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Season 8, Episode 8


Age: 30’s
Location: El Centro, California
Addiction: Heroin
What’s memorable: What a great dad he is, other than the whole heroin addict thing. “I love my family to death, it just seems that heroin comes first, above all.” He shoots up before seeing his little boys because he’d rather be high around them than not see them at all. I don’t think he knows that his boys know exactly what’s going on. Ugh. Sad.

Official Synopsis: Growing up with an abusive mother, Dionicio turned to crime and drugs as a teen. He became a father, but couldn’t handle the pressure of providing for a family. Now he spends his time panhandling and shooting heroin.

Original Air Date: August 2010
Interventionist: Candy

All comments.

  1. Lindsey

    I really felt Dionicio’s pain in this episode. He seems like a really good hearted person, but his heart is broken. He has done horrible things to his wife because that’s what was done to him. He doesn’t think he deserves her and resents that fact, I’m guessing. I know the feeling. I’ve been there. I grew up in an abusive family and have been sexually abused and raped. When good people are nice to me it makes me confused bc I don’t feel like I deserve their kindness or love. I really just want to give him a hug! A lot of the time I feel like the “experts” at the treatment centers are wrong when they give a little synopsis of the person as they enter treatment. But this time I think the guy was right. I think he’s dealing with a lot of shame and guilt. It was very poignant to me when he said after all the pain he has put his wife through, he wishes he never met her. I know what a beast heroin can be as well. It’s hard to quit, especially after 16 years! I’d love to know how he’s doing today.

    1. Ivan Murillo

      He is doing awesome ! Been working with for the last 6 years.. one of the best, most trustworthy person I work with! Great husband,father & co-worker

      1. Sherry Perea

        That is good to hear. Dionicio seemed to have a kind heart. I wish him and his lovely family well 😉

      2. Genevieve

        I am so happy he’s doing better now, he’s such a good person and that quality just shines through him.

      3. Kara Bishop

        That is wonderful news! I was rooting for him, and I loved him and his family! I really felt for his boys and hope they have found a life of success and love, as well as having a sober and loving father! I also loved his wife! Sending my love, thoughts and prayers! ❤️🙏🏼

    2. Kara Bishop

      Lindsey I’m sorry that you had to go through similar things in such a hard life… I hope you found peace and love, and I hope you realize it worthy of it! ❤️

  2. BobbyB

    Dionicio seemed like a great guy that had a difficult life and horrible addiction that he just couldn’t stop. I hope he and his family are doing well!

    1. M

      Wow it doesn’t even look like the same person, he’s so handsome!!

    2. Kara Bishop

      The Facebook link doesn’t work anymore. Can you post the last name. I noticed that Brooke, you always find the Facebook pages on so many of the families on these episodes. Thank you, as all of us fans appreciate your hard work!

  3. Cindy Higgs

    I am so glad he got help, you can see what a wonderful man he is. My father used all my life, and it killed him a few years ago. The saddest part is that he became just a number in a rapidly growing statistic. I was so pulled into this episode, and I truly wish Dionicio and his family all the love and best wishes, and I hope he remains well. It’s wonderful to see a father straighten out for his kids. Your an incredible inspiration

  4. Nivey

    I believe that fb page is of Dionicio’s SON. The oldest boy featured on the episode!! This episode really touched my heart. Looks like the son is doing amazing and I sure hope Dionicio is too! He seemed like a stand up guy. <3

    1. Gigi

      I agree….I really fell in love with this entire family. I briefly lived in the town that they are from…it is poor and has been left behind but there are a lot of really good people there. Few addicts have been as likable as Dionicio.

