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Season 14, Episode 11


Age: 26
Location: Roseville, California
Addiction: Meth and alcohol
What’s memorable:  His meth-induced paranoia and psychosis, how much his friend Jessie loves him and would do for him, the bizarre, infuriating intervention and the awesome followup. Ken was amazing in this one. And by amazing I mean “Good god how does he deal with this relentless abuse and keep his composure?”

Update: David John Sax passed away in July of 2023.

Official Synopsis: The sons and nephew of Major League Baseball stars, David struggled not only with being compared to his athletic family, but also with his own sexuality. Acting out turned to alcoholism and meth addiction, and it wasn’t long before David found himself dumpster diving and sleeping behind stores in his family’s upscale neighborhood.

Original Air Date: August 2015
Interventionist: Ken

All comments.

  1. Michelle

    Hey, I really wanted to know how Amanda is doing or if anyone knows her info??

    1. Nat

      Amanda is doing great. She’s in treatment and seeing her family regularly

    2. Peggi

      I asked the same question, and I was surprised to find she was much more involved in her husband’s affiliation with the gang than she said. If you read the article in the reply, it says Amanda “lived with Scherrer (the man accused of Sam’s murder) for ‘a few weeks at a time’ while separated from Sam.” I did a bit more digging, and a few comments from Sam shows they believe that Amanda was involved in the murder somehow, and not a potential target. The whole thing is so sketchy.

      1. Peggi

        That should read “and a few comments from Sam’s family shows….”

  2. Samantha R.

    “I don’t like your face.” I stand by my statement that he gets some of the most difficult interventions. God bless Ken Seeley! They gave him so many chances, and they’re all so much better than me. When he got out of the car the second time I said, “I’m so done with David.” So imagine my surprise at the follow-up… He looked and sounded so good, I starting bawling. I hope he is doing well now 🙂

    1. Tess

      I agree with you. Ken does seem to get the really difficult ones a lot of the time. There’s been a few episodes with him where it’s touch and go whether the addict will even get on the plane when they’re at the airport and he has to keep pushing them.

      I have a feeling it’s bc he has more patience than Jeff. I think Jeff would say screw it to a lot of these addicts that are really difficult. He doesn’t chase them. I could never see him driving around in a van following the addict down the streets.

      I think both styles are good, just depends on the addicts needs.

      1. Richard

        Jeff doesn’t have a script to use when it comes to chasing someone. He’s limited to “Love you like crazy” and a very controlled setting.

  3. Ruth

    A couple of thoughts. First, it really surprised me that there was no discussion of Jessie and her mom’s insane level of codependency. They are serious candidates for the family program at Betty Ford and they’re not even family! Second, it was interesting to have a situation where the addict’s homosexuality was an issue but not from the family. The family seemed completely fine with it and not at all surprised when he came out. It was a horrible sense of self-loathing but there was absolutely no one in his life who was rejecting him for it. It was a pleasant change of pace and easier to deal with through therapy.

    1. Dizzy

      Yeah actually, that whole bit where she was crying to him about how she hates it when he’s mad at her was a little disturbing, given that he had just treated her like absolute garbage. She was basically asking for his forgiveness and I found that upsetting. And I agree about the being gay not actually being a big deal to his family. His problem was entirely about him hating that part of himself, not at all about his loved ones. Interesting in contrast to most of the other episodes that featured a gay addict (Tressa, Jessa, Chris, Audry, Elena)

      1. Cat

        Also Karissa-That was a huge part of why she turned to substance abuse. It broke my heart when she ran from her family who was trying to chase her and fight with her to listen and go and then once Sylvia hugged her, her hard exterior completely melted away and she started crying. It was so obvious that her anger and rage were cover emotions that to hide her primary ones of vulnerability and never feeling accepted for who she was by her family. I know she passed and it’s tragic that she did but I’m at least happy to read that she had sober/clean time before/when she did

    2. Samantha

      I’ve been there before with my mother. It’s a sick, sad state of codependency where you know you don’t deserve to be treated that way and that you did nothing wrong, but you also know that you’re disposable to them, so you want to make sure they aren’t mad at you. Addiction is a monster. And you have such a good point about his homosexuality. I’ve never seen anything like that before.

