something we see all too often on this show. As far as communication not being a “man”s thing, I’m so glad that my generation is rectifying that. It’s been the cause of so many ills in our society.

      Posted by Stefan | September 17, 2020, 2:29 pm
      • I agree that the insipid judgemental aspect of christianity is the crux of his issues.
        There is a swedish method of intervention that doesn’t involve a higher power.
        HIs parents most important relationship being Christ says it all.
        Gab needs support in trusting his your intuition and he needs recognition that his thoughts regarding God are valid and not deny his intelligence.
        The irony is that, as he says.. his dad is floating on a religious cloud just as he’s trying to find his own cloud.
        Gab is worthy just because if he take Christ into his life.
        I know his dad and moms intentions are good because they are brainwashed themselves .
        I think he needs to be freed from the heavy expectation of him ‘living a christian life.

        Posted by kelly | September 26, 2020, 12:51 pm
  7. Wow, Dizzy. Can’t you just share Gabe’s story without throwing in your hatred? Who cares why his parents adopted him. It’s really not your business or concern, and it ended up better than what his life would have been like.

    Posted by Foff | June 15, 2015, 12:47 pm
  8. I kinda had a cruah on Gabe. He has the potential to be so amazing once he gets sober. He is one of those contagious personalities that you hust want to be around. I hope he’s happy.

    Posted by Lynn | December 22, 2015, 11:03 pm
    • He was super hot. He if he was that awesome while using just imagine who he could become while sober. I think about this episode and where he is now often. Wish him all the best.

      Posted by Moriah | June 9, 2016, 1:11 pm
  9. He really seemed to do whatever was in his power to make sure he ended as he should have, in his mind, in the first place; on the streets. Also, he did whatever he could to distance himself from his family; be the addict, be the one that nobody understands, be the one that doesn’t live as a Christian; visibly be different, as he felt different from them on the inside.

    I really hope he finally accepted that this family really loved him as one of their own, with their limits, such as in any family, and I hope he doesn’t feel so out of place now.

    Posted by Pandora | June 15, 2016, 5:05 am
  10. I thought this one was pretty sad, but it did leave me feeling hopeful for Gabe. His addiction was so severe, and you could see how it was just running him ragged. I feel for his alienation, but Candy did a fantastic job with the parents in this episode, trying to help them see that this didn’t have anything to do with religion at all, it’s psychology, it’s human emotion, and there’s more to life than following the word of God. You could tell the Dad just didn’t get it still, but it seemed hopeful for the rest of the family. They were obviously generous, good-hearted people, but really lacking in perspective. Gabe on the other hand, was a little frustrating to watch because he was so aware of the gifts and chances he’d been given, but couldn’t accept them as positives in his life. But he didn’t argue, he didn’t put up a fuss. He just went to treatment, and I sincerely hope he found his way. Seemed like a good guy, someone you’d just naturally want to be friends with.

    Posted by Jordyne | June 29, 2017, 2:55 pm
  11. I wonder how Gabe is doing now. I hope he is ok.

    Posted by Fer | January 5, 2019, 12:42 pm
  12. here are his facebooks: neither have been used in years.

    Posted by Brooke | July 14, 2019, 10:27 am
  13. He has been arrested about 15 times. How awful! About ten times arrested since this episode aired. Looks like he is now a meth addict. Very sad

    Posted by Ida Thompson | November 6, 2019, 3:10 pm
    • I just say the episode on Oct 02 2020. When I saw the ending that hes been clean since 2009. It gave me hope but then I went to search for updates and fell on this page. I am sadden to read and see this. I cant believe hes been arrested that often. How does he bail out of jail everytime? If hes on heroin and goes to jail that often then he should be getting crazy withdraws everytime. I would not wish that on my worse enemy. I really wish the best for Gabe. At this point what can we do to help? He doesnt really wanna quit it seems. I am in the same boat its 50/50 love hate relationship daily.

      Posted by Luke | October 2, 2020, 12:08 pm
  14. Gabe was arrested again on February 5, 2020 with a $20,000 bond. He looked so good in treatment on his follow-up, I really thought he could make it.

    Posted by Gg | February 8, 2020, 12:00 pm
  15. I saw this episode close to when it came out, when I was about 23. Rewatching this now, at 31, I can see a whole new layer of everything. I was also adopted from Asia into a white family in a primarily white community, and there aren’t words to describe the trauma that that causes. I get the sense from Gabe’s family that they are very loving, especially his sisters, but unfortunately, even the most loving people can’t understand what it is like to be a person of color in the U.S. and especially what it’s like to be a person of color adopted into a white family in a majority white community. And even me and other transnational/transracial adoptees can’t fully put it into words. So I understand the disconnection that Gabe feels from his family and his community. Those are wounds that leave deep scars.

