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.
Greg once owned a thriving business and was a devoted husband and father. But after a back injury left him disabled, he lost his business, started gambling, and became dependent on pain medication. He also became obsessed with Internet sweepstakes scams, and he has bankrupted his family in a relentless
Once an effervescent, beautiful young woman, Jennifer was considered a genius by her teachers and was the pride and joy of her parents. But at age 17, Jennifer was involved in a car accident that caused a brain injury and kidney damage.
Once a gifted singer/songwriter, Rob was part of a successful band. He loved the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, but he began a long descent into addiction when he turned to drugs and alcohol to fuel his creativity. When his band fell apart--a casualty of his drug use--he was devastated. He
Amy grew up feeling unloved and unable to meet her parents' high expectations. She was also molested by a neighbor when she was eight, but never told anyone in her family. She began to self-mutilate and restrict her diet, and by 17, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now, Amy
Raped when she was 14 and feeling abandoned by her family, Sarah turned to drugs, even becoming a stripper to support her drug habit. She's prohibited by the courts from seeing her three-year-old son, and now lives with a man who is more than twice her age and manages a
Once known as the "the prettiest girl in town," Jackie had a promising career as a radiation therapist. She became a wealthy doctor's wife, a country club member, and a proud mother. But Jackie was haunted by childhood traumas.
When Vinnie was a boy, his father abused him physically and verbally, leaving his mother feeling helpless. He developed a love for fast-paced sports, including BMX, motocross, and car racing, but his need for speed turned into an addiction to crack cocaine. Now, Vinnie lives in his car with his
When Robby's mother discovered his talent for music, she became a classic stage mother and relentlessly pushed him. Robby formed a group which became an instant success, even earning a Grammy nomination. But Robby indulged in the excesses of fame and fortune, and became an alcoholic. The group fell apart,
Working as a fitness instructor at the most elite gyms and partying on the club circuit at night, Marquel seems to have the perfect life. But her family sees her exercise regime as obsessive-compulsive, and they watch her binge-drinking episodes end up in hospitalizations.
Although she has a blood clot in her brain that makes drinking dangerous, Kristine is an alcoholic. But she doesn't believe her condition is a reason to quit because she recently learned that she may have leukemia. Now she figures she may as well keep drinking because the leukemia might
A talented cellist and an aspiring music producer, Shane's musical aspirations are now out of reach because he abuses prescription drugs and deals drugs out of his grandmother's house. After injuring his neck in a car accident, he began abusing OxyContin. His father was a drug addict, too, who died
Rocky Lockridge, once a world champion lightweight boxer, is now a homeless crack addict living on the streets of Camden, New Jersey. He began abusing cocaine whilst the champion, but switched to crack after his boxing career ended.
Ashley was raised by a mother who was addicted to methamphetamines and gambling. Ashley flourished when her aunt and uncle became her legal guardians, but she started using heroin when her beloved grandfather died. Now she bounces back and forth between her rigid aunt's house and her permissive mother's house,
Amy and her family escaped the violence of apartheid-era South Africa and immigrated to Canada 22 years ago. But Amy suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem, and she became anorexic and, soon after, bulimic.
A gifted mechanic, Tyler, 26, worked in the family business with his brother, Zach, and his sister, Ashley. Their father built the business to provide his children with a wonderful life. But the family's dreams turned to tragedy when Tyler found both Zach and Ashley dead from drug overdoses. Unable
Now 53, Richard has kept a traumatic childhood event secret all his life. As early as age 11, he used alcohol to numb the emotional pain. As an adult, he was diagnosed with diabetes, and his health problems were exacerbated by his drug and alcohol abuse.