  4. Will

    Hey David, im gay too and struggled to deal with my own self acceptance (and felt others accepted me less than they already did, etc) and eventually became an addict myself, but to opiates. Anyway I found you handsome and interesting and if you ever read this, I would love to pick your brain someday and get in contact with you about your life now. Im 22, and you might think im cute too 😉

    1. Zach

      Gay here to,I second that will, hope you are doing good in your recovery. David your amazing son!

    2. Tom

      I 3rd that… David, you are so sexy; I would date you in a heartbeat. I tried to find you on Facebook, but it doesn’t look like you are on there.

      1. DD

        I 4th this. Turned into an opiate addict instead though.

      2. W. Wheatley

        He’s on Facebook, but not much to go on. It’s under David Sax. The profile photo is of him and his two sisters.

        I think he looked great once he got clean. Resembles (a lot) a better-looking Ryan Gosling, IMO.

  5. Bobbi Jo

    This is the major issue that will help lead to addiction. Stupid comments by uneducated people that have nothing better to do than discuss someone’s sexuality and put down the ones that are trying to help this young man! David, as this commenting section is who this should be for solely, I have a niece that is addicted to heroin and just found out a week ago was most likely smoking meth as well. She is now back in prison with three children, a 3 month old, a 1 year old and a 7 year old. Her mother has temporary custody of these children at this time (thank goodness) and I feel my great nephews will have a wonderful upbringing as my niece did and I think you did as well. You are very lucky to have family including Sue and Jessie who have been there for you! Keep up the amazing job that you are working at that I call sobriety! Even complete strangers will stand behind you if you continue on this path. Good luck my friend. And God Bless you and the ones that matter most in your life.

  6. Gloria

    Does anyone think that being in such an affluent environment put any additional pressure on subjects like David to fit in somehow? I hope the best for this handsome young man, and hope he finds acceptance for who he is outside of the drugs and is able to really come down to earth and see that it is a wonderful world out there for him.

    1. DD

      Yes. My sorry is similar, however, we are both simply anecdotes.

    2. Cat

      Yes, I definitely think so because I can relate although I struggled more with various process addictions. I used substances to numb it too but for some reason the addiction bug never bit me as none of them (thank goodness) dug their hooks in me to the point I developed physical withdrawals and dependence and would do absolutely anything to continue using. I look back on it now and I’m like well that’s a major bullet I dodged because some of them were some of the “harder” ones that are commonly what subjects on the show are addicted to, and that I have a super like severe phobia of needles so I never shot up nor did I ever think to do so.

  7. Marc

    As a lifelong baseball fan, I am very curious to know the name of David, Sr. They showed his face many times so I don’t think maintaining anonymity is a large issue. They also mentioned that he played for the LA Dodgers for 15 years and that his brother played for several teams. Could I please have his last name? Thanks.

    1. DD

      David and Steve Sax are the former pro baseball playing brothers, I believe.

      1. Marc

        Thanks, DD. That is an excellent guess but I’m quite sure it is incorrect. David, Sr only played 5 years and a total of 37 games with the Dodgers and Red Sox. Uncle Steve Sax lasted 14 years, 8 with the Dodgers. Thanks anyway.

    2. Larry

      Yes, what the episode said was correct. They said his uncle was the 14 year Dodger and that his dad was the 5 year player. Indeed it was the Sax’s.

      1. Marc

        OK, thanks Larry.

