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Season 15, Episode 6


Age: 28
Location: Central Square, New York
Addiction: Heroin

UPDATE: Karissa Hilts was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Florida on March 8, 2017. By all accounts she was sober at the time. Here is her obituary.

What’s Memorable: Despite her intimidating and manipulative behavior, Karissa is still somehow very likable. It’s not a mystery why she became an addict given her childhood traumas, but it’s clear that if she wasn’t addicted she would be such a cool person to be around. Also: That family diner has such personality, but it was disturbing to me what the non-family employees had to deal with everyday. I mean that’s a borderline abusive working environment, having to be witness to all that and pretend to not be affected.  The idea that Karissa thinks she’s a ‘functional junkie’ because she gets up in the morning to go to work shows how deluded she is about what “functional’ means.  Leaving work to go lie to the doctor in order to get Suboxone and immediately selling it for 10 bags of heroin and then needing people to stay up watching you all night with an overdose kit at hand because they’re afraid you’ve taken too many benzos with your heroin and you might die – that is not functional.  I’m so glad Karissa made it and as of February 2016 is still sober.  She deserves such a better life.

Official Synopsis:  Karissa was always a talented cook – so much so, that her mother had one day hoped to pass the family diner down to her as a legacy. But Karissa’s life took a drastic turn when a close family friend fed her Oxycodone, and then ultimately made her a drug courier. From there Karissa was lost. Now, years of self-abuse, self-medication, and a severe addiction to heroin have left her volatile and desperate. Her family fears that if she does not heal from her violent past and the childhood she lost, she will never have the future she deserves.

Date Aired:  April 2016
Sylvia (who rocked this one)

All comments.

  1. t.toro

    Did anyone else’s heart drop when they saw she od? So glad she went back to treatment!

    1. Sara

      Oh yes! I thought for sure they were going to do a pathetic in memorial blip, and THANK GOODNESS that was not the case (spoiler alert, I guess, sorry).

      I just thought she was so beautiful. And in so much pain, but she is so strong.

      Also, so good to see Sylvia again!

      1. t.toro

        It’s so fantastic to see Sylvia. I always think back to her episode and how much pain she was in. She has to be an inspiration to the addicts that have seen the show.

      2. Dizzy

        I love her as an interventionist. She’s so kind and supportive and loving, she reminds me of my grandmother. I don’t know that her style would work for every addict or family, but for the two she’s done on the show she’s been perfect. I knew she was the interventionist for Karissa and for the whole episode I was wondering how she was possibly gonna pull it off, but she did, and with so much grace. When she hugged Karissa and Karissa hugged back – yeah I was in tears. We saw Sylvia in the worst of her addiction and we KNOW how far she’s come and how much she understands about addiction, but I’d still think that she’s incredibly effective as an interventionist even if I didn’t know her history. But knowing where she came from, man. I remember watching her episode for the first time and being so very affected by it. To see her be this amazing person bringing other addicts into sobriety with that smile on her face and all that love she exudes – it’s all pretty intense to be honest. Dammit I love this show.

  2. beelove


  3. Susan

    So glad Karissa stayed sober. Does anyone know how she is today?

    1. Guccimane

      She was hit by a car and killed

  4. Gloria

    Who is that super easygoing Doctor that writes her suboxone scripts? She seemed to be willingly blinded by Karissa’s manipulation. The doc’s lack of professionalism is concerning..

    1. t.toro

      I completely agree with you, but I hate, HATE suboxone, however that whole thing is a big rant for another day. Lol!

      1. Savonna Edwards

        Suboxone can be AMAZING. When it is used in conjunction with therapy and rehabilitation–for a brief amount of time–can be life changing. When I say brief I mean 14 days or less.
        Extended use of suboxone is just supplanting one addiction for another and only serves to make money on the backs of addicts.

  5. Renee C

    I love this girl- she was screaming out for helped, what an f’ed up life. Not only does she get molested for 4 years and doesn’t say anything- I have personally been down this road as a young child. At 12 she comes out to her family who don’t approve, well atleast the mother voiced that anyway, she finds a best friend that she trust accepts her for her- family I’m sure take it as bf / gf- his mom gives her her first pill or whatever at 13. He gets killed in an accident and the mom and her deal with it but running and using whatever- she goes to jail/ rehab for her. So many things to deal with. She is a beautiful girl- I hope she is still clean and sober- rock in it at the restaurant. I would love to be her bestie, someone she could talk to. I wish I could reach out to her- I am in the medical field, kind of like a pen pal, but more like a texting pal

  6. kristy

    This was a great episode Karissa is very likable but I also cringed when the mom said something about her possibly harassing the staff when she was trying to get her money. Yikes that’s akward but other than that I really liked her. It’s also funny that Jessica was on the follow up for this episode because Karissa reminded me of her personality wise for some odd reason but idk i thought they were both really interesting and well spoken

    1. Shannon

      Hi,I’m Shannon from Manchester NH. If you need a friend, Karissa, call me anytime at 603-261-4456

  7. artemisia


  8. chris m

    32 bags of heroin, on top of 12, 2mg klonopins. holly shit, how is she not dead, like for real?