  5. LK

    It seems like a lot of people like Dionicio but I found a lot of aspects of his behavior disturbing and it made him very unlikeable to me. I really can’t stand people who commit domestic violence, even if they have their own past with being a victim or other issues, and I found it inexcusable that he had been violent towards his wife. Not to mention the story of how they met, he essentially just kept bothering and pushing her until she gave in to his romantic advances, and for some reason that’s presented as something cute or romantic instead of stalkerish? I also find it inexcusable that he was under the influence around his children and that his children who were very young were fully aware of it. Children should not be exposed to somebody doing hard drugs and it was absolutely appalling to me that his wife found that acceptable. His wife was extremely codependent and I don’t think understood what a healthy relationship was since she had been with him since they were very young. I’m not surprised his eldest wanted nothing to do with him. I certainly hope he has grown and become a changed man through recovery and healing from trauma.

    1. Kara Bishop

      Do you know anyone that’s been addicted to drugs, I don’t think you understand the way drugs know it was completely unacceptable that he used before his sons would come over, but that is something that most addicts do. Also, they love their family, it’s hard for them to feel empathy, and their drug becomes there far as his wife, letting him be around his kids, we don’t know the whole story. We don’t know how she grew up, if she had trauma in her life before she met Dionicio, and other things that would her affect her decision to stay with her husband and their father. My father was a heroin addict and when my mother divorced him when I was four, she did not let him around us, although he wanted to be a part of our lives. When he finally got clean, the last eight years of his life, he further tried to be a part of our lives but my mom didn’t know if he was really clean and never told us that he would call and ask for us to come stay with him every summer. My sister and I grew up thinking that he did drugs and never wanted to be a part of our lives. This affected my entire life (and my sister’s) and so many choices I made, that were negative choices about the men (mostly horrible ) in my life and what I put up with and what I believed I wanted and was worthy of. My father ended up dying of aids related to IV drug use. When my mom found out after his death that he had been clean for eight years, he told my sister and I that he would call every summer and asked for us to stay with him, but she would never tell us. She explained that she was so sorry and she still lives with guilt. Later when i married and had two kids and my husband had relapse, and would not go to treatment, I left him because I was an addict until I got pregnant and did not want that in my children’s lives. But because of what happened in my past with my father, and how it negatively affected my decisions with men, i had a hard time knowing what to do with my son when he would ask to see his father. He was almost 5. My ex-husband used for one year, and during that year, I let my son visit his father, at least once a month. I would let him stay the night with him, knowing that my ex-husband was using, and even knowing that the house he lived in, had other people that were using. I wouldn’t let my daughter go there, as she was only a year old. My ex husband went to treatment for a year and a half and then would relapse after about five years and then go to treatment again and then relapse one more time. The last 2 times that he relapsed, I would not let either of my children go see him, they could only talk to him over the phone on FaceTime. I don’t know if I made the right decision, I just know that when I wouldn’t let him see the kids, they were older about 8ish and then 13ish, and I was so worried that because they were older, they would be affected and influenced by his drug use. I did not want them to also follow in his footsteps. Now that he has been clean, they are 18 and 15, and they are part of his life, but because they had so much time away from him, they do not have a close bond with their father. This has affected them negatively also. Both of them have anxiety and depression. They may someday use drugs to numb their feelings of anxiety and depression. But maybe if I let them be around him, they would use drugs because that was normal to them. So before you judge someone from a show that is only 45 minutes and is also edited call Ma realize you don’t really know the entire story and hold your judgments back. These judgments are read sometimes by the addicted person and their family. This usually causes them a lot of pain. I may be wrong. This is just my opinion based on my life. I wish Dionicio and his wife and their adult children a life full of sobriety, love, and peace. I hope that Dionicio has been able to be the sober, loving, and supportive father, that these children so much deserved!!! They were really wise, loving, and articulate children! God bless the entire family! 🙏🏼❤️🫶🏼

      1. Taryn

        Seems you’ve been on an intervention binge lately too. I’m not sure what your reasons are but i hope you’re doing well. I feel like I’m watching these episodes with a friend reading your comments.

    2. Crystal M. Lee

      i know this family very well as i grew up with them. please for the love of god do NOT judge big d or his wife alex. despite everything they are good ppl until youve lived their lives you dont get to say anything about them.