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S17E2 Tanisha

Season 17, Episode 2


Age: 39
Location:  Los Angeles, California
Addiction:  Heroin

What’s Memorable: “When I think about myself being a drug addict, I hate myself… The thing I’m most afraid of is that I’m not gonna get clean. Ever. And completely ruin my life and never go back to a normal life.” Those are sentiments I think every addict can relate to. Tanisha came off here as a really sweet, honest person caught up in something she just couldn’t control. Her intervention is one (much like Courtney’s) of very close female family members coming together to say “Enough. We love you but enough.”  And Donna was the perfect interventionist for this one. Being a black woman maybe helped her relate and establish trust with the family but she had a really perfect balance of empathy and realness about this particular situation. The more interventions I see her do the more I’m convinced Donna is very good at this.

Official Synopsis: Tanisha was living the dream life as an assistant to rap icon, Snoop Dogg. But when her fiance was brutally killed in front of her, grief-stricken, Tanisha turned to her mother, who introduced her to heroin. Tanisha has become a full-time junkie, and her family is terrified that without help, they will lose her.

Date Aired:  August 2017

All comments.

  1. Lhamo55

    Such a sweetheart!

    I really hope she stays on track. Watching the strong loving bond between her, her sister and cousin was so touching. I didn’t get an enabling or denial vibe from them – and the grandmother, having experienced her daughter’s descent into hell will hopefully stay the course.

    1. michilines

      I agree. It was one of the saddest episodes I have watched. She didn’t want to be where she was and her biggest mistake was going to her mom, but at the same time, she had been her mother’s support, so perhaps it was inevitable. Thank goodness for her sister and cousin. They are two strong women who gave their all to pull off an intervention on their own. I’m really proud of their effort.

  2. Janelle

    The future looks bright for Tanisha, but for her mum not so much. Tanisha seems to have embraced sobriety and wants to move forward in life, but Debbie has not hit rock bottom and seems to know no other life but that of an addict. The key to Tanisha staying sober is to keep her mother out of her life until she gets clean – the bond between them is so strong that if Tanisha keeps her addict mother in her life the odds of her relapsing are very high. She’d also do well to stay the hell away from the entertainment industry, which is a toxic environment for a recovering addict.

    Donna has come a long way since her epic f*** up with Courtney. She was at the top of her game with Tanisha and did a fantastic job of handling her family and confronting the grandmother with her denial.

  3. Janelle

    It was also nice to see Donna talk a bit about her own story. She’s the one interventionist who had never before discussed her own background on the show, and we all learned a bit more about her last night.

    1. Lamo55

      She’d mentioned understanding firsthand what it was like being in a prolonged psychotic state, didn’t she say it took over a year to recover from just that aspect? I think it might have been last season.

      I remember getting the impression that although she has probably the most guarded persona of all the interventionists, it may have the result of having emerged from one of the most deepest pits. Her memoir would be the one I would be most interested in reading.

    2. michilines

      Donna discussed her situation during Sierra’s episode. Perhaps you missed that one.

    3. Renee Sadie

      I can’t remember any of the interventionists’ back stories except for Candy really.

      1. Galusha

        Candy: adopted as a baby, married a famous music producer, stay at home mum who took up drink largely out of boredom, became an alcoholic and was “intervened” on by her mother in law, then went back to school got her degree in addiction counseling from UCLA and has been sober 30+ years.

        Ken: got heavily involved in the gay club/drug scene in the 1980s as a young man and got hooked on meth (meth was the popular drug of choice among gay men at that time). Sober since the late 1980s. Owns the intervention/counseling business that trained Donna.

        Jeff: trained as a minister, became an alcoholic. Got sober in the 1970s, got his degree in addiction counseling, wrote several books. Had a brief relapse around 2010 (had to take a hiatus from the show) but has been sober ever since. Mentored Sylvia as she began her career as an addiction counselor.

        Donna: Worked in the music industry in the 1990s and got hooked on crack and meth. Sober since the mid 1990s and trained by Ken.

        Seth: grew up in Hell’s Kitchen and got hooked on heroin as a young man and was in and out of jail on small-time charges. Got sober in the 1980s/1990s and got into acting (had several bit parts in movies and TV shows), then got into the addiction treatment business.

        Sylvia: we all know her story 😀

      2. Dizzy

        Damn, impressive! Thank you for that.

      3. The Duchess

        Wow!!! I didn’t know anyone’s stories except Donna and Silvia! I knew Candy and Jeff were alcoholics, but not the actual impetus behind their addictions. Thank you!

      4. Andrea

        Wow Galusha! Awesome summary!

      5. Janelle

        I’m going to give Ken a plug: That’s the link to the intervention and counseling business he owns.

      6. Renee Sadie

        Wow! I had some vague pieces of info here and there but thanks for the great summaries.

      7. Lhamo55

        Actually Donna was a Hollywood insider and agent representing actors and directors at CAA, she was Wesley Snipe’s agent. A LA native she went to Beverly Hills HS and then USC.

