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Fentanyl

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Episode 243: Shandon

Season 21, Episode 6

Shandon
Age:
25
Location:  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Addiction: Fentanyl

Official Synopsis:  Shandon’s early life was disrupted at three years old when her parents divorced and her mother moved out of the country. Growing up without a maternal figure, Shandon felt abandoned and became very introverted. In high school, Shandon was badly bullied and she turned to drugs. She began acting out and resisting authority, so her father sent her to live and reconnect with her mother. Shortly after arriving, her mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and died within a year. Sixteen-year-old Shandon returned to live with her father and hid her grief by abusing even harder drugs – heroin, opioids and eventually fentanyl. Now in her mid-twenties and saddled with a $200 a day intravenous habit, she prostitutes herself in order to feed her addiction. Her family is at its wits end and is desperately hoping an intervention will save her life

What’s Memorable:  Yet another scary shooting-up-in-the-bathroom-during-a-tense-family-dinner scene. And an even more harrowing withdrawal desperation scene. Man this girl is SICK, so close to dying. I hope she’s able to find her way back.

Date Aired: August 31, 2020 in US, aired as Intervention Canada Season 4 in September 2018.

Interventionist: Maureen Brine

Episode 242: Coleman

Season 21, Episode 5

Coleman
Age:
 26 or so
Location:  Mission, British Columbia, Canada
Addiction: Fentanyl and Heroin

Official Synopsis:  Coleman grew up with the stigma of having a father in prison. His mother did her best to raise seven children but, as the middle child, Coleman got lost in the mix. Today, Coleman is hopelessly addicted to fentanyl, stealing to support his habit with the help of his opioid-addicted girlfriend, Nikki. The longer his addiction endures, the less chance Coleman has of ever seeing his daughter again, and his family worries his addiction may kill him first.

What’s Memorable:  Shoplifting cheese and steak and selling it to single moms in SUVs. Violently fighting over their haul in the middle of the street. The deep family history of trauma and death. Nikki talking about being shot up by adult men at age 11. (What the hell kind of person shoots up an 11 year old with heroin? So disturbing.). Coleman dropping his needle behind at the intervention and feeling super guilty about it. The very heartwarming followup on both of them. I know that in retrospect they both saw their relationship as very ‘partners in crime’ and highly codependent, which is clearly true, but there were also moments – like when Nikki first sat down at the intervention and Coleman immediately took off his jacket and gave it to her to wear – that gave me the impression that these two have more than just an addiction that bonded them. They seemed to truly care about and love one another despite the ugliness and desperation of their situation. I hope that they were able to remain friends and support one another as they rebuilt their relationships with their children, or if not, that they’ll reconnect some day in the future when they’re both solid in their sobriety.

Date Aired: August 24, 2020 in US, aired as Intervention Canada Season 4 in September 2018.

Interventionist: Maureen Brine

Jasmine (Intervention Canada)

Season 16, Episode 10

Jasmine
Age: 26
Location:  Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Fentanyl

What’s Memorable: Damn, that followup. She looked so much healthier, it was amazing.

Official Synopsis: Jasmine was extremely close to her grandparents, Reg and Pauline, so when Pauline suddenly passed away, Jasmine couldn’t cope and turned to opioids to erase the pain. Amazingly, Jasmine got control of her addiction and her life gained some new additions: a new career, a new boyfriend and a new baby. But when her relationship became abusive, Jasmine descended back into drugs. After losing custody of her three-year-old son, her use escalated to smoking fentanyl, a habit that costs her $1200 a day. As her family readies themselves for the intervention, they get devastating news: Reg has cancer.

Date Aired:  January 2017
Interventionist:
Maureen

Samantha (Intervention Canada)

Season 17, Episode 8

Samantha
Age: 27
Location:  Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Addiction:  Fentanyl

Official Synopsis: With the birth of her two daughters, Samantha gave up using crystal meth and heroin. But when she began consorting with figures from her druggy past, she fell back into addiction and soon lost custody of her children. Samantha’s family are desperate to help her be the good mother she once was, but now she is addicted to fentanyl and her very life hangs in the balance.

Date Aired:  September 2017
Interventionist:
Jesse

Austin (Intervention Canada)

Season 17, Episode 6

Austin
Age: 21
Location:  Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Addiction:  Heroin, Fentanyl

What’s Memorable:  The family did this intervention just in time, right after he started using needles.  Once that’s the norm it seems like it’s harder to imagine getting clean and being sick feels a lot worse. The whole running away from the intervention and then him calling up mom a few weeks later and her reading the letters from the planned intervention, I think that might be a first for the show. Good job mom! Jesse’s approach to interventions is really interesting.  In the two I’ve seen, he always gets straight to the heart of what the family does NOT want to talk about and basically asks them “what did you to him to make him like this?” In a gentle way, of course, but it’s effective.  Both times the family had to address head-on what their role was and what the addicts’ triggers are. Seems like that’s a pretty good way to get the family to a place where they have a deeper understanding of the addict’s behaviors and know better how they’ll be able to help him during recovery.

