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Season 6, Episode 12

Sebastian and Marcel

Age: Sebastian 21, Marcel 20
Location: Palm Springs, California
Addiction: Heroin (black tar, smoked)

What’s memorable: So much! How awful and sick these kids look, how they take advantage of their parent’s kindness, the enabling in-denial sweetness of their father, selling drugs out of the house, the forgotten, ignored, caring older brother.

Note: Sebastian (on the right) died in April 2013. Link to memorial service video. 

Official synopsis: Sebastian, 21, and his brother Marcel, 20, were soccer celebrities in their town at a very young age. Cool and rebellious, Sebastian hung out with older teammates and started doing marijuana, cocaine and meth. Then Marcel got strung out on cocaine, Xanax and OxyContin, and also sold drugs. Now their older brother is angry, their mother feels betrayed, and their father is ready to give up his wife, his oldest son, and his own life to save them. An intervention is the last hope for the entire family.

Original Air Date: August 2009
Interventionist: Jeff

All comments.

  1. tacks

    I’m not sure if i want to call this episode a favorite. It certainly was very disturbing. Not to be overdramatic, but I felt as if i was watching a train wreck — couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

    Right off the bat, right in the beginning, seeing how Marcel looked sooo young AND how he looked very messed up at the same time — rough to watch. Seeing him in the opening interviews with his mouth somewhat open — seeing him with his tongue almost hanging out of his mouth. Slurring words. Disturbing.

    As the show progressed I did feel somewhat relieved — as it appeared as though Marcel was NOT too far permanently “brain dead” to the point where he was beyond hope. I concluded that he was high in the beginning of the show — something temporary that could wear off when discontinued. Maybe the show has often introduced people when they were wacked — but that just struck me.

    Marcel and Sebastian’s father reminded me somewhat of my own father, but in a good way. My own father was never alive to hear of any addiction issues that i might have had, btw. But on this TV episode, the father’s sons were fairly worse than i ever got, imo. (is it fair to say that? i don’t want to come off as judgemental.) And hence his father was sooo much in denial. Felt bad for him.

    JR — the older brother — i don’t want to say that he was more intelligent than anyone on the show. But i will say that he did come off as being more intelligent, imo. (As it seemed that the interventionist also found him to be acting “the most appropriate.”) I found JR’s frustration both very insightful and very moving.

    Sebastian came off as being somewhat spoiled and bratty at times. I think, that maybe they might have left treatment early because they were kind of immature — kind of living in a “bubble” to borrow a term from JR. Not used to having any discipline or respecting any authority.

    [I would NEVER want to be on reality TV myself, btw. Not afraid of confronting issues with counselors, just don’t want it on national TV.]

    fyi, i’m posting this on the A&E boards also.

    1. Sue

      Did Marcel die too?

      1. Dee

        No, he’s doing amazing in memory of his brother.
        His instagram is in the thread below.

    2. Vanessa Mole

      So sad….

      Love to all

      Vanessa from Paderborn in Germany

    3. Alice Schmid

      You know, zI think I would be so in the moment of addiction, I would not give a sh&t about being on national TV.

  2. tacks

    “But on this TV episode, the father’s sons were fairly worse than i ever got, imo.”

    Maybe that’s a bit of myself being in denial.

  3. tacks

    “What’s memorable: So much! How awful and sick these kids look, how they take advantage of their parent’s kindness, the enabling in-denial sweetness of their father, selling drugs out of the house, the forgotten, ignored, caring older brother.”

    very well said, Dizzy

  4. Jeb Fleurquin (@djibi94116)

    Apparently Sebastian died of a stroke consecutive to his heroin addiction. This according to a comment on youtube from a certain Leilani Ramirez who might be or might not be related to the family (Ramirez is a very common name).

  5. Anicka

    R.I.P. Sebastian. I watched this episode several times and was so saddened by his and his brother Marcel’s addictions. I feel for the Ramirez family, who seemed to adore their son so incredibly much. I pray that, although such an unfortunate loss, this was an eye opener for Marcel and that he was/is able to change his life around and get clean. Poor, poor family! So sorry!

  6. marcy lily

    Wow ! I was so sad over Sebastion passing away but somehow I was not surprised . Even if sober our bodies can only take so much abuse from prior abuse before they develop fatal diseases and conditions . One odd heart beat or dislodged clot and we are gone , at a young age . That memorial service was beautiful and so moving .
    Ah , the wise , ignored ghost of a brother . I felt so badly for him . It was as if he was nothing even though he was truly the smartest one in the room . This episode was hell to watch for the depth of addiction between Marcel and Sebastion alone but the true punch in the gut for me was the treatment of their brother .

  7. Marcia

    Reblogged this on Marcia Levi.

  8. Sean

    It’s hard to say this episode is a favorite. But it is the most realistic and moving for someone that is younger whom hasn’t gotten to the point where they prostitute or do other acts to secure the substance. It was what most actually do, and what most actually deal with.
    At least from what I have seen.
    I am actually saddened from the passing of Sebastian. I only seen a episode of Intervention, but from what I have seen I can relate to so much just because I have seen and been involved with that lifestyle.
    I fortunately wasn’t the one to become addicted. However I cannot say the same for others.
    Heroin is a epidemic that needs to be more focused on or else it will progressively get worse.
    I am sorry another person has fallen to the substance, and I hope the best for Marcel.
    No one should have to lose a brother in that way when they are that close.