  9. Joyce Rodin

    Okay was anyone else a little riled by the math? Okay, she stated that she does 20 to 25 bags, sometimes as many as 30 bags a day!!! She gets her suboxone script, sells them for 428$, that only gets 10 bags?!!!? Holy cow her addiction must have cost a fortune to maintain!!! It’s a wonder her mom didn’t lose the diner with the amount of frivolous spending that was going on (frivolous spending, but really just so Karissa could maintain)

    I loved this episode!! When Sylvia hugged Karissa I really thought she would have turned her back and walked away from Sylvia incensed, but she hugged back I could almost see the strain of carrying her burdens melting off for the one moment!!

  10. Kelsielynn22

    I Ann heartbroken to announce that Karrissa passed away yesterday. Not sure of the cause but it’s all over her Facebook. From what I know she struggled to stay sober and relapsed a few times but was fresh out of rehab and engaged right before she passed away. I will confirm the death after speaking with her brother.

  11. Kelsielynn22

    I can confirm that karrissa was killed by a hit and run driver in Florida where she was living currently. Below is the link to the news article that confirms her death. She was sober at the time.

    I do not like giving out her Facebook information but her last name is Hilts. The link was sent to me by a family friend.

    1. Gord

      Oh my god, that is just so sad. Even more sad that she was clean and has her life taken by a hit-and-run driver (wonder if he/she was under the influence)… life is so mysterious.

      Peace be with you Karissa, and your family and friends as well.

      1. Terri R

        I just discovered she had passed while watching the episode of Intervention. This makes me so sad, I was so rooting for her.

    2. Dizzy

      Damn. Just damn.

      Thank you for posting.

  12. Janelle

    It breaks my heart when someone goes to all the trouble to become clean and sober and then doesn’t get the opportunity to enjoy their new life. Peace be with Karissa and my deepest sympathies to her loved ones.

  13. April

    So very tragic. May she Rest In Peace.

  14. Girlbye

    Karissa was one of the most loving person I knew …. I am completely heartbroken over her passing , My heart goes out to her long term ( love of her life ) regardless of the Facebook engagement to someone else , that is NOT where Karissa’s heart was , just to set the record straight ! I am not going to go into deep details … but she barely knew this girl .. On Tuesday she texted me saying she wanted to leave Florida and GO HOME ! That speaks so loudly ! I WISH now , I would have listened harder , and took her seriously , and helped her get home ! I miss her so much , I miss her texts , miss her laugh ,I just miss everything !
    She was taken too soon ! And it’s not fair for anyone , especially her family who is completely shattered by all of this !!!! Fly high Karissa , and spread your wings ❤

  15. Michele

    Such sadness for Karissa and her family at this difficult time. My deepest sympathies.

  16. Thelma

    Just rewatched Karissa’s episode yesterday and I’m really sad to hear she passed. And that the person did not even stop 🙁 her family must be devastated.

  17. A. Francis

    I just watched this episode on Viceland and got a wild hair to see if there was a way to find out if she was still sober. I was completely shocked and saddened by the news. I was still teary eyed from the episode when I read it. I feel so very bad for the family. To all her family and friends: Please know that there is a stranger in Texas that cries for you. I hope that your family will eventually find peace. In situations like these, I always feel so helpless because words really do nothing to ease any pain. Only time heals. It’s cliche because it’s true. Hopefully that time will come sooner rather than later. Your family deserves a break from strife, worry and heartache. I wish you all the very best life has to offer.

  18. Dinajean

    I, too, was playing catch up yesterday & just watched her episode. Then I come across this page & see that she passed away.
    Prayers for all of the family & friends of this beautiful young woman. ????

  19. Rebecca

    So sad she worked real hard to turn her life around prayers to the family

  20. Katelynn

    Her death is so heart breaking. The whole reason she started taking drugs was because her best friend was killed in a traffic accident.

    1. Jacey

      I know! The irony is such a bitch slap.

  21. Vicky

    Re-watching her episode. When Karissa goes “I don’t want to talk to you! I don’t even know you!” Sylvia was like, “um… you know me” almost like she was saying “girl I know you saw my episode…. you don’t know me but you ‘KNOW’ me… bring it in, babe”. It’s liked it clicked and she was like “it ya I do know you!! I remember that one!”

  22. Alice Schmid

    It is so clear when they leave early they WANT to go home and use again. It seems they ought to be able to hold them against their will long enough to give them a good grounding in relapse and commitment to sobriety.