    What I find really tragic about this episode is his father’s attitude. Even during the intervention, when Candy informs the family that Gabe is sick, the father comments that he isn’t convinced because there are all sorts of things that are called sickness but are really just sin. The fact that his father doesn’t understand the biological reality of addiction clearly has an effect on how he perceives Gabe’s behaviors, and it’s no wonder that Gabe has no interest in his father’s religious beliefs and feels so distant from his father. Honestly, I feel like if his father weren’t part of the picture, if it were just his mom and his siblings, it would be so much easier for Gabe to recover and begin healing. But the father’s attitude is a huge roadblock in that journey in my opinion.

    I can’t imagine what his life must have been like, especially with that father. I hope Gabe eventually finds the help and support he needs, and I hope he can eventually find some peace about his identity and where he fits into this world.

    Posted by Another Asian Adoptee | July 9, 2020, 9:28 pm
    • Indeed the dad was a piece of shit. The mom did really seem to come around and understand the situation. My best friend and his sister were adopted from South Korea by white parents and it has definitely caused him some anguish. I’ve long wanted him to watch this episode because I believe he could really relate to Gabe.

      Posted by Stefan | August 16, 2020, 2:36 pm
  16. Looks like from at least starting at(that I saw) he’s been doing meth since 30-34 and it’s been some hard years! tons of arrests, lots of burglary charges besides Possession of meth. I’ve always thought, recovering from nearly every other concoction: meth seems to be the most criminally-producing (as in creates an uptick compared to any other drug per case of addiction with an even amount of users of both) Based on what I’ve seen, and studies.

    Posted by WB | August 17, 2020, 12:16 am
    • I really wanna talk to him im also from portland and though i wasnt adopted i can really relate to him. I just watched the episode about his addiction and such on intervention. I come from a religous family(jehovah witnesses) and know how his dad came off was really really sad because my family did to. Im also a addict I’ve been clean two years and i feel we could talk and learn from one another. Though i am a meth addict life gets to us and we struggle i hope he sees this and can get in touch. I also hope he is doing well still and soing amazing in his recovery

      Posted by Cheyenne Pinney | September 16, 2020, 12:40 am
      • I should have proofread my comment .. sorry
        for grammatical errors in the above post.

        The dads intervention spiel was abysmal !!! Complete judgement, threats and guilt. The ultimate threat if he doesn’t bow to authority.

        It’s not going to work unless they release them from the weight of religious guilt

        Hey dad you dont listen.. at all.

        He wants control because he has zero in his religious family.

        Posted by kelly | September 26, 2020, 1:06 pm
  17. Can’t we find a way to help this guy? What he needs is psychotherapy. Nobody knows what happened to him in his formative years (0-3) it could have been horrific, and unless dealt with can destroy a life, as it has Gabes. The worst thing that could have happened to him was to be placed in this home oozing with white privelege. There was absolutely no effort to get to the root of the problem. Accept god and you will get better? WTAF? Poor kid. An rejecting him at 18 and throwing him out smh. Poor guy. You can tell he has a deeper understanding of life, but is never given the opportunity to discover it.

    Posted by Corcerned in Canada | October 8, 2020, 6:25 am
  18. I’m not going to even touch on the dad and his wrongdoings, as they are obvious and frustrating. It’s his mom who really amazed me. She genuinely took to heart candy’s words. She was so, so so sweet to Gabe during the intervention. Her true love for him was palpable. I think ONE thing his dad said had merit, that Gabe had/has a permanent victim complex. Many with far less support and far more f*cked up stories recover. I know better than to compare trauma, but it’s frustrating seeing how he hurts his family. Really sucks seeing his recent and continued arrests. I’m sad for his mom and sisters especially.

    Posted by sixxysix | October 21, 2020, 1:18 pm
  19. Some people don’t want help. Not everyone can be cured, he’s on a downward spiral and destructive behaviour will cause his death. He is obviously suicidal and doing it the slow way. My brother was the same, we tried to support him, but he said he wanted to enjoy his death. He lost everything as his wife left him and took the kids, so he turned to drugs, it was a relief when he was gone, as much as it breaks my heart, he’s not suffering anymore, and neither is the family.

    Some people cannot be helped, his family must be going through hell.

    Posted by Maz | November 12, 2020, 3:53 am
  20. That family drove that boy away and into drugs…. and all because of religion. Christopher Hitchens was right when he said “religion poisons everything”.
    That husband wife should hang their head in shame. Totally disgusting.

    Posted by Darran | November 19, 2020, 6:35 am

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