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Season 12, Episode 17

Sarah P.

Age: 21
Location: Fortuna, California
Addiction: Meth
What’s memorable: It’s great to see Elena doing so well, she was one of my all time favorites, but it’s terrible that she has to feel responsible for introducing her granddaughter to meth.  Sarah’s in some severe denial, thinking she’s just partying like any other 21 year old. “Gimme a line and I’ll do it. It’s not hurting me really so I don’t know why it’s a big deal.”

Official Synopsis: When her rock and best friend, her grandmother Elena, went away to treatment, Sarah, 21, spiraled out of control. Today, in denial of her own addiction, Sarah is on the same path of addiction her grandmother was on just six months ago. This cycle of addiction must stop in this family now, or unfortunately, Elena will pass on a legacy of addiction instead of recovery.

Original Air Date: August 2012
Interventionist: Candy

All comments.

  1. melissa

    Does anyone know what happened with sarah p? Elena seems to be doing good but i was wondering if there were any updates on sarah…did sje relapse or stay sober?

    1. Tyler

      Her name is sarah perez on facebook she had a baby and looks to be stayin sober shes still gorgeous

      1. Krystle

        I can’t find her Facebook. Can u share the link?

  2. Nicole

    I actually really liked her a lot. Between her episode and Elena’s episode it was interesting to see the family cycle through 5 generations. When I was 21 and smoking heroin and coke (pre-slamming) I had the same mentality that I wasn’t hurting anyone and just doing what a normal 21 year old would do. At that point only my then boyfriend and our friends and eventually his family knew. My family didn’t find out until many months later. I now realize that I started doing it to numb out after being raped less than a year before at age 20. Now that I’m 27 I feel like I’m way behind everyone else my age. Then again I’ve kind of felt that way my entire life in part due to trauma and family issues and ADHD, depression and anxiety.

    I really hope Sarah is doing well! I’d love to know how she’s doing. Does anyone know her last name?

    1. Jessica Evans

      I relate to this sooo much. I haven’t been raped, but I’ve had alot I’d sexually questionable things done to me since childhood that I’ve never known how to describe, or understand. I’m now 32 and feel like while everyone else was in their 20s learning how to be adults and love life, I was getting high and wasting away with a needle full of anything i could fill it with… i always waych intervention and do wonder how this girl is doing. I hope u are doing well!!!

  3. Amanda

    I feel the same anger and annoyance towards Sarah’s mother that I did during the Elena episode. She just seems extremely judgmental and poor me and has a defeatist attitude about any solutions offered.

    Granted, I’m mid episode, but her behavior is so frustrating to me I had to vent, haha!

    1. Carter

      Omg I felt the same way. Sarah’s mother was such a jerk. I really felt like she didn’t like Sarah. Who punishes their kid after they attempt suicide?!

      1. Katelyn

        Not only her mom, her own sisters, they all treated her like she was dirt. “Get out of my room, faster, you look like a f*ckin crackhead. Don’t ever wear my clothes again.”
        No wonder she has low self esteem.

  4. Britt

    Sarah is doing well! She is a local in my town and I see her everyday! She is still sober and doing amazing

    1. Nicole

      That’s awesome to hear! How is Elena doing? Her grandma who was also featured on season 12? They are both awesome and inspiring women!

    2. Patrick Sibley

      Im really gpad to see this. Keep doing well sarah there are people out there who care including myself

  5. Hannah

    Her name is Sarah Perez. She is on Facebook, looks like she’s doing a lot better!

  6. Jascha

    I grew up with that entire family. Theyre such amazing people. I know people are saying negative things about the mother Christina, but please know that she’s a beautiful person, with issues like anyone else. My memories of her are almost all positive. I stayed at their house for years. Watched the youngest girls grow up. After I moved away I lost contact and have regretted it for almost 10 years, but the love I have for that family is still huge. I have never laughed so hard in my life than when I was with these guys. And if Jess or Sarah ever read this… I hope they remember the Blink 182 concert… and the skeleton walk.