  8. Chris

    This one was really hard for me. This whole episode was filmed around the corner from my office. I stumbled upon them filming quite a few times. I will say that if you are going to be a homeless person, Granite Bay is the place to do it. The pressure this poor kid was put under living in this area, being gay, not being athletic… My son is enrolled in the same school that David went to based on where I work, not where we live and it really made me re think things. Does growing up in an area like this put extra pressure on kids to measure up? Sure seemed to in this situation. He’s so lucky he had Ken to help him through this and I was very happy to see that he pulled through!

  9. Larry

    I’ve never seen anyone more gakked out on krank than this kid was in this episode. Those facial and upper body twitches were frightening.

    And I will echo the comments about his friend Jessie. For majoring in psych with a focus in addiction, she was one of the more naive people I’ve seen on this show in terms of knowledge of addiction. When she was asking him in the car, “aren’t you scared of buying drugs” or “how do you know what you’re getting?”, I was cringing. I mean those are such basic questions whose answers are so apparent. HE’S AN ADDICT, you don’t worry about your dealer being dangerous or getting bad dope when you’re an addict because you want to get high! Nothing else matters. Between that ignorance and her frightening co-dependence and child-like emotional state, stunning beauty aside, I don’t like her chances in the addiction field.

    1. W. Wheatley

      As I watched that poor young Jessie it became quite obvious (to me, anyway) that she is in love with David. Yes, she is the neighbor girl, the best friend from kindergarten, etc. etc., but you can’t help whom you love. And I’m afraid Jessie does love him.
      I could see how this might happen, given the fact that they’ve been so close for so long, and that David seems so likeable (not to mention handsome and smart) — when sober.

    2. Nicole

      Although Jessie might be naive, she does seem to genuinely care and has compassion for those she is helping, such as David. I think we need more people like that in not only addiction, but the mental health profession as a whole. I’d rather work with a counselor who is empathetic, compassionate, and open minded but not an addict, than a counselor who is stuck on the 12 steps or whatever theory worked for them, and shows no compassion for my unique situation. I’ve had counselors like that who were not helpful. There is no one size fits all approach to healing addiction, or any other mental illness.

      Jessie can learn about drugs and what questions are and are not relevant to an addicts situation, but I think her compassion and ability to empathize are what will be the key in whether or not she will be able to hang in the mental health field. I’ve dealt with enough addiction/mental health programs to know that staff changes a lot and some people just aren’t cut out for the job and I think that is why. They cannot empathize with their patients or they can’t deal with the fact there isn’t a clear cut method to follow, like there is in say fixing a broken bone.

      I think she will be a great psychiatrist 🙂

    3. BEA PEA

      Jessie did say though that she got David to take part in the “documentary” by pretending it was part of her assignment. So asking the questions might have been part of keeping up appearances that the “documentary” was being done for her.

      1. Kara Bishop

        That is exactly what I was thinking during it… I’m sure that’s what she was doing! She’s going to college for that, and she’s grown up with her best friend being an addict so she knows the answers to the questions she’s just making it like it was a documentary for her getting into grad school like she said. Because of his paranoia, there would be no way that he would have taken part in a documentary in any other way! Kara from Rocklin/Roseville, California

      2. Kara Bishop

        David… My heart goes out to you… I am from Rocklin California but I used to work at Devon‘s jewelers in Roseville, California and most of the time I’m in Roseville California. But more than that I am a recovering crystal meth addict. I have been clean for over 18 years, but then many years later, I got addicted to opiates pills, and now I am on methadone, which has saved my life. I am so sad that you had such a hard time with your sexuality when you were growing up, but it was great that your family was open and accepting! My 15-year-old daughter is a lesbian and has an amazing girlfriend! I also have a son who is 18. For some reason I always said I wanted a child who was a homosexual or at least bisexual, I knew it might be hard for them at times, I just knew that I would be a great mom in terms of understanding and excepting. I also had a girlfriend in high school for two years, who sadly I think it’s still using meth! Anyways, I’m just sending you my thoughts, love, and prayers! 💕

  10. Marc

    Oops. Please disregard my second “OK, thanks Larry” comment. It was misplaced. Anyway, apparently the baseball players mentioned in the Episode were, in fact, Steve and Dave Sax. My apologies to DD for my reply to his comment.

