- Intervention (TV series)
show_name = Intervention
genre = Documentary
Jeff VanVonderen Candy Finnigan Ken Seeley Tara Fields
Scott Klass"Five Steps" (closing song) Performed by The DavenportsCraig Marks (Theme & Incidental music, 2005 - present) Dominic Messenger (Incidental music, 2006 - 2007)"Breathe Me" (2008 season preview song) Performed by Sia Furler
language = English
num_seasons = 5
num_episodes = 68
Colleen Conway(A&E) Robert Sharenow(A&E) Sam Mettler(GRB) Dan Partland(GRB)
United States of America
camera = Multi-Camera Handheld
runtime = Approx. 43 minutes
A&E Network Fiver
NTSC( 480i) HDTV( 1080i)
audio_format = Stereo
March 6, 2005
last_aired = present
awards = PRISM award, Best Unscripted Non-Fiction Series Episode or Special
website = http://www.interventiontv.com
imdb_id = 0450920
tv_com_id = 34392
"Intervention" is an American
televisionprogram about the realities facing addicts of many kinds.
Each program follows one or two participants, each of whom suffers from an
addictionor other mentally and/or physically damaging problem and believes he is being filmed for a documentary on their problem. Their situations are actually being documented in anticipation of an intervention by family and/or friends. Each participant has a choice: go into rehabilitation immediately, or risk losing contact, income, or other privileges from the loved ones who instigated the intervention. Often, other tactics are used to persuade the addicted person into treatment, which vary depending on the situation; some of these include threats to invoke outstanding arrest warrants, applying for custody of the addict's children, foreclosing on the addict's property, and break-up of marriages/long-term relationships/etc. The producers usually follow up months later to monitor the addicted person's progress and film it for "follow-up" episodes of the series or for shorter "web updates" available on the show's website.
Although many programs of this type preach certain moral or lifestyle views, "Intervention" generally tries to refrain from editorializing, preferring to let the addict's story and the family's commentary set the tone for an episode. The show relies on its raw, intimate footage to tell its story, and it leaves ultimate interpretation to the viewer.
The addict(s) featured on the show receive an offer of a 90-day treatment plan at one of a number of rehabilitation facilities featured on the series. As in real life, not all interventions featured on "Intervention" end well. Some addicts have walked out of the intervention and refused to go to the treatment facility; others have agreed to get treatment only to leave treatment early due to rule violations, behavior problems, or a general desire not to be in attendance any more. Some addicts who leave early go to prison or enter another facility to continue treatment; many do not.
Occasionally, during the filming of an episode, the plight of another addict in the featured addict's circle becomes apparent, and the show often makes additional plans to help the other addict find treatment as well. The success rate of these mini-interventions parallels the main interventions' success rates.
In situations where the family/friends/other members of the addict's circle have become co-dependents or are otherwise traumatized by the addict's behavior, the interventionist usually recommends that the entire family seek some form of counseling to enable them to move on with their own lives. This has led to some very happy family reunions (Coley, a serious meth addict, got clean while his family went through counseling, and his marriage to wife Francine was saved by the intervention), but has also led to complete dissolution of relationships (Leslie, a suburban housewife alcoholic, went through court-ordered rehab while her family received counseling at the Betty Ford Clinic; after both treatment programs ended, Leslie and her husband finalized their divorce).
Each episode ends with a series of black screens, upon which appear a short narrative discussing the addicts and their progress since the intervention (including a sobriety date, if known), followed by a screen that invites viewers to find out more information on addiction and recovery at the show's official website, [http://www.interventiontv.com/ InterventionTV.com] . The black screens are updated with new information each time the show is re-aired on A&E, and some video updates are made available on the show's official website. Occasionally, a black screen update documents an outreach to the addict from fans of the series. The black screen update for drug addicted siblings Brooks and Ian's follow-up episode that re-aired in early 2008 indicated that Brooks had met and married a fan of the show in 2007. At the end of the original episode featuring alcoholic banker and bar brawler Jacob, he stated that he was planning to enroll in college for the upcoming semester; the black screen update for his episode that re-aired in early 2008 indicated that a fan of the series had contacted the producers after the show's airing and offered to pay for Jacob's college education.