  7. MaximusDreivinX

    What I don’t like is how they played it to where she was placated as a drug addict. She wouldn’t admit it, despite her using a large cocktail of drugs and what looked to be hooking for money to buy more drugs, (plus the stealing from her mom – and the scamming of the government money …. etc) and they let her skirt around it and act like it was just about ‘family life’ here. Letting her feel she was right – even in the intervention peoples eyes, and she DIDN’T have any sort of drug problem. Completely enabled her ….. again! And, as if it wasn’t already predetermined to everyone watching anyway, she leaves after like 4 weeks ….. whoa – didn’t see that coming.

    Sad case overall since she has such deep psychological issues leading to her addiction, yet, all she wants to do it overemphasize the family drama, and deny the drug abuse. THIS – ladies and gentleman, is a ‘mother’ (in name only) to a young child.

    Her mom cheated on her dad and the marriage broke up. That happens a million times over in the world. What this girl can’t get past is that SHE told her father about it, and he left. And her OWN guilt is killing her ….. eating her up inside. Her mom is the one in the wrong here – not her. However, as I said, marital affairs are far too common (unfortunately) and 99.999% of children do not hold this deep hatred towards mom or dad for the infidelity. Sarah does here because in the end she told her dad about it, and she really feels like SHE broke up her parents marriage. And so, her hate of the entire thing, and her internal agony is simply all directed at her mother, who has just allowed her to do so. Hell, mom wouldn’t even admit she did cheat when asked. Although – would you on national TV?!

    I just can’t get past how Sarah put all her self hate and guilt over something she shouldn’t feel guilty of in the first place, all on her mother, and interprets it as her mom (and apparently her sister and grandma now too somehow) just don’t give a shit about her at all. Her SELF loathing becomes everyone else loathes her. I wonder if mom had admitted she was wrong long ago, and told Sarah she was, and apologized and made sure Sarah knew she didn’t do anything wrong …. if much of this could have all been avoided.

    1. Dahlia

      You are clearly writing this from a perspective of never having gone through any of that yourself. It is irresponsible and problematic at best to claim that this had no mental effect on her. Any kids who’s been through a divorce or their parent teaching could tell you that. Also how dare you blame Sarah for calling her mother out for cheating on her father?!?! Wow…unacceptable. This is an older comment, so I hope in this time you have done some SERIOUS self-work and self-reflection on your ideals and conceptions about the world and family dynamics, because this comment is deeply rooted in hatred for no apparent reason.

      1. A.

        Read again.
        This is not at all what’s written in the comment above.
        No blaming Sarah, no saying she‘s not traumatized. I think you might have misunderstood the comment (not from me, but I read it a few times now and pretty sure, there‘s some misunderstanding here).
        All the best to Sarah and her awesome granny!

  8. Melissa

    I just looked at sarahs fb page. Shes got a new baby and she looks really healthy in her pictures. Sarah and Elena are two of my favorite episodes, and its so good to see that Sarah appears to be doing really well with her life.

    1. justin barbier

      I cant find her on facebook anywhere.

  9. lg

    It’s nice to see sarah doing well now!she’s pregnant with her 3rd baby now!!!

