Season 16, Episode 8
Location: Sacramento, California
Addiction: Meth, Painkillers, Benzos
Legacy Update: Aired during Brad and Sam’s episode 6.5.18. He’s still sober and doing well in Nashville.
Official Synopsis: Todd was a successful house flipper from a prominent real estate family who was on track to take over the family business, but when the housing market collapsed in 2009, Todd lost everything. Financially busted, Todd moved his wife and daughter into his parents’ home and began to work for them. But two severe construction accidents led him to painkillers and ultimately to dependency. When Todd’s wife divorced him, he shifted to meth and his addiction careened out of control. His close-knit family is devastated as they watch their “Golden Boy” fall apart before their eyes. Donna Chavous is Todd’s Interventionist.
Date Aired: Jan 2017
Todd and I were in rehab together several years ago and he also moved into the sober living house that I lived in post rehab. Really nice guy, really down to earth guy. I could tell there was someone in alot of pain there. at the time he was in for Oxycontin and it was so sad to see that he went from doing that to replacing it with suboxone, benzos and meth. in rehab he was really quiet and kept to himself and was a genuinely good hearted guy that just was so sad on the inside. a week or two after I finished the program he moved into my sober living house in Santa Cruz, CA and he was so happy to be out it seemed like, and then I received notice that he left because he didn’t feel comfortable in the sober house, and that there was drug activity in the house. All unsubstantiated claims, but it may have been true. that was the last time I heard about him until watching his episode… our sober house was definitely really crappy. alot of sober houses ive been too really lack flexibility, support, and are generally uncomfortable and overcrowded environments with rules too rigid for working professionals. i knew several people who were under so much pressure from the rules and house dynamics until they would crack. ultimatley i was kicked out for missing too many meetings because i was the only one who worked a legit tech job that consumed my weekdays… rather than a majority of the house who collected disability and went to meetings all day. a very uncomfortable environment indeed. I really hope Todd gets it together. Staying sober is hard, ive had some slip ups myself but eventually got sober and stayed sober. He’s really a great guy who got lost, and I hope the best for him. And Dizzy, He’s in his 30s, lives in Sacramento, and is addicted to Meth, Benzos, and suboxone. Try amazon video if you want to watch it, that’s where I bought the episode.
Hi Man Bearpaw,
thanks for sharing your experience regarding sober living houses. I had no idea what life was like in a sober house and was curious. Thanks for taking the time! All the best to you, always!
Todd is 36 and from Sacramento. His addiction is to drugs in general. His choice drug is meth, but when he can’t get it he abuses atavan and opiates. Donna is the interventionist.
Todd grew up in a privileged, affluent family and in a sheltered environment. His father tried to instill a solid work ethic in him but his mother coddled him, and is to this day his primary enabler. Todd’s addiction has estranged him from his ex-wife and daughter (who looks to be about 6-7 years old), and if it weren’t for his parents letting him live on their property rent-free he would be homeless.
Donna did a great job on this one. Todd is a caring, sensitive bloke at heart so she didn’t need to use the hard-ass tactics she often does, but she was able to get through to him and convince him to go to treatment. She also was quite hard on the mother and did a good job of convincing her that if she didn’t quit her enabling she would lose her son forever.
Interesting that you said she was hard on the mom but I saw her as firm but tender with his mother. I guess for me it was when she said “you’ll have to think about it” regarding the child support payments.
Loved Todd’s family, especially his mom. She’s a special lady and their bond was very sweet. Also his wonderful childhood friend who convinced him to go. Todd seems like a genuinely great guy with a big heart and I wish him nothing but the best. Donna did a great job on this one. She was very tender with Todd’s mom. I really do like her, especially after seeing her in Sandy’s episode. She’s very effective with families and she was in her element here.
Also Tom has always been one of my faves and his follow up in this episode was so great!