The "cast" for each episode is primarily the addict and his/her family members, circle of friends, and more. The other regular cast member in each episode is the interventionist, whose job it is to conduct the intervention. The show features four specialists:
* Jeff VanVonderen, a former pastor and alcoholic who became a full-time interventionist to help families through their moral and social issues involved with addiction.
* Candy Finnigan, a former addict who became an interventionist to help women work through their addictive issues.
* Ken Seeley, a former
methaddict who founded [http://www.intervention911.com Intervention-911] , a service specializing not just in interventions but in also finding appropriate treatment centers for each kind of addict.
* Tara Fields, a Ph.D with a degree in psychology who is also a licensed marriage counselor and family therapist.
Jenn Berman, a Ph.D with a degree in psychology, made a single appearance in the episode featuring meth addict Amy and anorexic/bulimic Annie; she was the interventionist for Annie.
In conjunction with interventions that involve strong drug addictions where sudden withdrawal of the drug can be dangerous, a nurse travels with the addict to the rehab center, providing medical assistance to keep the addict from suffering during the journey. Patients with addictions that could cause serious risk to their health upon cessation of the substance abuse will usually spend 1-2 weeks in a detox facility before entering the rehab phase of their recovery.
Most episodes feature "everyday" people struggling with their addictions, but entertainment professionals have also been featured.
*Chuckie Negron, the son of
Three Dog Nightvocalist Chuck Negron, was featured in a Season Two episode as he battled heroin addiction.
*Vanessa Marquez, a supporting actress on the first three seasons of "ER," appeared in a Season One episode suffering from a compulsive-shopping disorder.
Travis Meeks, lead singer of the popular Alternative rockband Days of the New, appeared in a Season One episode focusing on his methamphetamineaddiction.
Antwahn Nance, a 6'10" former NBA power forward for the LA Clippers, was featured in Season Two as he ended up homeless due to his crack cocaineaddiction.
Tressa Thompson, a women's shot putchampion whose Olympic dreams were crushed by her methamphetamine drug abuse, was featured in Season Two.
drug addiction, both legal (over-the-counter medication, prescription drugs) and illegal (heroin, meth, crack)
*psychological issues that can exacerbate an addiction, such as
bipolar disorderand obsessive-compulsive disorder
[cite web |url=http://www.aetv.com/intervention/int_episode_guide.jsp |title=Intervention: Episode Guide |work=A&E Television |accessdate=2007-07-27]
*00 - Follow-Up Special
*01 - Alyson and Tommy: Alyson was a White House intern and an award-winning student. She met a boy in college who showed her the world of drugs and she became an addict. Alyson now lives at home with her parents and is a heavy user of morphine and crack. She works hard to alienate herself from the people who love her. Alyson also takes painkillers from her dying father. Tommy, a 38-year-old ex-stockbroker, is addicted to cocaine. He has lost everything to drugs including his job, retirement plan, and his luxury condominium. Now Tommy lives on the streets and tries to keep up his drug habit.
*02 - Gabe and Vanessa: Gabe is addicted to gambling and has lost over $200,000 in the casino. He has even withdrawn money from his parents' accounts without their knowledge. Vanessa, who was a recurring guest star on the long-running medical drama "ER", is addicted to shopping. She is heading towards bankruptcy.
*03 - Tamela and Jerrie: Jerrie's family calls interventionist Jeff VanVonderen to help their 29-year-old daughter, who is addicted to Vicodin. Jerrie is so addicted that she has been forging physician signatures to get the prescriptions that she thinks she needs. She also walks around the waterfront to find drug dealers so she can get high. Tamela, a 24-year-old artist, cuts herself with razor blades. As a child, she was molested and has a hard time getting over what happened. Her family hopes she will go into treatment.
*04 - Alissa and Brian: Alissa's parents and friends try to save her from her gambling addiction. She has lost over $30,000 on 25-cent slots. Her boyfriend has three jobs and makes all of the money, while Alissa gambles it away. Brian has a bad crystal meth habit. He is also a sex addict. Brian roams around the streets to find new partners every night.