  10. Man Bearpaw

    I like like Sarah. She seems like a really cool person who could be a great friend. On the other hand, this episode really bothered me. The way Sarah was treated was totally awful, her family literally treated her like crap, and I’m not surprised that she may feel the need to escape using drugs and alcohol. Is she as hardcore an addict other addicts profiled on the show? Not really. I think Candy did great in this Intervention. Candy’s comment pretty much sums up her addict behavior very well: “right now she gets to leave her kid with you and gets to go out get rip roaring loaded… This is about Sarah going and getting a life, thats it.” I don’t think she’s particularly addicted to a specific substance, but I think she’s a lost young girl and mother who has no idea how to live life as a mother and makes a ton of crappy decisions, because she was never shown love in the way that she needed it in order grow up without partying to escape. Her thought process is definitely one which has been conditioned to start thinking like an addict would and Intervention stepped in at a point where she’s abusing drugs but isn’t hooked. im sure if this were filmed later, she’d probably be like other meth addicts or like Elena was. I feel really bad for her, and how she was portrayed, how crappy her family treated and viewed her. from them throwing her stuff in shopping bags and putting them on the curb, to her mom saying that she’s “terrified of her” daughter to Candy, and her sister saying that she thinks her sister is “crazy”… Gosh, they were just so judgemental and mean. Even Elena bothered me in this episode. She acted as like she was on such a high horse in parts of the episode, and didnt show much empathy towards Sarah. I’d figure that after being treated so poorly six months prior, Elena would at least bat for Sarah a little more, like Sarah did for Elena when Elena was using. This episode really revealed alot about the unhealthy family dynamics. That they seem to portray their caring for one another in a more abrassive fashion. I wish the best friend all of them.

    1. Nicole

      I agree with everything you said 100%. I didn’t like how Sarah’s family treated her either. They treated her like she was a mentally ill drug addict, which is how my parents treat me and it became a self fulfilling prophecy. Her family dynamics are very similiar to my own family. My mom has narcissistic personality disorder and likes to cast herself into the martyr role. I use those terms quite purposefully as my mom says, “Life is a stage and I’m the lead actress!” So everything she does and says goes along with whatever role she has decided to play.

      Idk that Sarah’s mother has NPD, but she has definitely taken up the martyr role, not the codependent one. In my experience most people who take on the martyr role are narcissists, to some degree. Many would qualify for NPD, but people with personality disorders rarely seek professional help because they don’t need it, but whoever they’re martyr-ing for certainly does, and it can easily be more than one person.

      Unfortunately, most of the time therapists, interventionists, and treatment centers “treat” parents for codependency, and for a parent in the martyr role, that is the worst thing you can do. Parents in the usual codependent role help their child, but in the wrong way. Parents in the martyr role help minimally regardless if the child is sick/in their addiction or healthy. For example, Sarah is allowed to live at home but she sleeps under the stairs with her son. She isn’t allowed a regular room, even sharing with her sister. Her mom is doing the bare minimum to help her under the guise “I’m not helping Sarah, I’m helping Jacoby, and she just so happens to be his mom, so I’m forced to help her to help him.” No good grandmother would allow a baby to live on the streets, and after all, she appears to be a good grandmother, right? Appears. It’s all about appearances.

      When a martyr does help it is because they are getting something out of it, whether it’s to look good at church (or whatever group they are trying to impress), save face when called out, to manipulate, but mostly to get attention, even as a reason to complain to someone else how horrible their child is “even after all I’ve done to help, but to no avail,” and basically re-establish themselves as the martyr. Help from a parent in the martyr role always comes with strings attached, and when they are told by an interventionist or therapist to stop being codependent, they interpret it to mean stop helping. With anything. Ever. They tend to take it to an extreme. As far as they are concerned, they’re now let off the hook. They can get away with not helping because the therapist “said so,” but still reap the rewards. After all, now they are helping by not helping. So now they won’t help at all, even with positive things, because that would be enabling… and the therapist said not to enable, right?

      Continued below

    2. Nicole

      I’d also like to point out that Sarah’s mother had her martyr role long before Sarah with her own mother, Elena. She did the same things to Elena that she did to Sarah. Once Elena got in recovery, she needed a new subject to martyr. She was no longer given the attention, adoration, accolades and reassurance she needed from being the martyr to Elena, so she moved on to Sarah. Suddenly Sarah was a gnarly drug addict that needed saving. She transferred from her mother to her daughter.

      This right here proves my theory that the martyr needs someone to be sick. If it’s not one person, he/she will find someone else to fill the role. It doesn’t matter who it is, because it’s just a role in their play. They are the star of the show, the martyr, the hero, the savior. And they need someone to play the role of the sick person to be “saved.” After all, they can’t be savior of there is no one to save. If one person heals, they will just cast another because the show must go on!

