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The Heroin Hub: Chapter 1

Season 20, Episode 1

Location: Kensington area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Official Synopsis: The interventionists arrive to Philadelphia’s Heroin Hub and meet Nicole, a 39-year-old heroin addict and prostitute, who’s lived in the area for five years. Also featured is Janine, a 22-year-old addict whose father just died from a fatal overdose weeks earlier.

My Thoughts: I feel like they’re definitely trying to go for being a gritty 6-part documentary instead of an episodic reality TV show, and I think the way they produced this episode was quite successful at that. This felt way more like a documentary than any other episode of Intervention, even more so than the Heroin Triangle season. There was much more time spent on the community and the bigger context and a lot less on individual addicts. That might be the case only for this first episode, but even so, if they continue on with the theme as it was presented here, then I imagine the whole season will be about treating the community by treating the individual, and I for one am looking forward to that. It really gets across how much of an epidemic we’re dealing with in America right now, and how hard it is to save people from it when they live in places that are as deeply sick as Kensington is. The individuals they did focus on, especially Nicole who they met on the street (although I leave open the possibility that the meeting was planned and not impromptu), felt more like documentary subjects than they usually do. Of course we’re still gonna go through the emotional process of seeing these addicts and their families struggle and then hopefully get clean with the help of our beloved Interventionists, so that’s good. All in all, a great start to Season 20 and I’m stoked about what they’re doing here. Truly trying to save lives. Much respect to Intervention.

All comments.

  1. Janice Avila

    I lived in Boyertown back in 09. It’s an hour outside of philly and let me tell you when we had to go to the city or had to come to Kensington, my ex had a relative there, we saw a lot of drug use . Very sad. I hope Jenanie gets the proper help, her mother just comes off so detached and for her saying her alcohol didnt affect her shows deflection from her own accountability.

  2. Lagaya

    May be just me, the the interventionist with the neck tattoos makes me really uncomfortable. He looks like they’re choking him sometimes.

  3. Lhamo55

    I realize we’ll be meeting more folks but straight off I’m really pulling for Nicole. I see so many women (and men) on the streets of San Francisco with similar mannerisms and this is an opportunity to see the real person underneath get the opportunity to get clean. Janine’s family history loaded the deck – hopefully her aunt continues her sobriety and reasonably clear thinking. Mom’s in denial about the consequences of her drinking on her daughter and I may have missed whether she’s sober now.

    We’ve seen so many people over the years who’ve come close to rock bottom but not really there yet, thanks to their enablers but these two seem to be already there.

  4. S0ccerba11z

    Treating the community by treating the individual. I like that Dizzy. Certainly looks like Kensington could use more than an extra 40 beds for treatment. It’s truely horrifying how many deaths are attributed to the opioid epidemic every year now. I’m one of the lucky ones – got on oxy due to a bad accident and at my the end was shooting dope 8 times a day just to get by. Was rescued by an angel who helped me get clean coming up to a year now. I have to watch this stuff as it reminds me of where i was not long ago. It’s a scary place to be. Rooting for Janine and Nicole 🙏

  5. lyzee

    does anyone know how to download or view recent episodes in Australia? It usually takes me up to an hour to find one that is watchable and even then, it would only be an old episode.

  6. Toreigh

    Nicole is so self aware and I feel so much sympathy for her. I am fully rooting for her and think she could do great things with a sober mind and body.

  7. Kitty Katt

    It got me hooked within the first few minutes. THIS is what EVERYONE needs to see in order to comprehend what can and will happen to your town next. This is the MOTHERLOAD of real addiction inserted within businesses, schools, churches, homeowners, and innocent children who can’t even come out to play. I can actually see both points of view here. Nothing will get solved if both sides are arguing and nothing is being done by either side. This did not happen overnight. This will not happen overnight either. Both sides have to get on the same page and work on a plan where you give a little and you take a little. It won’t happen any other.

    For those who aren’t familiar with Times Square/New York – 42nd Street and that whole area, please do a little research. No one thought that would ever get cleaned up either.

    I honestly wished this would have been a 2 hour episode because I was so drawn into it. Although it’s the first one, I’m seriously pulling for Nicole. She broke my heart. When they hugged her and walked away, I wanted to cry because I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want to help her. Next thing you know, here comes Jim saying he’s going to find her family and get her the help she so desperately needs.

