Send Dizzy a Tip!

Buy Me a Coffee

Season 22, Episode 7

Age: 25
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Addiction: Alcohol

Official Synopsis: Jake moved to Las Vegas to work on a US Senator’s re-election campaign in Nevada, but when he came out as gay, he was rebuffed by both his family and colleagues, plunging him into a deep depression which he futilely attempts to mask with alcohol.

What’s Memorable:  Jake has a really interesting story, and is definitely a ‘type’ of person that I don’t think we’ve ever seen on this show before (lots of unique episodes this season, right?) Although his story did remind me somewhat of Chris. Jake goes to Vegas and gets to finally be himself and start a promising political career, but somehow ends up totally alone, chronically unemployed, falling down drunk, relying on random bar friends as his only connections. His abusive family members don’t approve of his sexuality, his Republican friends aren’t comfortable with him being out, he really has no one there to look out for him or connect with. And Covid certainly didn’t improve any of that. Gah, poor kid. The way he drinks to deal with his loneliness isn’t even close to sustainable, I hope he’s able to get back on the recovery wagon. I’ll bet he’d be a really inspiring sober person. I do have one gripe about this episode, which was otherwise very solid – what was with that segment about him supposedly engaging in sex work? There was no evidence of that was there? He certainly never said anything to that effect. I feel like that was thrown in there for salaciousness without a whole lot to actually back it up. Or maybe I missed something? I dunno, I feel like Intervention thinks they always have to put some addiction-related unsexy sex in every episode now and I find it troubling.

Interventionist: Leticia Murphy
Date Aired: April 26 2021

All comments.

  1. Andy

    This one made me pretty sad. As soon as I saw he was working with Republican Party members and that he was gay, I thought, oh no. I hope those republican “buddies” feel extremely horrible about themselves. They helped cause this problem for him. He could’ve been successful in politics and probably a great asset if they didn’t basically fire him. I hope he is doing okay. He was sober for two months. Maybe he felt like that was good enough.

    1. Anna

      I’m a Republican and I fully support the LGBTQ+ community. Please don’t lump all Republicans into the homophobic category. We are not all like that.

      1. Kat M

        Hi Anna! Personal support is fantastic. The issue comes with voting for politicians who have a platform of passing or attempting to pass legislation that negatively affect LGBTQ+ people.

  2. Rob

    This episode was truly heartbreaking. But the one thing I want to mention is that it is downright CRIMINAL that an addict can be rushed to the hospital with alcohol poisoning and end up racking up $250,000 in medical bills as a result. And at what point, he sort of inferred that he might need to drink himself to death because he’d never be able to pay off the debt. At 25 fucking years old.

    I’m blessed to live in a country where hospital visits are free. A lot of people from the United States laugh at Canada’s health care plan but that’s what it’s for. People who truly NEED it.

    This poor guy 🙁

    1. Bob

      Who should pay then? Who should pay for the cancer patient’s bill? Who should pay for someone’s liver transplant?

      1. Philip

        If you think a minor (in the scheme of things, compared to your other examples) hospital visit should cost $30,000 I just don’t know what to say to you.

    2. Kari

      As an American who paid thousands of dollars for an ER visit for a kidney stone, I agree with you 100%.

  3. Rob

    Oh and Dizzy – I just read your comment in the sypnosis where they inferred he was involved in sex work, and I 100% agree with you. It wasn’t mentioned once during the show except for that 5 second cellphone video, which looked like a drunken night out at a Bachelor party. It was included to be salacious and had nothing to do with his story (based on what we were presented with).

  4. Lisa

    I dunno — it would explain how he could get the money despite not being able to hold down a job. Also, Dean Heller lost his re-election campaign in 2018 so he would have had to find a new job anyway. I do feel like we didn’t get the whole story.

    1. Stefan

      I’ve worked on tons of campaigns in the past and even if your candidate wins it’s uncommon to get a permanent position with them. They’re typically saved for upper level managers, whereas Jake was a middle-management field coordinator.

  5. Dizzy

    Ok let’s figure this out. The episode was filmed in January 2021. He had to have been on unemployment for most of 2020, including that extra $600/week that was added for a while there. There was still an eviction moratorium in NV at that time, so he was likely not paying any rent on his apartment for most of 2020 (why did he end up getting evicted in January when the moratorium was still active I have no idea, unless he didn’t respond to the landlord filing papers earlier). He could have also not been paying any utilities and not getting them shut off because of the moratorium. He wasn’t paying his hospital bills. So he’s collecting income for 9 months at that point and not paying much out and all of it is going to alcohol. I can see him being able to pull all that off without having to do sex work.

