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Episode 227: Joshua B.

Season 17, Episode 3

Joshua B.
Age: 34
Location:  Raleigh, North Carolina
Addiction: Hand Sanitizer

What’s Memorable: None of the people in this episode are in denial. Not Josh, not his family, not his ex-wife. They all know exactly what’s up, they know Josh is killing himself, and they’re willing to do what needs to be done to save him.  Josh, despite his threats to throw himself off a bridge if this is an intervention, calmly accepts that if all these people are willing to do this for him, they must care. That’s what he didn’t know before, and that is what so much of Intervention is about.  The fact that these important people in your life are willing to do something so freaking dramatic because they’re THAT worried about you, because they care THAT much, it’s got to be a huge wake up call.  Joshua, you seem smart, resilient and kind and you’ve got a lot of people rooting for you. You can absolutely do this.

Official Synopsis: By the age of 21, Joshua had the world in his hands. A six-figure salary managing a dozen convenient stores, marriage, and owner of his own home, Joshua was a great provider for his wife and her children. But a back surgery in 2010 led to a severe addiction to pain pills that morphed into an extraordinary addiction to hand sanitizer that has cost him everything. Now, his family is petrified that without help, Joshua’s his addiction will blind him, cause a massive stroke, or death by organ failure.

Date Aired:  August 2017

Categories: Alcohol, Hand Sanitizer, Medical Problem, Season 17, Sylvia


34 Responses to “Episode 227: Joshua B.”

  1. I have never seen anything like this before. The aspect of this episode I like was that Josh explained how his mind thinks when it comes to his addiction. I work in a rehab facility (my dream job) and intervention has really helped me understand the mind of an addict.

    I am so happy for Joshua and I hope he continues on the right path.

    Posted by Brooke | August 14, 2017, 8:28 pm
  2. I really, really hate to say this because Silvia is my favorite interventionist, but did it seem to anyone else like she was a bit altered? I’ve watched this show since the first season and specifically remember her episode….a few of her words were slurring together a bit, and she didn’t seem to have her usual peppy attitude. I really want to be wrong about this but I just feel something isn’t right.

    Posted by The Duchess | August 15, 2017, 2:17 am
    • I didn’t notice that at all. She did an excellent job managing Josh’s intervention. She was having a bad hair day, though 🙂

      Posted by Janelle | August 15, 2017, 7:43 am
    • I noticed it too when she is first talking to the camera after the producer informs her about Joshua’s suicide threats.

      Posted by William | August 15, 2017, 8:36 am
    • I noticed she seemed a little off too, maybe she was tired or stressed? Idk. But when she explained to the family what the word no means and about boundaries she really hit the nail on the head!

      Posted by HollyBerry | August 15, 2017, 8:45 am
    • I watched Silvia’s episode (I have it saved on my TiVo) and this episode again and here is what I saw:
      • In the grips of her addiction, Silvia was messy, unkempt, her hair and makeup were a wreck and her clothes sloppy. Plus her eyes and her entire face are just flat – almost like she’s not in there.
      • Once Silvia was well into recovery, her hair, makeup, and clothes were impeccable. The same goes for her personality – Silvia is one of those people who really sparkle in her eyes when she’s in control of herself.
      • When Silvia joined the show as an interventionist, she was so alive and so “put together.” Her hair, makeup, and clothes were always well done, and her personality just exuded love and compassion.

      What alarmed me the most last night was her appearance – her clothes were messy, her hair was messy, and she looked really strained. I still saw her warmth and love, but it had an edge to it. She slurred a few words while speaking, but the worst of all was the lack of sparkle.

      My heart is with Silvia – of everyone on the show, she stood out the most and I cried happy tears when she came back as an interventionist. I’ve always loved her gentle style and her unbelievably beautiful soul – you can really feel her love in every intervention.

      Silvia, if you read this forum….please, please know that I’m saying this out of love. I am worried about you – I believe you are strong in your recovery but if there’s anything I’ve learned from this show and my own walk down this road, relapse is a major part of recovery and I hope with all my being that I am wrong. Please forgive me if that is the case – but if it isn’t, please know that there are many, many people who love you and know you’re stronger than your addiction. This world would be a terrible place without your gentle soul. I love you and the wonderful things you do! If you need to talk to someone, I give Dizzy my permission to forward my email address to you. I’ve lived with addiction in my family on all sides (both parents, both sides of grandparents, ex-husband, and extended family) and fought my own battle – I do not judge and only want to be a shoulder and a non-judgemental ear. I would imagine it would be hard to reach out to anyone as an interventionist, so I’m offering my ear.

      Posted by The Duchess | August 15, 2017, 4:29 pm
    • I thought she sounded congested, like she had a cold/flu or allergies. She seemed fine when she went to visit him after a couple of months.

      Posted by May | August 15, 2017, 6:42 pm
    • I noticed Sylvia in this episode looked different than in her earlier episodes (e.g. Karissa, Sturgill). I think she’s had some plastic surgery done on her nose. I don’t know when exactly she had the surgery, but if it was recently before Joshua’s episode was shot and she was still suffering a bit from the after-effects, it could explain why she seemed a bit “off.”

      Posted by Galusha | September 13, 2017, 3:16 pm
  3. In case we forgot Anthony drank liquid sanitizer for being in the hospital for alcohol poisioning, and Kristine, after getting out of rehab decided to start abusing hand sanitizer ahe was even featured on Dr.Phil with her family. Die harf alcoholics will abuse anything with alcohol in it.