    When they leave early, it never ever ends well.

    1. Dizzy

      As someone who’s been to rehab I can tell you that if I were there against my will at any point, when I left I would’ve gone right back to using as a big F-U to whoever was keeping me in. HOW DARE THEY. The fact that I could have left treatment at any time but I chose to stay for my own well-being was a powerful thing for me, and I think was a huge part of what kept me sober and in the program for such a long time.

      No idea the stats on this but I do think it’d be interesting to find out how many people relapsed after leaving early vs. relapsed after completing treatment. It might not be that different, I don’t know.

      1. Alice Schmid

        yeah, I can see that. But after being there 2 months, isn’t there any way to address head on what going home early means in terms of relapse? Is relapse a necessary part of recovery?

        Unless there really is no difference between going home early vs later…

        Every time I see “Against the advice of her counselors….” I think “Oh noooooooo.” Maybe that’s just a bias of the show.

      2. Suzvkb

        I agree. while in treatment, although I wanted to change my life & live daily life clean with no crutch, at the same time every fiber of my being wanted to leave. my husband picked a rehab 4 hours from home with maybe 30 mins a wk of supervised phone time..& NO ONE left early. it felt like a cult…but I also was out of my mind dopesick & couldnt decipher reality from my imagination for weeks. NO exaggeration. this rehab was on a mountain in eastern PA, right nx to a state prison. so if u did try to leave..ud have to walk down the mountain..& (according to them) hope the people of that town didnt think u were an escaped prisoner & shoot u. I got home 35 days later & relapsed within days. that was 2015. today I’m still on suboxone as a clear clutch but it works wonders for me. over 5 years no booze no opiates OR benzos!

  23. Dina Floyd

    Heart breaking about Karrisa… 💜💙💚💛

  24. Tori

    does anyone have a link to her episode? couldn’t find it on dailymotion

    1. VJBS

      I just watched it through the Xfinity app this afternoon. I was surprised to see it available.

    2. In response

      It’s currently available through Xfinity.

  25. Stef

    If by chance Karissa’s family/friends reads this, my condolences! I only saw her episode tonight for the first time and when it ended, I did what I always do…look the person up online for an update. I was so sad to read about the accident. So wrong and unfair. My condolences, though 4 years late, to her loved ones.

    Rest peacefully, Karissa

  26. K

    This is my absolute favorite episode. I connect with her because I’m from a narrow place and am gay…its lonely and I once had a love affair with the same devil. Her story breaks my heart. I’d love to watch it again but can’t even find it to buy.

    1. Stefan

      Try Dailymotion.

      1. K

        I have tried every “legal” way. Looks like if I’m going to watch it, I might have to look outside of the box. I hope she knew that her struggle touched people and still people think of her with only love.

    2. Jean

      Karissa’s episode is on right now on Vice channel. They usually have a marathon on Tuesdays. On Thursdays there is always a bunch of episodes on TrueReal TV, which is a non-cable antenna channel. Also, on Mondays A&E usually has episodes. The cool thing about TrueReal episodes is that they started at the very beginning of Season 1 and pretty much go in order.

      1. K

        I did see that it was coming on Vice. Unfortunately I don’t have it. It’s just…what doesn’t Amazon have…obviously the one thing you want. Thanks for the advice and I’ll keep my eyes open.

    3. April S.

      Karissa’s episode was showing yesterday on A&E on Dish.

  27. Suzvkb

    this episode is one of my most rewatched…and I’ll continue to watch it. there is something so endearing & likeable about karissa even in the depths of her addiction. she survived some heavy sh*t, including an insane amount of daily drug use that would kill most, only to lose her life so senselessly. I never knew her but it infuriates me almost like I did. life was just truly beggining for her. I hope the family finds peace💜

  28. Luna

    Did they pull this episode completely? I tried to go rewatch it today and I couldn’t find it on any platform

    1. Stefan

      I think so. You may have to find a Torrent.

      1. Luna

        Thank you!

    2. Sonya

      I’m watching it right now on TrueReal

    3. Stephanie

      I have it on Amazon Prime

    4. Lynn

      It’s on Vice TV right now

  29. Nivey

    I found Karissa to be one of the most likeable and self-aware addicts! What was so memorable about her episode was when she stormed out of her intervention and Sylvia came outside and was walking towards her. At first it looked like Karissa was going to tell Sylvia to get lost, but Sylvia was so genuine (as always) and stretched out her arms for a hug and Karissa just fell into a tearful embrace! All the anger was gone. She was safe with Sylvia. I cried! You can tell in that moment she just surrendered. Hearing about the accident was heart breaking! I was really rooting for her in recovery! RIP Karissa. Prayers to your sweet family. 🙏