*05 - Sara: She had everything she ever wanted out of life, including a wonderful husband and family. In fact, she almost had a perfect life until it all ended in divorce. Not knowing how to handle the divorce, she turned to crystal meth. Sara is now a junkie and has lost everything in her life, including her daughter. She lives at home with her parents and continues using drugs. Her family hopes she will get help to get her life back.
*06 - Travis and Matt: Former rock star Travis now spends his days in a meth-filled haze, an addiction that has cost him nearly everything. Matt is addicted to crack-cocaine. He steals from his family and friends so he can buy drugs.
*07 - Peter and Renee: Peter is addicted to video games. He refers to himself as characters that are in the games he plays. Renee has an eating disorder and is dependent on water pills to keep her thin. Her health and her family are all feeling the effects of Renee's eating disorder.
*08 - Tina: Tina is a mother of three and a true desperate housewife. She spends all of her time gambling with her car and house payments while high on prescription pills. Tina is at a crisis stage with almost all of her jewellery pawned and getting paycheck advances at any chance. Now she spends all of her days at race tracks and bingo halls. Her husband Harley has contacted Intervention as a last resort.
*09 - Cristine and Kelly: Cristine, a wife and mother with an abusive and dark past, is an alcoholic who drinks about 18 beers a day. Just three years ago, Cristine was top saleswoman at her Los Angeles-based newspaper; now, since her return to work after having her first child, the alcohol has damaged her career so much that she has yet to collect any commissions from her ad sales. Her husband is a stay-at-home dad, but their "home" is Cristine's mother's living room floor due to Cristine's business problems. Now Cristine's health is failing--she often works 4 hours or less a day due to stomach problems caused by her drinking--and the family feels an intervention is the only thing that can save her from herself, but Cristine wants no part of rehab after a disastrous stint two years ago. Kelly is an anorexic real estate agent and club DJ in Florida who weighs only 93 pounds and who often consumes less than 5% of her body's caloric needs for the day. She has a 6-year-old daughter who is following in her mother’s footsteps, imitating Kelly's disdain of food by refusing to eat her breakfast and leaving her lunch tray full of food. Kelly's boyfriend wants to come live with her in Florida but knows he cannot save Kelly by himself and needs outside help. Everyone who loves Kelly is not only trying to save her, but also her daughter.
*10 - Kelly F. and Mark: Kelly is living on the streets and is an alcoholic. Even though he has a genius-level IQ, he cannot seem to stop himself from living off others. Mark has been addicted to painkillers ever since he had a morphine pump surgically implanted because of illness.
*11 - Rachel and Tommy Update: Rachel, who was once a gorgeous child, now spends all of her time getting high on heroin and engaging in prostitution. Tommy is a cocaine abuser who has lost everything, including his job, to support his habit.
*12 - Michael and Randi: Michael has a serious anger problem. He has a history of violent behavior and has been known to punch holes into the walls of his father's house. Randi is a bulimic and a crystal meth addict. She is in denial of her condition and cannot deal with her childhood sexual abuse.
*13 - Michael and Brooks: Michael is a school athlete, now addicted to pills and alcohol after emotional pain from his high school days; Michael is now facing jail time after parole violations. Brooks is a former wrestling star turned drug addict after a car accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. Brooks admits he is addicted to "drugs, period; nothing specific", and his older brother Ian has become his drug abusing partner.
*14 - Corrine: Corinne is a pretty 18 year-old who was an honor roll student, star athlete and played the clarinet and saxophone. She started using drugs at 14 after being sexually abused by a neighborhood boy who babysat her. Still striving to move forward while battling her addictions, she completed her GED and began college, finishing two semesters before dropping out. Now, Corinne has become addicted to a deadly combination of heroin and crystal meth. Corinne is also a diabetic who requires insulin, but she often skips her doses because she is so high. After repeated trips to the emergency room, her family is expecting to hear that they've lost her for good. ("The black screens at the end of this episode reveal that Corinne relapsed several times after leaving treatment, but became sober when she learned that she was pregnant. She gave birth to a baby girl and has remained sober since January 2007.")