I wonder if Todd did not have undiagnosed ADD when he was a kid. There are a number of red flags in his narrative:
– he was not very good at school however bright he was (and sounds)
– ADD usually comes with its lot of co-morbidities (depression and social anxiety coming out on top)
– The diagnosis is not as clear cut as ADHD because the child is just not able to focus a long time on any task but without exhibiting kinetic hyperactivity
– Todd seems to have grown in an environment where where there’s a will, there’s a way, so you’re supposed to be able to push through everything as long as you really want it
– And the huge red flag was to learn that amphetamines did not affect him the way it does the others and had more a calming/focusing effect on him than his friends (and yes he was absusing benzos too, but even with the benzos and the opiates, it shouldn’t have had such a blunt effect on him).
And that’s just off the top of my own ADD-addled brain!
I also noticed that he was taking Prozac, an SSRI, which would have totally blocked the serotonergic effects of meth, pharmacologically making it feel like a pure dopamine-norepinephrine releaser as pharmaceutical dexamphetamine.
Anyway, another super endearing intervenee. Yay Intervention! I hope Todd gets all the support and the love he deserves and stays on the straight and narrow!
He definitely reminds me of my husband, who has the non-hyperactive type of ADHD.
I agree with the diagnosis of ADD. It’s too bad he was not treated for that as a child. I believe his life would have turned out differently. I’m rooting for Todd. He is a sweet soul. I hope he remains clean.
I agree with your analysis. Have you read the book “healing the 7 types of ADD” by Daniel Amen? you seem to have a lot of insight into ADD/ADHD and a lot of the points you made are discussed at length in his book which I would highly recommend for anyone suffering from ADHD. It made a lot of issues I have had since childhood finally make sense!
Not really a comment on Todd personally but I have to say, I’m a little turned off by families who seem ostentatiously wealthy being on this show. Isn’t a lot of the point of it being to provide free rehab for addicts who couldn’t get there on their own? This family seems like it wouldn’t be a big hardship for them to fund Todd’s rehab. Maybe this opportunity could have gone to someone who needed it more
Don’t project your jealousy about your lack of money on Todd. He got help and he’s now in recovery and that’s what matters. No addict is more deserving of treatment than another.
Wow Janelle, that was pretty harsh. How do you claim to know so much about the financial situation of our new internet friend OS75? Maybe he/she has the resources of a Bill Gates and is simply opining that someone with much less family money might get more out of “free” yet painfully expensive treatment?
Gord, I’m sorry you find my comment harsh. However, I think that OS75’s implying that Todd is somehow less deserving of a chance at rehabilitation because his family is affluent is a pretty awful thing to say. I think it’s a safe assumption that a comment that insensitive is motivated by jealousy, and that since the person commenting made reference to Todd’s apparent wealth the jealousy arises from the commenter’s lack of it.
I’m neither jealous of Todd nor short of funds relative to my needs. However if I was producing a show that provided expensive services for free (or in exchange for privacy anyway), I would try to direct that to needier recipients rather than to dependent offspring of wealthy real estate families. I wish Todd the best in his recovery. He needed treatment; not sure that he needed this show as some others have
Wow! Why project your own issues on another poster? It’s a common criticism of reality TV that they pick affluent people as subjects. Look at all the home make-over shows done for people’s second vacation homes.
Yes, affluent families need help, too. They are some of the sickest families seen on Intervention in many cases. But don’t project jealousy on posters who offer the criticism that reality TV ignores the needy. It’s a valid criticism, even if you don’t like it.
But…Todd doesn’t have anything of his own, and his parents are under no obligation to pay for his treatment. And showing diversity takes away some if the stigma associated with addiction. Addiction is blind.
But…that isn’t “showing diversity”. The vast majority of Intervention subjects come from white middle class homes, while the most stigmatized drug users are people of color and severely impoverished people, i.e., those that have historically been more likely to wind up with long sentences behind bars, those least likely to have access to quality treatment, and subsequently those who are most likely to die from overdoses or drug-related health complications. Intervention has featured fewer black, Latino, and indigenous American subjects than the fingers on my hands, and about as many subjects from isolated, poor and rural areas. It’s arguably progress that the show humanizes substance use disorder in a way that was rarely depicted during the heyday of the war on drugs in the 80s/90s, but is it really groundbreaking to persuade our society to empathize with the struggles of an affluent white man from a good family? (and NO, I’m not saying that means he doesn’t deserve empathy or help). The fact is, Todd had options beyond Intervention. There are thousands of forgotten souls who are dying slowly on the streets, cast off in the margins as throwaways, with MAT or jail as their treatment options. You want to talk blindness? That’s who we’re not seeing.
