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Season 22, Episode 8 (Intervention Canada)

Amber
Age: 32
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Cocaine, Morphine

Official Synopsis: Brilliant and athletic, Amber was a star hockey goalie with dreams of playing for the Canadian national team. But at age 15, a head trauma sustained in a brutal on-ice collision benched her for good, leaving her to live with excruciating, chronic pain. It was 12 years before a surgeon finally discovered that Amber’s spinal cord had also been injured in the accident. Surgery improved the underlying injury, but by then she was hopelessly dependent on pain medication. Now, at 29, Amber is addicted to cocaine, alcohol and morphine. Her family fears that without an intervention Amber’s days are surely numbered.

What’s Memorable: [Guest Post by Stefan] As is the case with many of those profiled on the show, her addiction came about by the need to stop intense physical pain. Also, the girlfriend Olivia had a major savior complex going on, so much so to the point where she would allow her children to be subjected to everything going on and cause so much tension with her mother. It was especially unusual how the ex-husband/father seemed to support Olivia and Amber’s relationship at the expense of his children.

Interventionist: Jesse
Date Aired: April 26, 2021  (Aired as Intervention Canada Season 5 Episode 10, on July 22, 2019)

Comments
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Comments

  1. BJ Dewey

    What has happened with Amber and Olivi
    Since Amber relapsed did Olivia stick to her guns and break up with Amber?
    Did Amber’s mother also stick to her guns and remove Amber from her life and home?

    1. Mini

      On another group, someone posted they are still together.

  2. Stefan

    I can’t be the only one who thought she looked a lot like Alicia “Pink” Moore.

  3. Claire

    This one felt a little odd to me production-wise. It seemed like they heavily implied that Amber’s mother had a drinking problem, but didn’t really address it or explain the history (unless I just missed it, haha). Also no update on whether or not people were maintaining their bottom lines.

    I was blown away by Olivia’s lack of insight and empathy for the people who weren’t Amber. Her kids were the ones who truly needed her, but she seemed so invested in Amber’s issues that she also seemed unaware of how growing up around so much dysfunction could hurt her children on a deep level. It was also bizarre to me that her ex wasn’t setting harder boundaries to protect them.

    IDK, I guess I can’t judge too harshly since I’m not a parent and we never have the full story from a single TV episode. That just struck me.

    I hope she stuck to her bottom lines and got some help.

  4. chloe

    it really left a bad taste in my mouth when olivia asked her mother why she couldn’t be proud of her for wanting to help somebody. seemed very telling of some serious narcissism veiled as protection for amber.

  5. Susie

    The Canadian episodes have never given a great update at the end. I also thought that was so odd that Olivia said, “I cant believe my mom doesnt think its admirable of me for helping Amber.” But like someone said, you cant see everything from one brief tv episode. I would love to know what happened after Amber relapsed. As soon as I saw her after her 90 days I was thinking, “shes going to relapse”. She still just looked so depressed compared to other people on the show after treatment. I really hope she finds sobriety again.

    1. suzB

      I totally agree. at the update she didn’t look happy at all . it was very sad.

      1. Stefan

        I feel like this season’s Canadian episodes really had a lot of that (in the worst case Elann’s followup).

  6. Albert

    Is it just me or do the success stories seem to come from people that DO NOT return to their old haunts? Relapses seem to occur when people return home.

    At the end of the episode, Amber looked completely high.

    1. Brooks

      I’ve watched this show since its beginning and have noticed the same thing. When you put yourself right back in the setting where your addiction was allowed to thrive, the temptation is understandable and relapse seems inevitable.

    2. BradleyB

      I lived in a nice newer construction home on Marlton, NJ with my brother and father after my mom picked up and left us all for a guy she met in Italy playing cards on yahoo bridge (still struggle to say that part w a straight face) she was already a belligerent alcohol abuser at that point so the exit was welcome but the examples were set. Over 15 years in the same house my brother and I both battled varying forma of drug addiction but mostly opioids and opiates but still a smorgasbord of dysfunction and enabling each of us having our own floor of the house that we’d flee or graduate rehab to come back to. Even my dad asked me to get him weed when I was on probation and trying so hard not to smoke it and fail rdts for probation from DUI. Anyway I got pretty stable on Suboxone but my brother is one of those “go hard go angry” types so of course we could not mesh or even get along. Fast forward all 3 of us live separate my brother went the XA route got clean picked up his life used his degree has a great job and great gf who supports his substance use avoidance lifestyle. I am on Suboxone for about 9 years no coffee cigarettes booze or non-rx meds. I am on the medical marijuana program but I use it sparingly because there’s a fine line between targeted MMJ treatment strains and just getting blasted off huge amounts of ultra potent bud. Dad lives with a new family he started and we aren’t welcome to any holiday at his wife’s house even tho we’ve never taken from threatened or done anything untoward to hto hold a resentment hard not to hate my parents every holiday but I try to remember we are a family with mental illness and I have to accept that to be a happy positive person. Buylt yes, NOT LIVING or RETURNING is a huge component of stopping the insane cycle.

      1. InScrubs

        I’m proud of you. Suboxone is a good maintenance med when used properly-as you are. Amazing!

      2. Randice

        Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope. I also had a opiate addiction and was able to stop using it and get on Suboxone. I decided to stay on the Suboxone because I have chronic pain and don’t trust myself taking opiates. I know it will start the cycle all over again and I already died and was in a coma with a 20% chance of making it. I decided to get clean when that happened 11 years ago. I hope your sibling is doing well and the rest of your family. It’s such a crippling family disease. Both my parents died at a young age due to addiction. 48 and 52. I was wondering what Amber would do for her chronic pain and had a feeling due to the physical pain she would relapse and she did.

  7. Brit

    Any updates on amber? I have similar issues and I’m also from toronto

  8. Britt

    Hey Amber, we are the same age and struggling with similar issues. I also live in Toronto. Just wanted to give you my email please feel free to reach out anytime if you ever need support, addiction is a brutal disease.
    [email protected]

  9. Theodoran

    Google search: “Amber Johnson Toronto” and you can see she was abducted after the show and later found safe!

  10. Andrea White

    So I looked her up online and on Facebook. I found Olivia’s profile and they look happily together. I see online a website where Amber is trying to give music lessons to people and it lists that she has a bunch of experience so that’s a little confusing because I don’t remember hearing anything on the show about her being a music instructor or into music at all. Can anyone shed any light on this? Also, I feel for her as I have severe chronic pain and have been on Dilaudid for 3 plus years now. I don’t abuse my prescription and I’m sick of being on the meds because at this point I truly think all they do is give me bad side effects and just keep me from withdrawing. What does one do with severe pain daily… all the drs ever so is throw opioids at patients. It’s just awful and more need to be done for people with chronic pain. I sure hope amber is doing okay.

  11. Maggie

    I found a link to her blog on her social media profile.

    https://slowburnweb.wordpress.com/

    1. Mini

      On Sept 6 2023 she wrote about relapse.

  12. Lauren

    Olivia was beyond the worst in this entire situation. It’s as if she never thought of the safety of her children at all. She wanted to be viewed as a superhero but in the end she was just as bad as Amber was