Season 6 Episode 7
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
That little boy just breaks my heart, but the miracle here is that he got sober so that he didn’t die drunk. Amazing and heart-wrenching episode, RIP Bret.
Sadly he died while in rehab. 43 Days after joining.
this was the most heart-wrenching episode I ever saw
Agree with Jen. It was the episode that affected me the most. The kids (especially the son) broke my heart but at the same time, it was a family that you could just tell in the final scenes would actually come out of the tragedy somewhat intact. I felt they had received very good and wise therapy before that final scene was shot.
The daughter was great and very mature for such a young girl. I wish the kids well
I just watched this episode and am absolutely heartbroken. I was around the son’s age when my father was struggling with alcoholism, and so much of what I saw rang painfully true (even down to the missed softball games). Fortunately, my father has been sober now for 20 years, and he’s been an amazing man and father. Seeing Bret’s situation and the impact it had on his children made me realize how lucky I am that things didn’t turn out differently, as they easily could have. RIP Bret, you were brave, and you were a good man.
I’m a dad and it absolutely breaks my heart to see the son’s comments at the very end of the episode. “He didn’t die an alcoholic… he died a dad,” and then you see him start to break down as the camera fades out.
That scene ripped my heart in half.
Found this on Jeff Van Vonderen’s website:
Think “high functioning” addicts don’t need help?
Read “The Most Tragic A&E Intervention Show Ironically Features a High-Functioning Alcoholic’ by clicking here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-high-functioning-alcoholic/200907/the-most-tragic-ae-intervention-show-ironically-features-
Tragic is right…
Ohhh this broke my heart. I’ve been crying for 20 minutes at least. Totally lost it when his son said, “He didn’t die an alcoholic… He died a dad.”
I hope that his family can maintain peace.
This is the most shatteringly heart-rending of all the episodes, in my opinion. It’s not often that the young children of the addict are featured in the intervention. The two beautiful children of the doomed Bret emanate sadness and longing for their father in every frame. And then…the epilogue. I actually yelled, “NO!” at my television. I hope these kids (and their lovely mother, Amaya) have been able to pick up and move on…knowing that they did absolutely everything possible to save him. No episode that I’ve seen more clearly amplifies how strong an addiction can be. Even with everything he’s lost, clearly laid out before him, he still can’t grasp the depth of his losses. Bret was a lost soul…I hope his family has been able to prosper in the aftermath…in spite of their loss.
Of all the episodes, I feel most connected to this one. My father too was an alcoholic and sadly he died one as well. I am glad Bret was able to get sober before he passed away but I’m sad mostly for his children because they were robbed of a father. Sadly, not only will they have to deal with the loss of their dad, they’ll be affected by the way he died for a long time to come. God Bless his beautiful daughter and son and the loved ones he left behind.
same. all the same feels.
I have to say, like others, I think this was one of the most upsetting episodes I’ve seen. And his son was a gem. The daughter was in that phase where her attitude took hold, and I think the intervention was a bit of a hot mess due to everyone being a bit over the top with off the cuff comments, but I know emotions were obviously off the charts. I will admit that if Candy could be the interventionist on every episode, I think a lot of these would be quite different. I love Candy. They all do wonderful work, but she really gets at the heart of every family, and protects the children in a way that this situation didn’t. I just hope the kids grow up addictionless.
I rarely cry, but the little boy had me in tears at the end of this one. God bless them all.
This was the first episode of this show I’d ever seen, years ago. That little boy absolutely broke my heart. I hope he’s done well in the years since.
I’m friends with Bret’s daughter on Facebook, and both her and her brother are doing great!
This episode had me in tears at the end and still does. I’m 33 years clean now but this episode always reminds me of what or how alcohol and drugs can kill you. Stefan, thanks for the update. Please tell the kids we’re proud of them and sending prayers. We’re out here praying for them and hope they are successful in life. Thank you for the update.
Warm thoughts and condolences to Bret’s family and friends. All the best to you …always. <3
what sweet, precious children <3. my heart breaks for them. may he rest in peace. this is truly the first episode to ever make me feel teary. and honest to god terrifies me that cancer can come so quickly and take you. three weeks after he found out????
Just watched this and it’s was heartbreaking! Ken is an absolute legend and is my favourite, then it’s Candi. He doesn’t waiver and can handle ANY given situation. My heart goes out to all Brets family, especially the kids. I’m so glad he made it sober 😢
Does anyone know where you can watch this episode? I can’t find it online anywhere – including A&Es site, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, Vimeo, etc…
I believe it is on iTunes.
I can’t find it on iTunes. I can’t find it anywhere
You can watch this episode here:
This episode was the most relatable one to me . My dad was an alcoholic and very similar to Bret . He wasn’t falling over or acting drunk if you didn’t know you wouldn’t know he was an alcoholic.
My dad died sober after he was diagnosed with alcoholic dementia and put into a nursing home .
Wow. First time I’ve ever felt compelled to write something because the episode’s ending felt like such a kick in the skull. At least he got to die with dignity. Vomiting blood is never a good sign and should always be looked into. Just so sad.
This is the only episode that has made me cry. That little boy at the end has me in tears. I hope his family is doing well.
Oh man, that last line from his boy about how he didn’t die a drunk, he just died a dad. 💔 I sobbed. I hope he grew up to do well.
God that absolutely broke me. According to Facebook him and his sister are doing well.
Unreal, he ignored everything, physical symptoms, financial, and of course the kids. After that! Me personally I felt like handing him a giant bottle and telling him to go ahead. The specific outcome is no coincidence, he contributed to his fate in grand fashion. He put those people through a lot. Seemingly no underlying issues, For him it really was booze causing the cascade of problems.