    I think Jim is a good fit as an interventionist for this entire area. He knows the ins and outs since he was one of them on the same sidewalks too. You can tell he put Nicole at ease because she was being looked at as a person and not some “dumb drug addict”. He made a good first impression on me. His attitude kind of reminds me of Seth who was one of my favorites.

    Can’t wait for next week!

  8. Misa

    I’m from Philly born and raised . I’m 38 years old and ever since I can remember, Kensington is one of the worse neighborhoods in Philly. It’s very, very poor, dirty and most of all, full of drugs. Honestly, I think the entire neighborhood is all drug addicts now and has been for a very long time. I shudder to think if any children live there.

    Kenzo is the drug mecca of Philly. Many people from surrounding areas such as Montgomery County, but especially Delaware county come and get their drugs from there.

  9. Stefan

    During the protest scenes I felt so enraged knowing that the deinstitutionalization movement of the 80s is the main cause of what’s happening in neighborhoods like Kensington, especially when it was said that most of these people aren’t mentally sane enough to get help for themselves. Prior to the Reagan administration, most all of these people would be in institutions.

  10. Tazz

    I know change/progress comes in small steps sometimes; but 40 beds in freaking PHILLY??? Seriously? Like wow, gee, thanks dude! I don’t know…I was a tad bit peeved after seeing that. Until they start investing into mental health/addiction treatment and changing the broken system we have now, this crisis will unfortunately, but likely get so much worse. How about more facilities for these services? Instead of a handful of beds/spots!

    I really liked the premiere of this segment, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the episodes. They’re being thorough with their message, and I was so happy to see them reach out to Nicole like that. I’m really rooting for her. She’s so sweet, and deserves to be happy, safe and healthy.

  11. Eitan

    I haven’t felt these episodes yet, but kudos for inverting the order between the official synopsis paragraph and what’s memorable / my thoughts. Don’t you think it makes more sense now?

    1. Dizzy

      It was actually an accident, then I was like hmmm, that kinda works better.

  12. Lisa Marie

    This epidemic is extremely sad. I have a sister who is an addict and I feel ALOT of them love getting stoned ! I think the show forces people to get straight , and THAT NEVER WORKS ! CAUSE THEY LOVE GETTING STONED! We need to PRAY and leave it in GODS hands. Help them as much as possible , buy forcing them does not work. Thats why they relapse ! Tough call

  13. Christine Flanagan

    As the documentary ended, sadness overwhelmed me. Your crew documented Kensington/areas exactly as they are. Philly needs serious help. I am reaching out for any positive assistance your voice can provide to our very broken city, Philadelphia.
    Mayor Kenney is pushing for “safe injection sites”. Consider the facts: drug use, prostitution, buying/selling drugs are all illegal. Many times, guns are involved, people are robbed, businesses have closed, and people die in the dirty streets. Children witness very unpleasant scenes they should never see. Philly needs solutions. Safe injection sites are NOT the answer.
    Violence has escalated, drug use is out of control, and people are dying. This horrific situation must end now before our children become the next generation.
    Employ more police & counselors. Expand outreach programs. Funding can be generated by holding all owners of the thousands of vacant buildings & lots accountable. Properties owned by the City are not exempt. Impose deadlines for all past due taxes, overdue repairs, & maintenance. Demolish properties beyond repair at the expense of the owner.
    Safe injection sites are beyond ridiculous. Mayor Kenney is proposing to allow these illegal actions to continue with no consequences. Addiction is a sickness. We can’t just give up and allow the drugs to win. Every life is worth saving and protecting. Please help our city. Thank you.

  14. MOwens

    This might have been mentioned already, but there are 2 YouTube channels that I watch (Amlfilms-my favorite, and Morals K
    Over Money) and it really shines a light on the situation in Kensington. AML is my favorite bc it’s mostly interviews of addicts and it shows how they’re real people- not just addicts. It’s pretty eye opening. I think anyone who likes Intervention would also be interested in this.

    Soft White Underbelly is another YouTube channel that’s mostly on Skid Row in LA… he’s an awesome interviewer!

    1. Maz

      I watch these fantastic little films. Kensington is a disgusting place! Poor families stuck there 😓