Official Synopsis: Austin had everything he could have wanted growing up: the love and support of a close-knit family and an invitation to go to a school for gifted teens. But not wanting to be separated from his pals, Austin turned the offer down in favor of the local high school, a decision that led to a life of partying, and ultimately down the rabbit hole of heroin and fentanyl addiction. Now his family can only watch in horror as Austin wastes his considerable gifts on the relentless pursuit of his addiction.

Date Aired:  September 2017
Interventionist:
Jesse

Kevin (Intervention Canada)

Season 16, Episode 7

Kevin
Age: 39
Location:  Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Addiction:  Pain killers

What’s Memorable:  The love story with his wife Tanya is really sweet, with the time apart and then the blended family coming together.  And then in an instant, a car accident changes everything. It’s crazy how many opiate addicts initially became addicted after being prescribed for pain. There’s something very wrong there. The shoplifting with the friend is interesting, trading steaks for drugs. The followup was heartwarming, I love that his relationship with Tanya is intact.

Official Synopsis: A brutal car accident six years ago left Kevin addicted to prescription opiates. His days are spent in search of oxies, hydros and fentanyl. Once a proud father, husband and working-man, Kevin’s drug use has cost him his twenty-year laborer job, his house and his retirement savings, bringing his family to the point of bankruptcy. Now, facing eviction and having drained his wife and parents financially, Kevin still cannot stop. Increasingly desperate Kevin has started stealing and selling groceries to support his habit. Kevin’s family has come together to try and save him through an intervention. (Canadian Produced.)

Date Aired:  December 2016
Interventionist:
Maureen

 

 

Clint (Intervention Canada)

Season 17, Episode 4

Clint
Age: 36
Location: Missisauga, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Meth, Fentanyl

What’s Memorable: The deeply disturbing way Clint behaves when he’s high. You know those crazy videos of people acting psychotic on frakka or bath salts? He’s like that. I’ve never seen anyone act this way on the drugs he does. I wonder if his untreated ADHD contributes somehow?

Official Synopsis: Clint, 36, was raised in a tight-knit, middle-class family. His parents expected success for their four children who were all precocious and engaged in school. But in high school, when his siblings had gone off to college, Clint fell in with the wrong crowd and began to struggle. The only graduation he would see was to a life controlled by crystal meth and opioids. At a loss as to where it all went wrong, Clint’s parents have seen their son’s excesses progress to crazy and dangerous levels. Without an intervention, they know he will die.

Date Aired:  August 2017
Interventionist:
Jesse

Episode 175: Terry

Season 12, Episode 6

Terry

Terry
Age: 32
Location: Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Addiction: Fentanyl (injected)
What’s memorable: His funny and oddly charming little laughs, the room he keeps for his daughter, his swollen hands and track marks, his seemingly proud identity as an addict, the sexual abuse he suffered as a child and his parents doing nothing about it (that’s a very common experience among addicts profiled on this show, I’ve noticed). “I feel like I’m a shell, nothing inside but emptyiness.” – Terry.

Official Synopsis:
Terry, 32, is a chef who dreamed of opening and managing his own restaurant, but his career, marriage and parental rights to his nine-year-old daughter have hit a dead end as a result of his $500 a day cocaine and fentanyl addiction.

Original Air Date: September 2012
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 100: Linda

Season 7 Episode 1

linda2

Linda
Age: 39
Location: Los Angeles, California
Addiction: Fentanyl
What’s Memorable: There’s a lot to learn about Chinese family dynamics in this one. The things that her little brother Sam has to do to take care of her at her parent’s request is horrible. The intervention is a doozy.

Official synopsis: After graduating college, Linda found success working as an extra in Hollywood, achieving the glamorous life she always wanted. But her dreams died when she came down with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by joint dislocations. Linda started taking fentanyl, a painkiller 100 times stronger than morphine. As her painkiller use escalated, she claimed that different sources were causing her pain, including electricity, energy, colors, and even specific people. Despite Linda’s wild claims, her mother clings to the belief that Linda’s pain is real and she must do everything to help her, including depleting the family’s savings and sending her son to be Linda’s caretaker.

Original Air Date: November 2009

Interventionist: Ken