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Season 9, Episode 7


Age:  28
Location: Boston, Massachusettes
Addicted to: Heroin
What’s Memorable: The stepfather and the intense long-term emotional turmoil Jenna and her siblings have suffered as a result. Jenna’s decision to meet with her stepfather at a waterpark – while I personally understand it, I get why the siblings don’t.  I also really respect Jenna’s boyfriend (and eventual husband) John for participating in this intervention despite being an addict himself. It takes a lot to do that.

Official synopsis:  Jenna, 28, once a sweet natured and compassionate young girl, endured a brutal childhood that still haunts her and her siblings. Today she steals and manipulates her family to support her destructive heroin habit. Can Jenna and her siblings overcome their past to work together as a family and get Jenna into treatment?

Original Air Date: January 2011
Interventionist: Candy

All comments.

  1. Gregory Moore

    Jenna’s one of my favorite “recoveries” of all of the ones I’ve seen. She seems like a lovely lady who just took the wrong turn and couldn’t find her way back. Sounds like she has a happy ending with John and their little boy. Here’s yet another of Candy Finnegan’s miracle fixes. DAMN, she’s good! This is one of those episodes that really amplify the fact that she’s fantastically good at what she does. I’ve realized that whenever I find out Candy’s the interventionist of a given episode, it’s going to be a good one!

    1. dizzy

      Agreed. Jenna’s followup is awesome.

      I wonder what Candy’s success rate is and how it compares to the others. She’s had a few misses but she always gives it her all and never phones it in. I should have documented this from the beginning – who did the intervention and if they went to treatment or not. If I could go back 3 years I would totally do that. One very unscientific way to measure – the 5 people who did not go to treatment: Alissa, Marquel, Larry, Adam, Sean. Who did theirs?

      1. Judy Moran

        Jenna made it… she stayed clean

      2. LS

        Unfortunately, Candy did NOT get the win on this one. The family is broken and could probably benefit from another intervention. There is strong evidence that there has been continued drug use off and on since 2011. I met Jenna, John, and their son in 2021. They were seeking treatment again and only reunited (after a 3-year separation) to “try and recover together”. For over twenty years now of heavy addiction, healing is imperative for their recovery and quite possibly for their survival.

  2. Gregory Moore

    Yes, that would be an interesting survey. Sounds like a fun project. I’ll see if I can get that answer…though I don’t know if I can access all those shows. I’ll see how far I can get.

  3. Gregory Moore

    Of the five subjects who refused to go to treatment, the interventionists who led their interventions were:
    Jeff–Larry, Adam and Alissa

    1. dizzy

      Damn Gregory, you’re on it. Thank you. So Marquel is the only Candy intervention that failed. As I remember, Candy never met Marquel because she refused to come to the intervention.

  4. Mark

    I just saw this episode for the first time as a new viewer of the show. After a few minutes I realized that I met her a few years before the filming!!! She was working at Boston’s top gentleman’s club, and memorable for her personality. She seemed so subdued on the show in comparison. I’m really glad she got help and moved forward with her life. Its a small world!

  5. Deadly_Sinner

    It was heartbreaking to hear of the torment these children were put through…too many sadists masquerade as “disciplinarians.” It’s an awesome testament to human resiliency that none of the three didn’t turn out batshit insane.

    Such a wonderful ending though — I couldn’t help but shout five “yays” during the followup. So hope their blessings have continued!

  6. cricket

    Beautiful girl, Beautiful family. This episode is one of the most powerful for me. A family of survivors despite the abuse they endured during the most important stages of their lives.

    They all deserve better and I hope they are living well.

  7. Court

    I just watched this one for the first time. Right before Jenna goes to treatment, her brother says do it for John and Emerald. Who is Emerald? Did she have a child and I missed it?

    1. ShelbyLee

      Emerald is her dog – was shown in the very beginning of the episode

      1. Rick

        So just watching this episode first one I ever seen very interesting. Did Jenna pass the test or did she fail? It’s on tv right now watching as o type even she’s about to find out camera crew in an intervention I guess. Was curious if she and John actually went or not they’re at gas station now after borrowing money for gas or something. .

  8. Inky

    I *LOVE* John. His accent is awesome, and what a great guy. Hope Jenna is doing well!