  9. Kat

    I just rewatched this one. Especially in light of Sebastian’s death it’s just so tragic. My friend’s son died in the same way; he was clean at the time of his death but after years of abuse the damage to his heart was irreversible. That’s the scary thing about addiction.

    Marcel’s intervention was so touching. I think as soon as he walked into the room he knew what was going on. he seemed like he’d just been waiting all this time for his dad to just ask him flat-out to stop.

    And that father. What a wonderful human being. I know some people would get down on him for being so indulgent. But there are plenty of drug addicts who have strict parents. Who knows if more rules would have helped these kids. But for sure, they never doubted their dad’s unconditional love and they did appreciate it. It’s just a shame that JR got so little of their dad’s affection. They were lucky to have a son like him.

    I wonder how the family is doing today and if Marcel is ok. It was bittersweet to see how Sebastian changed his life and got right with God and was such a bright light to so many before he died.

  10. Kelsielynn22

    i just wanted to give an update on Marcel! I’m friends with him on Facebook and Instagram and he is doing AMAZING. In the light of his brothers death he’s remained clean & has started what he calls “The Sabastian Project” where he gives food/water/and clothing to the homeless. I don’t know him personally but I have given him well wishes and works of encouragement through Facebook and he seems to really enjoy it! I am so happy to give a good update and I pray he stays on this inspirational track that he’s going on! 🙂

  11. Maggie

    This is Marcel’s Instagram he looks incredibly happy and successful and hot!

  12. Juli

    Big brother JR seems to be doing great too, that guy really deserves it.

  13. Nunya

    This was the episode that always stuck with me…these 2 lost boys that had no consequences for their actions in fear of the father not wanting to come down too hard on them…and then having the older brother JR left feeling like he was the asshole for calling them out…my heart hurts so much for them all in the passing of Sebastian and I just hope and pray that Marcel found sobriety and they all have a chance to heal…my heart to you all

  14. Reneesadie

    I’ve seen probably every single episode more than once (some many times) and NOTHING makes me cry more than the way Sebastian and Marcel’s father loved them. Although he was very much in denial and misguided I could feel the love in every syllable he spoke. What a beautiful family and I hope they have all found peace even with Sebastian’s passing

  15. Janelle

    This disturbing episode is yet another example of how often times when you do an intervention the addict is not the sickest person in the room. Sebastian and Marcel had 2 of the most clueless parents you’ll find anywhere. The irresponsible, negligent parenting these 2 boys received is the primary cause of their addictions having spiraled out of control the way they did.

  16. Sue Ellen

    The interdependence between Sebastian and Marcel was frightening as well. When Sebastian came into the room, and his constant asking, “Where’s Marcel at?” was so chilling…like Marcel was the drug as much as heroin was. The Mom had a little more of a clue than the dad did, especially the drug selling. I did feel badly for JR…he deserved better treatment than he got.

  17. Brooke

    what a tragic ending. the parents were so loving, but the level of denial and enabling that went on was SO frustrating! i felt incredibly bad for their brother, jr. bc the parents were in such denial, they ended up treating jr so badly just for speaking the truth and trying to get them to set boundaries; for being the healthy one, basically. it must have been so frustrating for him that his parents believed in five minutes of talking to jeff what he had been trying to tell them for years. frankly, out of all of them, jr would be the one i would be the least surprised about self medicating with drugs bc of the way he was treated and felt like an unloved outsider. poor guy. good thing he didn’t (self medicate w/drugs, that is)! i hope the family is healthy and happy today.

  18. Victoria Rodriguez

    i follow JR and Marcel on insta and they’re both doing very well. Recently Marcel went into detail about Sebastian’s passing, and apparently Sebastian passed away from a sickness like pneumonia or something. He made it very clear that his brother was healthy and sober when he passed. Seems that they all really turned their life around. Proud of them.

  19. KELS

    Wanted to update you all that marcel made a status regarding his brothers passing because he kept getting messages asking if his brother died of an overdose, Sebastian went to visit marcel is NJ and a few days before leaving was diagnosed with pneumonia. Marcel says he believe that do to the cold weather and the state of his weakened lungs at the time it made him collapse and go into cardiac arrest. He and a friend of his performed CPR on sebastian until paramedics arrived. I have followed marcel for years, even having conversation here and there with him. He got married and is doing great things for his local community to try and honor his brothers life. He stated his brother had a year sobriety before passing away.

    1. Dizzy

      Thanks for posting this. I appreciate knowing what really happened and not relying on speculation.

  20. Bob Ross

    Just an update. I’ve seen Marcels social media accounts. He’s doing great. He’s married, his a business owner. And he loves to help those less fortunate than him. It’s so lovely to see!

  21. Cathleen

    Does anyone have a working link?

    1. Robo

      As of right now, this is on It’s listed as Season 7, Episode 13: Shane.