Actually, they do have options. I work in a rehab where about 90% of the clients are on Medicaid. Many are homeless when they get here. There’s no yoga, we don’t go to the beach, the food isn’t catered, but if they put their mind to it, they can get sober here- and I’ve seen people do a 180 while here. Come back from the edge to fully functional. They’re finding their way to us, even in their worst hour. It’s possible. I know the state I live in is being really proactive about promoting treatment and funding more centers and offering treatment options to people who are arrested. I hope other places are being as proactive, but in this political environment, I’m not sure.
Some families like this, don’t know how to start or where to even begin. Todds family even mentioned they lost another family member to addiction if i remember correctly. In that case, as it is said many many times in many episodes, “auction is not just the user, it’s the family as well”. The family doesn’t know how to handle it, they don’t understand it fully, and in many ways family members can be in denial of their contribution to the leading addiction of their loved one.
I’m poor as hell, but i still believe the whole family needed that intervention, not just Todd
I understand what you’re saying, but I also agree that addiction is blind, and the resources offered should be as well. An addict is an addict, and regardless of the economic resources, some family members simply don’t know how to help in a productive manner. They typically enable, and don’t even realize it. Todd’s family, especially his sister, made it clear that he had a problem separating himself from his comfort zone, which in this case, was his very sweet, well intentioned mom. He needed to be pushed out of the nest so he could show himself that he was strong enough to survive on his own, and more importantly, he could thrive while sober. You can be the richest family in the world, but without someone who is professionally trained to step in and help, you are throwing your money away. They sent him to numerous rehab facilities and the moment he returned home, he started using again. His family recognized his addiction reached beyond the depths of their finances. I applaud any family, regardless of their socioeconomic background, who want help so badly, they are willing to apply to be on the show. It’s hard to admit, even though it’s so common now, that you are struggling with an addict. This show allows others struggling with similar problems that there is hope. It’s inspiring. And let’s be honest, it’s affected us all enough to take the time out to comment on this thread! 😊
Rehab is expensive as hell and not always covered by health insurance. I don’t think it’s as attainable as you think…
It’s not the family’s financial responsibility to pay for the treatment of a loved one!
I appreciate the show’s portrayal of wealthy addicts’ stories. Addiction does not recognize wealth.
I also don’t agree that the show’s primary purpose is to offer treatment to those that can’t afford it. The show offers awareness of addiction, the family element of enabling, the importance of family involvement etc… I see it’s purpose as education and hope.
I am surprised again and again that Al-Anon is not recommended to the friends and family members. Al-Anon Family Groups is free and is located every where. It offers on-going support.
I agree. This show only helps those who have “Hollywood appeal”. I’ve only see a couple of episodes of people that looked like they weren’t middle class. I know about 20 addicts that live on the streets that could use the help but I bet they would be “too boring” to put on the show for help.
I just watched the episode and I have to say Todd is such a sweet sweet man! I have never seen someone thank there family for doing the intervention they usually are pissed and bitter! I really feel hopeful for him and happy he is changing his life! Hats off to you Todd!
Todd was just featured as a Legacy update and he looks amazing and is working at a recovery center.
Here is the link to Todd’s legacy update!
Love Donna. She has such heart! Love her intervention style!
As someone who worked at a rehab you be amazed what goes on behind closed doors. One of these days dizzy I would love to do an AMA so if anyone has questions about rehab I can help them. Could this be possible?
Love him❤ and his family. They all seem like good hearted people. Anyone have an update? I so hope he is doing well and sees his daughter regularly ❤