      8. Alice Schmid

        In LA, USC is referred to as “The University of Spoiled Children.”

  4. Robert Whetzel

    I miss you already! Say strong!!

    Robert W

  5. Ama

    This episode really touched me.

    Tanisha has such a good head on her shoulders, and the love between her family is so real and touching. Her story is so tragic, I can’t even imagine the emotional toll taken on her after that terrible murder.

    The intervention was so lovely and heartfelt. Her grandmother’s letter brought me to tears, it was so genuine and so sweet.

    I wish Tanisha the best, brightest future! She’s a sweet, smart lady and I believe she can turn her life back around!

  6. Sweetie

    This episode was a tear-jerker. Those three women in the intervention had so much love for their sister/cousin/granddaughter. Donna was the perfect interventionist to guide them along the way. I really hope Tanisha is doing well. She seems like a genuine, sweet person who deserves a good life. The same goes for her sister, cousin and grandmother. I also hope Tanisha’s mom finds her way before it’s too late.

  7. Theresa

    It’s not surprising that Tanisha’s mom didn’t last in treatment. Very sad, though. I hope that Tanisha can break the dangerous bond between her and her mom. Unfortunately, her sobriety means severing ties with her mom. Tanisha’s cousin is so real and down-to-earth.

  8. Emily

    Really enjoyed this episode and seeing the bond between Tanisha and Tiffany. I think Tanisha has what it takes to recover and have a good life.

  9. The Duchess

    I’m one of the people who hasn’t really cared for Donna’s intervention style in the past (one incident sticks with me – I can’t remember the addict’s name but when he came into the intervention, she sighed, shrugged her shoulders and introduced herself in a very negative way. I think it was the man who lived with his parents who made millions in the pear industry – her attitude was so negative through the whole discussion that I was FURIOUS!!), but I have to say this was a beautiful intervention. I liked seeing Donna “get real” and open up to the addict. I know that doesn’t work with every addict but showing vulnerability seems to go a long way sometimes.

    Somewhere in these discussions I was accused of being racist because I didn’t care for Donna’s style – it didn’t warrant a response because it’s utterly ridiculous. My only critique is on how they treat the addict.

  10. Andy

    Tanisha is doing well. I’m not going to post the link but she commented on her episode on another site. She said she wished her story hadn’t been recorded for the world to see, but she does appreciate intervention for saving her life.

  11. Alice Schmid

    So many of these episodes have people pseudo-crying, where they dab at their eyes even though no tears are evident.

    Tanisha was so obviously sincere and honest in what she said, in the emotions she expressed —- I actually adored the honest emotion.

  12. Alice Schmid

    “I’ll be your light guiding you thru the night where stars refuse to shine.” I love that
    lyric. It does not, ultimately, have to be done alone.

    1. Stefan

      Indeed. Apparently the group wrote that song originally to raise money for refugees, but it fits very well with the show too.

  13. TornadoAlley

    Any current update on Tanisha? 🙂

  14. Amanda Lyles

    I would love to see an update on Tanisha! Just re-watched her episode last night. She, her sister, auntie and grandma are all women I wish I had in my own life. So sad that her mom was the one who introduced her to heroin. I really hope Tanisha is doing well!

    1. Dylan

      She’s doing very well she says on the intervention video in the comments, she says that she has her own house and a car and a job now, i hope she stays down the right path hopefully this COVID stuff doesn’t affect her recovery process 🙁

  15. Nivey

    I just saw this episode on Vice! Tanisha has such a good-hearted spirit about her! She also still had a light in her eyes despite her addiction, which you don’t see often with other addicts on the show. What a mighty fall from how successful she once was. Very sad! I found her mother insufferable and way too non chalant about the direct impact she had on Tanisha’s addiction so shameful! However, the other women in her life, sister, cousin, and grandmother, were so amazing! They love her so much, and with a strong support system like them behind her, I know Tanisha can beat this! I pray the comments above about her doing well are all true! Please post any recent updates or information! Praying for you Tanisha!

  16. Curlann

    I just saw your episode today.. January 5, 2023. I’m praying you are still sober. Your story really touched my heart. I’m praying your mom is also sober. I’d love to hear from you. You got this baby girl! You are love and light! Remember that!

  17. Savannah Lawrence

    I really hope she stays clean; we need more black excellence. The majority of the show’s addicts are white, 87% I believe. We as an audience gaze through a white lens most of the time, and we only see that side of addiction. There just isn’t any diversity. Intervention’s therapeutic model is based off of ideas of self-sufficiency and being a contributive member of society, that influence us to become “healthy” and “productive” citizens. This model implies that this kind of lifestyle is only reserved for white people. This is toxic towards white people as well, being that failure to comply with an Intervention becomes a “tragedy” of wasted whiteness. It’s really disappointing that African Americans and Latinos are punished by the criminal justice system for their drug abuse and addiction, while as white people are given more opportunities for rehabilitation.

    1. Stefan

      Money is the main barrier for that sadly.