      Depending on how sick they themselves are, ranging from narcissistic tendencies to full blown NPD, depends on how seriously they take their “subjects.” To some, quite literally, life is a stage and they are the lead actor/actress and it is all a game to them. They likely don’t even realize what they are doing and the damage it’s causing. Many times they truly believe they are helping much more than they actually are. They have grandiose notions of their servitude, and may truly believe that if their subject heals, it’s because of something they did. “I sent her to treatment…” “It was MY idea he start at the methadone clinic, so if it weren’t for ME he would still be a junkie.” “I paid for therapy… so if it weren’t for MY contribution…” They must take credit where credit is due! And many times the perceived credit is nothing more than a cloud of smoke.

      I’m not saying Sarah’s mother did all of this stuff, but I do think that she, like many others, established part of her identity as the martyr and had a hard time letting that go.

      However, I’ve had so much experience with maternal narcissism that I discussed much more in depth because many people, including myself, thought that everything to do with my mom was my fault, and didn’t know she is sick. Hopefully someone out there can relate to my experience and got something out of all I’ve written, because I don’t want anyone to go through what I did thinking it was all my fault for over 20 years.

      1. BARB

        That’s interesting. I did wonder during the episode if there were some kind of scapegoating pattern going on – which often takes place in dysfunctional families. Someone always has to be cast as the failure or the “bad guy”, usually the person with the lowest self esteem or the most issues. It seemed like Elena was so relieved to finally be rid of the family scapegoat role and be a “good” person again, but now the family had to find someone else to be the scapegoat/black sheep instead and that role fell to Sarah. I’m not saying this was in any way intentional on anyone’s part, just often is the way this family dynamic works, and can happen on a completely subconscious level. And I have seen it happen in my own family, too.

      2. Jenna

        I’ve dealt with maternal matryrism for most of my life. I’ve learned to listen, stay detached & calm, and not immediately swoop in to help–she’s codependent & anxious. She’s recently sought help for the anxiety and the therapist explained that her helping was enabling. So I guess I’m saying I understand what ur going through & have been through.

  11. Elizabeth

    My question is where did the dad go? He shouldn’t have abandoned the kids no matter what his problems with mom.

    1. Jenna

      That’s what I was thinking, too. Especially since he and Sarah said she was a daddy’s girl. His abandonment further reinforced she was bad & wrong for telling on her mom. (Armchair psychologist)

  12. Jan

    Her baby in the episode, Jacoby, turned out to be autistic (probably because the drugs she took) and nearly drowns in the fathers care, who also has full custody of Jacoby. Such a shame. Pray for this family!

    1. Elizabeth

      There is no link that I am aware of between autism and fetal exposure to drugs…

    2. julia

      Hello Jan, just wanted to clarify something real quick: genetics is the main cause of autism. No vaccine or wrongful behaviour from the mothers part during the pregnancy was ever associated with autism. 🙂

  13. Flo

    Omg glad the little guy survived. What a sad story

  14. Kim

    I don’t understand why this person is receiving government assisstance. She is not disabled.

    1. Elizabeth

      Is she getting disability? There are a couple of types of “government assistance” that she could be getting that don’t require her to be disabled. She could be getting WIC (Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants and Children); TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families); SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and others…

  15. Tazz

    Your etiological statement on Autism is not only baseless, but totally out of line.

  16. kitty katt

    She looks great on her FB page. Looks like she has a beautiful family going (seeing family pictures of them) which now includes 3 kids! Good for her!

    1. Nicole

      Can you help me find her facebook page plz ??

    1. Nivey

      Do you have a different link to her fb? This one you posted is a broken link. I would love to see an update on her! I think of her story often. Ty! Xo

      1. A.

        Just tryed the link and it worked perfectly.