  11. brian tomes

    i watched tonights episode on A&E and saw David, only i saw myself. 8 years ago. i was David. im still struggling with the anger within myself about being gay. but i will and am learning to love myself. all being said, i hope David is doing well, and ok. it was the episode that i felt reflected me the most, or most relateable, xo brian 🙂

    1. Geo

      Agreed, I was in the same situation about 5 years ago. My family was fine with me being gay but I was not. I thought I had done the work to come out to them and accept myself but I needed to get sober. I have 2 years now and there is still much more work to be done, but working a 12 step program makes me feel less alone in that journey. It can be done!

  12. Dhalia

    Something happens to people when they have the eyes of national TV staring right at them through the lens of a production team.

    Jessie and her Mom’s dramatic reactions made me cringe. Ugh. I don’t think they were being totally insincere, rather, I think they were drawing it all out too much.

    Then when Ken Sealey said they would do the intervention again 3 weeks later after David got out of jail the look of disapointment on Jessie’s face was so weird. She looked more bummed out than upset. So I wasn’t surprised when she “showed up” at the second intervention via the iphone. Even David commented to Jessie’s mom that he didn’t understand why she was crying as he’s never seen her cry before. Heck I woudl be paranoid too.

    The two of them reminded me of many wealthy families which are so bored and detatched from anythign meaningful from their lives that they will go dramatic extremes to seek relief from their boredom. And those stencilied spoons on the walls was just so weird.

    ALso, it’s 2015 and the girl has a Hummer with one of those CD cases you put under the mirror. WTF?

    I actually started watching this last summer and got so bored halfway that I stopped watching it. I forgot that I ever watched it and actually finished it this time because I found the totally insane interaction between Jessie and her Mom and David interesting from a psychological standpoint. I really can’t stand poeple who are super sheltered and never venture out into the “real” world, who chose to remain in their little cocoons. And no study abroad is not what I”m talking about, thoguh it helps. I mean go and work for a summer abroad doing some heavy labor like in a kitchen in some national park or something, learn what real work is about. Rant anyone?

  13. sela

    I used to live in the same gated community where David and his family were living (his uncle is also living just across the street from them) but I am 5 years older so never really interacted with him, esp. since he was a quiet subdued kid at the time), but word on the street (we don’t live there anymore but my parents kept in touch with some of the neighbors) is that his recovery has been nothing short of spectacular (knock on wood…).

    It seems however that the episode was heavily edited: we can see Ken following him on the streets and Ken’s perseverance seems to pay off but what really happened is that they called the cops on him and David only decided to go to treatment after the cops showed up!

    1. Nicole

      I hate when they edit things so much and make them fake. Ugh. Of course they can’t make the interventionist look bad. I’m sad they don’t have Seth anymore. He was the best one.

  14. Jenn

    Does anyone know how David is doing?

  15. Jennifer

    I’m a little confused! It says at the beginning that he submitted a video and yet the intros also says they do not know about the intervention? So which is it? Seems like it would be obvious to the addict and they would know. I noticed this with Kaeleen’s episode as well.

  16. Aidan Kemp

    that is so sad!!

  17. Brooke

    i got the sense that jessie was in love with david as well. also, craziest intervention EVER!

    i’m going, i’m not going, i’m going, i’m not going…….i’m….going?………

  18. Dale

    Does anyone know how Jesse is doing? Has she became a licensed clinical therapist? Is she and David still friends? I am just curious as I had a chance to meet Steve Sax when I was super young. I have always been a fan of his and his integrity.

      1. Stef

        How sad. I had hoped he was doing well. Hope he gets help before its too late.

      2. Kitty Katt

        647H charge makes me think he’s homeless again.