*15 - Howard and Audrey: Audrey, 24, was popular and artistic. Now, she is a heroin addict living on the streets. She has been an addict for 5 years and her family feels like the next time they will see her is in a coffin. Her family plans an intervention to save her, if they can. Howard, 39, is a driving instructor to celebrities, the CIA, and the FBI. He drinks when he can't get high from driving fast. Now, Howard's doctor has told him his liver is failing, and unless he stops drinking, he will die.
*16 - Adam and Michael: Adam, who began using heroin after his girlfriend broke up with him, panhandles money at gas stations to get enough money to score. His family is "hanging on by a thread" and desperate for intervention help. Michael is a violent son who holds his family hostage with his rage. Truly in crisis, his family will do anything to stop living in terror.
*17 - Heidi and Michelle: Heidi leads a busy social life and takes great pride in maintaining her health and personal appearance. Unfortunately, she is addicted to plastic surgery (over $40,000 worth of procedures in just a few years) and compulsive shopping (leading to a $110,000 credit card debt). Heidi has stolen her mother's identity and used it to procure more charge cards to feed her shopping addiction, and now collection agencies are threatening to file charges of felony fraud for both the identity theft and the massive credit card debt Heidi rang up, which stresses her elderly mother to no end. Suffering the loss of her father and sexual molestation at the hand of her cousin at a young age, once bright student Michelle turned to drug use. Michelle has admitted to trading sex for drugs and uses methamphetamine intravenously. Her mother is afraid that at any moment Michelle will shoot up for the last time, but a more immediate threat emerges when rivals of Michelle's meth dealer boyfriend come after Michelle and her family now that her boyfriend is in jail. Tara Fields and Candy Finnigan are brought in to help free these women from their imprisoning addictions.
*18 - Salina and Troy: For the past eleven years Salina has been suffering from severe bulimia. She also struggles with a shopping addiction and recently began battling a new urge, self-mutilation. After relocating to Los Angeles, Troy had a promising future until his recreational crystal methamphetamine usage escalated into a full-blown addiction. While high Troy reports to having had, "hundreds of homosexual encounters." Now homeless and unemployed, he sells methamphetamine and claims that injecting crystal meth helps him stay alert, and survive on the streets. ("The black screens at the end of this episode reveal that Salina completed treatment, returned home, and had a son with her husband; she has not binged or purged since September 2006. Troy tested positive for
HIVshortly after starting treatment. After completing his program, he stayed sober for over a year but suffered a relapse. He then went through an outpatient program and has remained sober since November 2007.")
*19 - Kristen: Kristen is an alcoholic and heroin addict who prostitutes herself for her drug and alcohol money. Her addictions and behavior has cost her custody of her child. Her family hopes that an intervention will help reunite Kristen and her child. ("The black screens at the end of this episode reveal that Kristen relapsed once and moved into a halfway house. She has been sober since January 2006.")
*20 - Follow-Up: Cristine, Brooks, Ian, Audrey: Following up on alcoholic Cristine, drug-addicted brothers Brooks and Ian, and junkie Audrey at various stages in their recoveries. Cristine is no longer drinking but her husband didn't go for the suggested counseling, and his lack of commitment is damaging their relationship. Brooks and Ian have both struggled through rehab issues--Brooks has been through three rehab centers and relapsed repeatedly but is now doing well at The Foundry in Birmingham, AL, while Ian is living with a former addict in Taos, NM. Brooks visits his brother in New Mexico, but when Brooks' counselor discovers crack residue on the kitchen table, he threatens to separate the brothers until Ian confesses that his roommate, the "former addict", is still using drugs, and Ian hasn't spoken up because he didn't want to lose his apartment. Brooks and Ian return together to Birmingham and now have to learn to deal with their own addiction demons. Audrey's recovery from heroin has been long and drawn-out, but she has finally learned to deal with her addiction. Now her sisters want her to move in with them. Can these three sisters broken apart by Audrey's drug lifestyle learn to be a family again?