  17. Kitty Katt

    1) How could Sarah not know ahead of time that an Intervention was in the works for her when just 6 months earlier she was part of her grandmother’s intervention? All the drama at the end as if she didn’t know that was coming. I don’t get it.

    2) Was anyone else disturbed that she was practically living in that closet which was considered as her bedroom with that poor baby? Seriously?

  18. Angela Osier

    I’m Sarah’s best friend. Sarah is doing amazing and has been clean for about 5 years now. She is an amazing mother of 3 now who she raises full time and supports. After Jacoby’s accident she was granted full custody of him. She took care of him full time. She lived at the hospital and never left his side the entire time. She was also pregnant at the time with a toddler at home. Jacoby had to relearn everything and she was there to do it. When he came home she had a toddler at home and she was pregnant she also had to take care of Jacoby full time. When he came home he was unable to walk and was fed through a tube in his stomach. When Jacoby drowned he was not in Sarah’s care. Jacobys dad and Sarah at the time shared court order custody of him. Please don’t judge if you don’t know. Jacoby is recovered and has relearned to walk again and can eat again. This is all because of Sarah’s hard work. Sarah still has full custody of him and raises him on her own with her 2 other children. Yes Jacoby does have Autism. He was born with it and Sarah didn’t do drugs at all the time she was pregnant with Jacoby. We all have made mistakes and bad decisions but that amazing thing about Sarah is she has pulled through it. She has helped so many turn their life around also. She’s an amazing person, mother and friend! I see and talk to her daily! She’s doing amazing and I’m so proud of her!

    1. Bella

      I’m so happy to hear this. I just wanted to reach through the screen and hug her when she said she was hard to love or unloveable, her pain was so obvious. So glad things have turned around for her. Please tell her that many people are rooting for her, even years later.

    2. Desiree Apodaca

      If she was around my area we’d get along, I used to be just like her. I got pregnant as well at 19 now 24 with 3 children. Tell her not to let negative vibes get to her, you can always love family from a distance no harm in that do what makes u happy for your babies 💖

  19. julia

    it’s amazing how dad’s are able to walk away from their kids lives so easily. also, i just cannot feel any emphaty for sarah’s mom since elena’s episode. dunno why tho :/

    1. Desiree Apodaca

      Her mother was terrible, especially allowing her other children to call Sarah a crackhead & disgusting. It’s crazy. I couldn’t talk to or about my own daughter like that

  20. Desiree Apodaca

    I strongly disagree with her mother and her poor choice of words to describe Sarah and enabling, allowing her other children to call her disgusting & crackhead They only was they’ll accept her like they did with Elena is to be a judgmental the way she turned after she got sober. I think she needs to live on her own with her baby jacoby, bless her soul. That episode just hit me..

  21. Graybug

    I really wished well for this poor girl. Her family did treat her like dirt. I personally know the struggles of addiction, and I was really rooting for her. I’m glad to hear that she got better. I hope she’s better to this day. Addiction is the devil.

  22. Stef

    I was dreading coming here to get an update on Sarah. I didn’t expect to get good news. SO very happy I was dead wrong! Sarah looks fabulous and healthy and her kids are just gorgeous. Congratulations, Sarah.! Happy you’re doing so well.

    1. Nivey

      Stef, can you please post the link for Sarah? I would love to see her today! I’m thrilled to hear she’s doing well! Yay Sarah! I was rooting for her and Jacoby!

  23. SC

    She’s on fb with a bunch of beautiful kids and a solid looking man, matching PJ Christmas photos and all….real happy for her!!

    1. Mini

      Yes, on FB she looks good. They are raising 4 kids!

  24. Maggie

    I know social media isn’t the best representation of how well someone is doing but I have to say Sarah seems like she’s in a good place! She is also an incredibly talented baker and cake artist. If she was local I’d be hiring her for sure!

    Sarah, if you ever read this, you’ve got a lot of internet strangers wishing you the best.

  25. BAE

    I adore Elena and Sarah as well. I hope they have done everything they need to break the family curse; it truly looks like it. I’m rooting for them all!