    1. Ivana

      I think you’re right Dizzy! It’s the unemployment with the special covid circumstances. Wow, he’s gonna hit a huge mess now that it’s over or close to over. I suspect his family will end up bailing him out somehow…. This is from a news story “Nevada’s eviction moratorium will expire end of May, but federal protections will continue through June.”

    2. Xain

      I really think the eviction was for behavior and not for non payment. The eviction moratorium covered financial issues, but not behavioral ones.

      1. Dizzy

        I thought that too at first but I went back to that part of the episode and zoomed in on the letter, it does say something like “Evicted due to Non-Payment of Rent” on it.

  6. ivan

    I agree with you about the sex work part, but I was still curious where he was getting $70/day for alcohol. That adds up to more than $25k! It was so sad but not surprising that he left treatment. I haven’t searched around online, but I suspect someone out there knows him and maybe can tell us how he’s doing now. Of course, if he keeps drinking, dad and sister are basically giving him love in a hospice-like situation, so I understand why they want to keep talking to him after he relapsed.

  7. April

    This guy made my heart ache. As a mom I just couldn’t understand how his mother turned her back on those kids. Honestly? He’s been through so much. Abandonment. Abuse. Struggles with sexuality. Adoption. I feel like Ken would have been a better choice. I really hope he can beat this. I wanted to just hug him and tell him he is worth it.

  8. Char

    I LOVED the interventionist in this episode. Hope we see more of her. I like that they are doing more trauma informed and less tough love approach this season.

    1. AW

      I think this season is a return to form. They’ve made lemonade out of lemons with the obvious COVID-19 circumstances and given us some riveting episodes with some welcome familiar faces (Ken) and newer ones as well.

  9. Gregory D Moore

    I had the same reaction to the “peep show” moment. Entirely gratuitous. Seemed to me that maybe there was more to that side-story that was edited out…but they somehow wanted to make mention of it, it seems, leaving this sole, out-of-context reference to “sex work.” WTF? That was really poor, in an otherwise excellent episode. Accusing him of being a “sex worker”…how will that help him get his life back on track, with allegations to follow him for years? I hope this poor fellow sees the light and finds some answers. Even “lost souls” can find their way to a new path. I wish him luck. I related to Jake on several levels.

  10. AMA

    Emotionally, this episode was such a wild ride. I realize we never get the comprehensive life history of any of the folks featured, but this episode, more than any other, left me with the distinct impression that there was so much left unsaid. The estranged mother, the abusive siblings, the conspicuous lack of friends beyond his mentor and the obviously older guy who wasn’t afraid to set hard boundaries. It wasn’t lost on my that despite how much he was going out and drinking, he had no one his age willing to include him in their own peer group. It seems like there is so much that hasn’t been said, or addressed, and unfortunately, that is a dynamic that doesn’t bode well for long-term recovery.

  11. AK

    This was one of the saddest episodes on this show, because I have the feeling he has completely given up on life and I am pretty sure he is going to die sooner than later. Honestly I don’t think the bottom lines mattered to him. Going further down to rock bottom would be him being homeless or in jail but I have the feeling he just wouldn’t really care. Makes me devastated to see a young person giving up completely.

  12. Aisling

    This episode breaks my heart. We DEFINITELY were not given the full story. 8 kids and only 1 shows up for the intervention? I know that at least one of them abused him but I felt strange that only one sibling showed up. I wish that they had more people there for him in the intervention, he probably had a couple more friends in Vegas besides those two older guys who would’ve been willing to support the intervention.
    Also I know that there was a moratorium on rent due to covid but I did wonder how he had such a nice apartment. It was fully furnished and everything. He may have lived with a roommate or something but something about that struck me as odd considering the fact that he doesn’t work.
    I can’t say I was surprised about the relapse but I was so sad to see it. I hope there is something they can do so he doesn’t die, but it’s pretty obvious he’s heading in that direction.

  13. Observer

    This was heart-breaking. A successful and motivated young man cast aside and shunned by his colleagues because of his sexuality. You can’t be who you are and believe what we believe, they were saying. Sickening for any Political party or cause to be so callous. That coupled with abandonment issues pushed him over the edge. I feel for Jake and hope he can come to grips with all this and find sobriety.