*21 - Antwahn and Billy: Antwahn managed to survive a rough and abusive childhood to become a star basketball player in the NBA and in the European leagues, until a knee injury ended his career; now Antwahn is a homeless crack addict whose wife is on the verge of filing for divorce unless Antwahn can get off drugs. Billy seemed to be living the typical life of a suburban teen until his mother had a near-fatal heart attack and was diagnosed with severe heart disease. Billy turned to opiates to dull the emotional pain; after his family sent him to rehab, Billy returned addicted to yet another opiate,
methadone, and now believes he is as addicted to "the needle" as he is to the drugs. ("The black screen at the end of this episode after its most recent re-airing in June 2008 reveals that Billy completed treatment and moved into sober living program, but suffered a number of relapses and moved back to New York. He has remained sober since July 2006. After completing his own treatment, Antwahn relapsed and moved back to Los Angeles. He spent four months in jail on a theft charge, after which he became sober and was put into the work-release program; he has maintained sobriety since July 2007.")
*22 - Annie and Amy: Amy is a free-spirited dancer and class clown who is now a homeless meth addict with a past history of self-mutilation. Annie is a ballet dancer who is anorexic and bulimic and is very close to death. Both have co-dependent partners in their addictive behaviors (Amy's boyfriend, Tom; Annie's fellow dancer Selena). Success in their interventions depends heavily on whether or not their partner addicts will also agree to get help. ("The black screen update at the end of this episode after it re-aired in early 2008 indicated that Annie broke up with her longtime boyfriend in the episode and married "a childhood sweetheart" in 2006, but continued to battle anorexia and bulimia until she became pregnant in 2007, finally managing to stop her binge/purge/starvation cycles. Selena went through 90 days of treatment for anorexia and transferred to another facility to continue working on healthy weight gain. Amy went through rehab, got clean, and moved back to L.A. to rejoin her boyfriend Tom, who accepted an invitation from the producers to go through his own meth rehab and got clean as well; Amy is now thinking of joining the Navy to help her stay clean.")
*23 - Chuckie: Chuckie, the son of
Three Dog Nightvocalist Chuck Negron, was born addicted to heroin when Chuck Sr. and his wife Julia Densmore Negronwere both heavy drug users. At 18, Chuckie became addicted to heroin again; he now lives in a motel room, spending his days mooching money from his mother and shooting up. With the birth of Chuckie's son, Noah, to his now-clean former girlfriend Jen, the family is in a race to break the cycle of addiction before it costs the family yet another generation. ("At the end of the original episode, it was revealed that Chuckie was arrested five months after his intervention for stealing a car to pay for drugs. The black screens at the end of this episode add that Chuckie is still in prison as of May 2008; his original prison sentence has been extended repeatedly due to his inability to stay off heroin.")
*24 - Gina and Andrea: Gina is bright, fun-loving, and ambitious, but she's losing a difficult battle with drugs and compulsive gambling. Andrea is a 30-year-old, divorced, single mother addicted to alcohol, cocaine and marijuana. She says that she loves the party lifestyle and that she can't end the cycle of drinking and drugs in which she's immersed herself.
*25 - John: At 33, all John can see is the loss in his life. His mother died when he was 12. This year, he lost his sister, his cousin and his best friend. His only escape from it all is in his addiction to crack and alcohol, an addiction that has already come close to taking his life. His family and friends cannot imagine losing someone else. Their only hope is an intervention and the possibility that John will seek treatment.
*26 - Antwahn and Rachel--Follow-Up
*27 - Tammi and Daniel: Tammi has five sisters who are all driven, successful career women and survivors of everything from the corporate rat race to
breast cancer, but Tammi is an alcoholic facing jail terms for several DUI violations. Daniel was born into a family of traveling evangelists who seemed to have everything until Daniel's father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and a long-time family friend took care of Daniel and his sister...and molested Daniel, who turned to drugs, including meth, to deal with his anger and his self-loathing. ("The black screen at the end of this episode reveals that Tammi completed 90 days of treatment, then returned home and served 90 days in jail for past DUIoffenses. She now works as a dental assistant, sees her children regularly, and has been sober since February 2006. After Daniel completed his program, he had several relapses and then moved into sober living. He moved to Florida to be closer to his sisters and has been sober since April 2007.")