  9. A.S.

    Anyone have any updates on Jenna?

  10. Melissa

    Jenna is one of my all time favorites, and with a little digging around look what I found…her fb page! She looks really good in her pics.

    1. kitty katt

      She looks awesome! I see that she has a little boy too! So good to see her life in the positive lane.

  11. Belinda

    Also she became a Jehovah’s witness. Looks like her is a member. Good organization. Drug free. Good for her.

  12. blarinna

    Does anyone know what happened to John? Obviously, they’re not together since he’s not in any of her fb pix, but I’m hoping he’s ok….

  13. Jen

    Ironically on her FB page it says she just started working at a CVS pharmacy like a year ago. Not judging her, just passing she really is strong and staying in the up and up drug free.

  14. Brooke

    ooooh the mother angers me SO much!! she let her husband abuse her kids their entire childhood and did nothing and even stayed with him but OH- he cheats on her and she’s gone immediately (not that i would blame anyone for leaving someone for cheating, but that’s not my point). too bad she couldn’t have made her kids a priority like that. candy told the mother to tell jenna if she could go back and do things differently, she would, but – she didn’t. buuuut, you have to look ahead not to the past. and at least she is trying. she clearly loves her kids. i do wish them all well and hope jenna is still staying sober.

    (why does she only shoot up in her hands? that’s the worst and so difficult and painful.)

    1. Katie

      Yeah the mom…what a piece of work. And why did she look so helpless and drugged in all the interviews?

  15. Jessica Olsen

    Looking for updates on Jenna. I have been sober for 6 years now from heroin but her story really tugged at me and I was wondering if you all had any updates on her

    1. Susie

      Her facebook seems to show her doing really well. She had a son and definitely looks clean. Jenna Panarelli is her name. Someone linked her FB above too, hope this helps!

    2. Alexandra

      Based on her Facebook she appears to still be sober (as of June 2022) and has a family.

  16. LS

    I have read all of your posts and wish it were true that her FB page reflected who and how she really is. I met Jenna in Jan/2021. We were attending the same recovery group in NH and all of a sudden my phone pinged…it was a text that said, “Hey, it’s the chick sitting in front of you. Now you have my number.” Come to find out, our recovery coach (Alice) gave her my info. Alice asked me to help Jenna, and I did. She and her son were living in a motel with some guy. She was in active heroin use again and John was in MA and in active crack and heroin use. Jenna would wait for her son to get out of school and would trek back and forth from NH to MA with him every single day to score drugs and wouldnt get back to NH until midnight sometimes. On one of her trips with her son, she called me frantic because John had a prostitute living with him and that she was going to confront them. They might be good people when they are clean, but that was not my experience. I tried to tell Alice that I did not want to be involved with Jenna anymore as she was not ready for recovery and still heavily using and Alice disregarded my pleas. As a result, John and Jenna Andrews ultimately took over my home and had me evicted on the basis of lies in retaliation when I reported them for child neglect (the poor kid, then 9, would stand outside the bathroom and bang on the doors for hours while his parents were inside using drugs). The whole ordeal was very traumatic and I wish I had never met either one of them.

    1. Katie

      Eeeek! That sounds terrible 🙏

    2. Lizzie

      Isn’t the second “A” in “AA” or “NA” “anonymous?” I can understand that this was a bad experience for you but it doesn’t seem like it’s in keeping with the confidentiality promises of recovery groups for you to share it here.

    3. kittykatt

      So the last time you saw or dealt with her was 2021?
      If so, then you really can’t say what she’s doing today.

    4. Sonya

      I would think that there would be some sort of confidentiality rule in something such as NA or AA or anything similar. If not at least some ethical reasoning with ones own self when someone trusts you enough to single you out to help someone. I understand sharing her updates now and am sure you want to also warn others to steer far away from her and husband (and honestly am glad you did fill us in) although due to the circumstances that led you to know this makes it very inappropriate to share. That is a place where you are supposed to be able to open up in a nonjudgmental environment and feel safe that was it said and done there stays there. Actually i never thought about it before but the last word in both Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous is literally “Anonymous”. I personally and still thankful you shared where she is now although that is not very ethical or right at all to think so I am just as guilty.