  19. Matthew

    Such an interesting subtext in this episode in terms of what Ken represented to David in that intervention… not just as a recovering addict, but also as an out, healthy, self-accepting gay man. When David said “I don’t like your face,” I couldn’t help but think that the bitter resistance in that line encapsulated all those layers of self-loathing and shame and fear about his sexuality– and that for exactly those reasons, ultimately, it was Ken’s compassion, strength and persistence that were uniquely suited to the task of at least giving David a fighting chance.

    1. A.S.

      Yes absolutely I agree, Ken was the perfect interventionist for him.

    2. Brian

      I’ve just watched the episode again, at least an abridged version of it, cut down to ten minutes, as all the other episodes officially available on on the A&E YouTube channel and that is exactly what I thought. We’ve seen enough episodes to know the proceedings and it’s a given that at one point Ken told him that he too was gay, he too struggled with self-acceptance and self-hatred and how it played a part in him becoming addicted to meth. When I saw David’s annoyed mug having to exchange words directly with Ken, I saw the ugly face of David’s internalized homophobia. That is sad but often the most homophobic people are gay people themselves, and I don’t mean only the deeply closeted but also sometimes those who are out but still not proud. And it’s kind of hard for me to understand why David would have such a deeply seated internalized homophobia in a family that was pretty much accepting him as he was from the beginning.

      Tracey, from the Heroin Triangle season, who unfortunately passed away, was another one who comes to mind as being seemingly unable to overcome the self-loathing caused by his own sexual orientation. I really hope David doesn’t meet the same fate as Tracey and come to accept himself just like his family accepted him.

  20. Maggie

    Sadly, another arrest in June 2022 according to a link posted above.

    1. Steph

      Sadly another one on October 3, 2022. 🙁 His last Facebook posts show him very gaunt. What a sad outcome…

  21. Seth

    Sadly, his brother passed away while serving our country in a military plane crash in June 2022.

    1. Brian

      It’s bizarre, they showed many pictures of the family and of David with his two sisters but not one photo of the brother. If you watch the episode, you would come to think that they were three siblings: David and his two sisters. No mention of a brother whatsoever.

    2. Mel

      That was his cousin. John Jeremy Sax is the son of Steve Sax

    3. Dodger Fan

      That was Steve’s son, so would be his cousin. Not his brother.

  22. Caroline

    All his arrests in the past few years have been for trespass on forbidden property and resisting. So basic homeless arrests, which is really a shame when they don’t have anywhere to go for some privacy and rest. His weight has continuously dropped in the records as well 🙁 170 at 6’2” is so low without muscle.

    1. kitty katt

      Yes, to rehab! It’s a shame that being homeless isn’t his rock bottom.

    2. kitty katt

      His arrests are not basic homeless arrests. The guy is a big time trouble maker and was just arrested again with battery as well as everything else. Resisting arrest can lead to someone being hurt or killed. Exactly how his last arrest turned out to be.

      1. Stefan

        I think most cops can handle someone resisting arrest to an extent and it’s always baffled me how seriously it’s handled even if the person isn’t in a proper state of mind.

  23. Snow

    His most recent arrest is in March 2023. Unfortunately, he is still very much an addict. I hope he gets help and accepts treatment one day.

  24. J

    this episode was interesting to me due to David’s own struggle with being gay despite his family being accepting. i wonder if the macho sports culture contributed? anyway, the intervention was brutal. i’m amazed Ken kept at it – that’s why he’s my favorite 🙂 i’m sad to see he’s still sick. i really hope he pulls it together

  25. Jack

    Unfortunately David passed away from an overdose in July 2023

    1. Dizzy

      Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about David’s passing. Do you happen to know if there is an online obituary or death notice that I can access? I haven’t been able to find anything about this through Googling so any further information you could provide would be helpful. Thank you so much.

  26. Ana

    according to his mother’s facebook, he did indeed pass away last year. very sad.