*28 - Mike and James: Mike is a chiropractor from
Modesto, Californiawho loves adrenaline rush sports like snowboarding, jet ski riding, and other forms of living "the high life"...which also includes a hardcore addiction to smoking heroin and cocaine together, a combination known as a "speedball". Now Mike has lost his wife, kids, apartment, car, and tens of thousands of dollars to his drug addiction. James was an outstanding student and ROTC drill sergeant until his mother suffered a serious cardiovascular illness and he was forced to step up and be the man of the household while his father cared for his ailing mother; James cracked under the pressure and turned to meth to allow him to escape from his increasingly grim real life. Now James is an unemployed tweaker who got two girlfriends pregnant within weeks of one another, and the pressures to be a father to his children drive him even further into a crystal meth haze.
*29 - Tim: Tim is an up and coming music producer who becomes addicted to crack cocaine. His girlfriend Madyson is lead singer in Tim's band and is just starting to break through in the local music scene, but Tim's crack abuse is threatening to derail her career. Interventionist Candy Finnigan has to persuade Madyson that the only way to help Tim is to force him to go to rehab.
*30 - Betsy: At 40 years old, Betsy seems to have it all. She's beautiful with great friends and a gorgeous house. But Betsy is miserable and she drinks up to five bottles of chardonnay a day to mask the pain. The alcohol is starting to take its toll. She has been in detox several times this year. Betsy does not believe she has a problem with alcohol.
*31 - Cristy: Cristy is a severe
methamphetamineaddict/alcoholic who finances her addictions through prostitution. She has ruined her father's rental property, and has such violent tendencies that many of her relatives fear her. Despite an outstanding warrant for her arrest on DUIcharges, Cristy insists she'd rather go to jail than go through rehab. ("At the end of the original episode, the black screen update at the end indicated that Cristy, who had left rehab early against her family's wishes and entered jail rather than bow to the pressure of returning for 60 more days of treatment, was given a choice by the judge at her sentencing for her DUI arrest: Rehab for a year, or several months in jail. Cristy chose jail. While in jail, she was able to get clean from both meth and alcohol, but relapsed shortly after her release. The black screen update after the episode was re-aired in March 2008 indicated that Cristy is now living with "a close friend" in L.A. and is attending AA meetings in an attempt to regain sobriety.")
*32 - Sylvia: A high-functioning 49-year-old, affluent, former interior designer and onetime actress. From North Carolina, Sylvia is twice-divorced, and a habitual drunk driver. She lost her thriving business, and custody of her four children, as her alcoholism worsened. Sylvia prefers mini-bar-sized bottles of vodka -- which she calls "red tops" -- that she hides in her purse and around the house. A lifelong perfectionist and overachiever who fears being alone, Sylvia's addiction is fueled by unresolved rage at her first husband, her mother, and herself. Both Sylvia and her adult relatives are desperately trying to cope, but unsure of how. ("The black screen at the end of the episode stated that Sylvia returned to North Carolina after completing her 90-day treatment program in California. She resumed work in interior design, and pursued certification to become a drug/alcohol counselor. Her first ex-husband granted her un-supervised visits with their children; she has been sober since June 2006.")
*33 - Laurie and Jessie: Laurie was a well-respected prison death row psychologist until her affair with a co-worker became public knowledge. A stressful divorce, followed by injuries, illness, and accidents led to her becoming addicted to tranquilizers and opiate painkillers; now Laurie has lost everything, including her children. Laurie almost seems oblivious to having lost custody of her children to her own parents, and refuses to give up her pills or seek any kind of help. Jessie is a sorority girl enrolled at Oregon State University who dreams of being a pediatrician. As a child, she developed a severe anxiety disorder and feared being alone during the night; one Halloween, she was so anxious about being in her own room that she ate her entire candy basket in one night, leading to a rush of endorphins that calmed her anxiety. Concerned with gaining weight, but needing to feel that comforting endorphin rush, Jessie learned about binging and purging and was soon purging two or more times a day. Now, her bulimia has gotten so bad that her sorority kicked her out of the sorority house for eating, in less than one month, six weeks worth of food meant to feed seventy girls. Her parents have to lock their food cabinets and refrigerator when she comes over to visit them, and Jessie has turned to stripping to make enough money to pay for her food addiction. ("The black screen update at the end of this episode after it was re-aired in March 2008 reported that Laurie had successfully completed treatment at a rehab center and was working to regain custody of her children until she overdosed on heroin and Oxycontin in January 2008; she recovered from the overdose and as of March 2008 is back in treatment near her home so that she can continue to work on her relationship with her children. Jessie successfully completed treatment for bulimia, has returned to college at Oregon State, and has not binged or purged since the intervention.")