  14. KK

    This is one episode that had my heart in pieces. Truly sad. I know we see a lot of addicts who feel alone and ready to give up but you could just feel it with Jake, he was well and truly feeling alone and when he was talking about suicide I believed him, I didn’t think it was the drink talking. The sweet older guy and the social worker as friends but jeez there really was no one else?! The dad seemed loving but I got a strange vibe from the sister towards him when she was talking about their childhood. Like others have said, we didn’t get the full story with this one but the little we did hear was crushing.. someone so young, who seemed so kind and good hearted, so ambitious here alone and given up on life. my goodness I’m seriously heartbroken after this episode.

  15. Natalie

    I think that being adopted at age 4 alone is trauma that many never overcome. The first 3 years are crucial to healthy development. He honestly did well for himself despite that and the other terrible traumas in his life. I really feel for him.

  16. Natalie

    Honestly, I’m surprised that the political party didn’t use his homosexuality to their advantage the way they use other minorities. You know, as one of their token gay representatives. Also, I know the weight of debt….I have student loans. That debt is the one thing that has almost broken me sometimes. It’s just something on your shoulders that causes people a lot of shame and won’t go away any time soon and eats into your efforts to move forward. I can imagine the hospital bills are heavy for him.

  17. KT

    I live in a town adjacent to Ford City and it was quite the shocker to see someone local not only on the show, but also someone who actually left after high school. This part of western PA is very rural and very conservative. As a fellow westPA queer, I truly feel for Jake. If you see this, Jake, please reach out. I’d like to be your friend.

    His parents are the epitome of white-savior complex, and I’m sure his darker toned siblings also experienced bullying and isolation. And then for the mom to up and leave with 6 of them only to change her mind and abandoned all of them, just like their birth parents. Such a sad situation.

  18. AF

    Pretty sure this could be him based on some of the pictures, the age, and locations:

    1. Donny

      That certainly is him! He looks good. 🙂

      1. Jan

        He does look good in the pics but that was prior to Intervention.

    2. Mini

      The link no longer works!

    3. Amy

      that link makes me so confused about the show as a whole. I was digging around to see if there was an update anywhere. this episode for some reason, struck a nerve.

  19. A.S.

    I thought Letitia was excellent. She really seemed to grasp all of Jake’s complex issues and did a great job of summarizing them for his family.

  20. LK

    Where can I watch these newer episodes? I’m very curious about this episode and Erika’s episode especially.

    1. April S.

      Most of them are available on Amazon Prime, some on Hulu and Netflix, and depending on your cable provider (I have Dish) they are free On Demand. Also the website DailyMotion is a good avenue to check out. Hope this helps. 🙂

  21. Tabitha

    His updated Facebook. Looks like he got out of NV. Probably the best thing he could have done!

  22. Molly

    This was tough to watch. I immediately wondered if perhaps Jake might be on the autism spectrum, and never got the diagnosis or support he needed. It would explain a lot, especially his struggles with connecting with new people as ASD can be very socially isolating. I can’t be sure, but my family member on the spectrum struggles with substance abuse and I saw many similar parallels with Jake’s behavior. I hope he gets some help – the dad seemed really naive.

    1. S.

      This is weirdly off-topic speculation to be engaging in, tbh.

  23. Shari Raicher

    I truly found this episode to be one of the saddest I have ever seen. What a lost soul Jake is. No wonder he drinks since his family and colleagues have rejected him. Hope he can become sober before he loses his life due to his alcohol dependence.

  24. Derek

    I am frankly disgusted with Jake’s family, apart from his sister. Exactly the wrong kind of people to be adopting kids. If you can’t accept a child exactly as they are, you should not be a parent. Period. Then he contorted himself into a Republican in a desperate attempt for approval, only for that to increase the number of people who would reject him when he came out. I can remember few addicts who were so alone. I hope he can find strength within himself, because he’s not going to get it from anyone who “loves” him.

    1. Stefan

      Sadly it’s all too common many parents who adopt. We saw it clear as day with Gabe’s parents (although his mom did really come around at the end).

  25. OBoogie

    Exactly this. Well said.

  26. Julie

    I feel like the Russian orphanage component needs more acknowledgement here.