    Posted by Janice | August 15, 2017, 4:56 am
  4. One thing that stood out about this one was how open, honest and aware Josh was about his addiction. No denial whatsoever, and he seemed to be looking for a way out rather than a way to continue his addiction. He was one of the few addicts we’ve seen who seemed genuinely relieved once he realised he was being intervened on, and excited when he was offered treatment. He seems to be doing well in treatment and I wish him the best going forward!

    Posted by Janelle | August 15, 2017, 7:47 am
  5. Anyone have a link to this episode? It’s not unlocked from a&e.com yet.

    Posted by Stefan | August 16, 2017, 6:47 pm
  6. Joshua is brilliant! I too loved his incredible insight into his addict brain and how perfectly he can describe the experience. His story really stuck with me.

    I wonder, is he an Aspie? (Asbergers Syndrome) They’re brilliant, beautiful souls with genius IQs that have it a bit tougher in the world than most.

    Keep up the good work, Joshua.

    Posted by Nurse Sugar | August 18, 2017, 7:23 pm
  7. This was one of the most difficult shows for me to watch, I think, because of the amount of industrial toxins *besides the alcohol* his poor liver and kidneys must process and filter, along with the immediate effect on the gut and stomach – my own gut churned every time he took a swig. I can’t imagine he can enjoy eating as any helper bacteria that normally helps in the digestive process has no chance of surviving. Another thing, research has shown that over 90% of serotonin is made – not in the brain where all these years it was assumed to be manufacured – but in the gut. We may also be hearing about other mood regulators being made there also.

    Mental health researchers have already begun looking at the connection between mood disorders and the level of helpful bacteria, I’m hoping they will get around to examining gut shredding alcohol in the same light. Imagine if some day one could balance their mood regulators and cut cravings for their drug by taking certain probiotics.

    I personally get benefit from hi octane probiotics in treating my own addictive behavior – so I’m hoping with all my heart if Josh can at least build an appetite for wholesome food as he recovers, it might play a part, no matter how small, in being able to face each day without a bottle of hand sanitizer bellowing his name in the back of his mind.

    Posted by Lhamo55 | August 22, 2017, 2:35 pm
  8. I thought Sylvia was a bit off but my sense was that she’s being deeply occupied by something like a health or close family issue rather than substance abuse. Something different in her life that she has to let run its course. Thinking good thoughts for her – she’s come so far and grown since her episode.

    Posted by Lhamo55 | August 22, 2017, 2:51 pm
  9. Finally saw this episode. It made me as uncomfortable as the one with Allison the huffer. Josh clearly is on the right track though, and he’s so lucky to have someone like Melissa in his life. Also, Sylvia once again nailed the intervention (she’s giving Candy some major competition as my favorite interventionist!).

    Posted by Stefan | September 2, 2017, 12:50 pm
  10. Just left a rehab where Josh and I were guests, literally the smartest person I’ve ever met. Dude can recall an insane amount of information off the top of his head. With the dry, sarcastic humor he is an absolute blast to hang out with. One of the very few people I liked being around.. I wish him the best

    Posted by Joe m | October 20, 2017, 7:55 pm
  11. Where did he grow up in New York?

    Posted by Valerie | June 11, 2018, 7:36 pm
  12. I totally disagree with the viewers who thought Sylvia might have suffered a relapse of some kind. Her speech did not seem slurred to me at all. She had gotten a perm and it clearly had not settled down yet. She used to work at a Talbot’s store when she was still drinking (I recognized the merchandise! LOL) and was very tightly prim and proper. Jackets with high collars, preppy to the max. Now she is more nuts and granola, part of her new-found freedom of expression, I feel, in which she no longer has to be the belle of the ball. So what might seem to you sloppy or disheveled simply looked organic to me, more carefree. Sylvia is focusing on addiction and recovery and the dynamics of communication (I thought her observation about the sentence “No.” was brilliant.) and we ought not fall into that southern belle dynamic that her mother imposed on her, that was so toxic.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Posted by Alice Schmid | November 10, 2018, 2:21 pm
    • YES!! Absolutely!! So right Alice!

      Sylvia is in a very serious undertaking here…peppy and bubbly is not the way to tackle the situation.

      You see her welcome Josh a little that way, but in a good way…assuring him that its a safe environment.

      She is an awesome and amazing woman! I’m a long time fan of hers.

      (and, good lord, if we are all subject to suspicion of relapse due to bad room lighting, a fluffy haircut or a cowlick after a plane flight…reserve us all a spot at Betty Ford now.)

      Posted by Bonni | April 30, 2019, 12:51 pm
  13. Love Sylvia and agree with poster above.

    Posted by Tobie | November 10, 2018, 7:30 pm
  14. I watched Josh’s episode last night – and someone whos watched most every season, his episode and his apology really touched my heart the most. He seemed to fully take responsibility, for his actions, and for the pain he has caused his loved ones. He even shows this throughout the show and his addiction – battling between his addiction, or the love of his family winning out. I wish nothing but the best for Josh, his sweet sweet wife, and his parents.

    Posted by Elizabeth Aker | December 12, 2018, 6:02 am
  15. Sylvia did seem a little off to me, but in the update, where she visited Joshua at rehab, she was back to her old self, bright and sparkly, so I think it was just a rough couple of days for her.

    Posted by Derek Martz | September 22, 2019, 10:48 pm
  16. Joshua seems so incredibly sad. I want him to forgive himself.

    Posted by Penni | September 23, 2019, 3:25 pm
  17. I just saw this episode today and I’m extremely concerned about Joshua in the year 2020. I can imagine life would be a constant trigger right now… I hope he is doing well…

    Posted by Rose | August 27, 2020, 5:27 am

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