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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.

Update: Joshua Dale Benney died September 19, 2020 of organ failure. Here is a Facebook post documenting his hospitalization and here is his obituary

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

All comments.

  1. Brooke

    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.

    1. Andrea

      I agree…I really liked him, and I’m hoping for the best!

  2. The Duchess

    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.

    1. Janelle

      I didn’t notice that at all. She did an excellent job managing Josh’s intervention. She was having a bad hair day, though 🙂

    2. William

      I noticed it too when she is first talking to the camera after the producer informs her about Joshua’s suicide threats.

    3. HollyBerry

      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!

      1. The Duchess

        That was a beautiful moment! That’s the Silvia we all love ❤️

    4. The Duchess

      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.

    5. May

      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.

    6. Galusha

      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.”

  3. Janice

    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.

    1. Renee Sadie

      Unfortunately this is how my boyfriend’s mother passed (rubbing alcohol though not hand sanitizer). So scary and so sad.

      1. Nathan Skiles

        what i dont understand is that i am for sure an addict. im 39 and have been taking opiates for 15 years. the last 10 have been heroin mostly. thank god i have it under control now since i started taking suboxone. before i started pain pill i would get black out drunk every night for months and months and months straight until i’d take a break for a night, then right back at it. I worked at from 4pm to 11pm so would start drinking right after work, sleep til 2 pm. and go to work. i was an alcoholic before taking opiates. i started this cycle when i was 18 years old, so probably drank 7 years very heavily. As i said i’m for sure and addict. what i don’t understand about alcohol and most alcoholics is first thery have to have it as soon as they wake up, and all throught out the day. When i’d wake up to 2 pm i was alwyays VERY hungover, so the last thing i’d want is a sip of alcohol. i usually woke up thinking “why do i keep doing this to myself.” I don’t get how they even stomach the smell of it after waking up. once my hangover would where off i’d be right back to it. the other thing i never understood is physical dependance with alochol. I never got it and as i said i’d drink months on end with no break in the middle. when i’d take a day off id go right back to it. but whenever a situation would come up where i couldn’t have it, whether it be jail, or other obligations or even at times to prove to other people “im not an alcoholic, i can quit whenever i want,” obviously i now know that i was addicted to alcohol. psychologically addicted, not physically addicted.. i’ve heard the reason some people don’t go through withdrawal from alcohol and some do is a genetic thing. i dont know if that’s true or not, but one thing i can say is i most definitely was never in a situation where i’d attempt to drink hand saniter

    2. sid

      yes, which episode is it where the addict is so desperate they were drinking mouthwash?

      1. beelove

        not sure of the episode number but the addict’s name is leslie.

  4. Janelle

    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!

  5. Stefan

    Anyone have a link to this episode? It’s not unlocked from a& yet.

    1. Alice Schmid

      I am watching it online on Amazon Prime video. The standard definition version costs $1.99.

  6. Nurse Sugar

    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.

  7. Lhamo55

    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.

  8. Lhamo55

    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.

  9. Stefan

    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!).

    1. Murdock

      Allison grew up near me. I know her sister and she’s doing well now.

  10. Joe m

    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

  11. Valerie

    Where did he grow up in New York?

  12. Alice Schmid

    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.

    1. Bonni

      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.)

  13. Tobie

    Love Sylvia and agree with poster above.

  14. Elizabeth Aker

    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.

  15. Derek Martz

    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.

    1. Britt

      I really don’t get why everyone is complaining about Silvia in the episode, she was kind and sweet and has great fashion sense lol
      I think she did a great job and was just perfect for Josh ( he needed love)

  16. Penni

    Joshua seems so incredibly sad. I want him to forgive himself.

  17. Rose

    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…

    1. Halley

      Yes, especially for anyone with food addiction/addicted to video games, this year is tough…

      1. Halley

        Oh sorry I got confused about the addict.. you don’t have to post this comment.

      2. Rose

        Yeah, I can imagine quarantine has put alot of people into withdrawals…but to have the hand sanitizer crisis being all you hear about for a while then there’s huge stockpiles of it at like every store and checkout…Yeah I just hope he’s doing okay

    2. Timmy

      Unfortunately it looks like Joshua passed away in September. Obituary doesn’t list a cause, but seems he was in the hospital before his death and needed a ventilator and his organs were shutting down. I just watched this episode today and was very sad to find the update.


      FB with family updates:

  18. Charlotte

    I’ve been reading these comments and watching these episodes for years and haven’t yet felt compelled to post. I feel like Josh’s mom was really inappropriate and putting both her and Josh in a dangerous situation by being so intrusive with a guy who clearly not in control of his actions when drinking and in a very volatile place.

  19. Jillian

    I saw this one today and did some research. He passed away in October. I also learned he was originally from a town in NJ about 5 miles from me. This episode really hit me and I am so sad to see he passed.

  20. Michelle C

    What a tragedy. Did he relapse?

    1. Stef

      Check out his FB page. (link in a comment above) He had internal bleeding a few days before his death. COVID is mentioned in the comments.

      I hate hearing that he is gone. Seemed like a really good guy.

      Rest peacefully, Josh

      1. Stef

        Scratch that…he did NOT have COVID. He clarifies this in his comment. Perforated ulcer.

      2. Stef

        A family member wrote this:

        · Reply · 46w
        Joshua Benney
        Joshua is in an induced coma and on a breathing ventilator. He is suffering with liver failure and his kidneys are shutting down. His prognosis is poor.

  21. Sofia

    Where can i watch this episode?