*34 - Lauren: Lauren is a former Physical Education teacher and high school athlete who is now a major heroin addict. She lives at home and holds her family hostage, almost literally, with her volatile temper. Her best friend Déa has become her addiction partner and each woman fuels the other's addictive tendencies. And to top everything off, her boyfriend Mike, a former cocaine addict, recently relapsed and was kicked out of his home the day before the intervention, giving Lauren yet another reason to refuse to change her behavior. ("The black screen update after the episode re-aired in June 2008 revealed that Déa passed away of a drug overdose during Lauren's rehab. As a condition to get Lauren to agree to go to treatment, Mike--who had a desire to get back into recovery and wanted to be a role model for Lauren--was allowed to move in temporarily with Lauren's family. The show's producers offered to get Mike into treatment in a nearby facility in Pennsylvania; Mike eagerly accepted but had many issues during his second stint in rehab and his relationship with Lauren is strained. Lauren managed to get sober and worked for Oasis, a drug treatment center, in Anaheim, Califormia until she relapsed in November 2007; she returned to recovery and has been sober since January 2008. The episode carries a dedication tag--"in Loving Memory of Déa"--that runs before the final black screen directing viewers to InterventionTV.com for more information.")
*35 - Ryan: Ryan abuses OxyContin and other opiates. Ryan's mother was previously married to a cocaine addict; when that marriage ended, she married a man who became an alcoholic. Ryan has been through rehab in the past but always failed. His stepfather's drinking makes any attempt at gaining help for Ryan even more difficult because Ryan calls out the hypocrisy. Interventionist Ken Seeley tries to make sense of the tangled family dynamics to get everyone on board to help Ryan succeed this time. At the end of the episode, Ryan agrees to go to treatment, but is kicked out of one rehab center and runs away from the second episode. ("The update at the end of the episode indicated that Ryan moved to Los Angeles and suffered a relapse. His stepfather never went to treatment--which he had promised to do--but he did quit drinking.")
*36 - Jacob: Jacob is an alcoholic whose mother was a major drug dealer when he was a young man. Jacob, normally a calm and friendly guy, has a darker side that comes out when he drinks; he has been thrown out of multiple bars for fighting, including fighting with bouncers. Now living with his mother (who has recently returned after serving two years for drug dealing), Jacob and his mom are constantly butting heads, driving Jacob even further into the bottle. Jeff VanVonderen has to cut through the complicated tangle of multiple familial addictions and dysfunctional relationships to get Jacob to agree to accept help. ("The black screen update after this episode re-aired in June 2008, Jacob accepted the offer from a couple who had seen his episode and offered to pay for his college education; Jacob entered a small college near his Clean And Sober living facility in the Spring of 2007 and is now majoring in English.")
*37 - Kim: Kim is anorexic and bulimic, and also cuts herself. Due to horrible physical and emotional abuse Kim's birth father inflicted on his wife and three children, Kim's mother was forced to flee the marriage to preserve her life and her children's lives. Kim ended up with severe anxiety about being alone and clung to her mother for comfort. Kim's mother, overwhelmed with Kim's emotional demands and needing to find a father figure for her children, remarried when Kim was still a young child. Kim's stepfather openly disdains her neediness and attention-seeking behavior, and the tension is affecting the entire family. Kim's anxiety and eating disorder has already ruined her marriage, and now that she is forced to live at home with a stepfather who despises her and a mother who has become codependent to Kim's mental state, the negativity threatens to destroy everyone around her.
*38 - Anthony: The youngest son in a gregarious Italian-American family in New Jersey, Anthony should have been following in his half-brothers' footsteps to open his own pizza parlor...but instead followed his heroin-abusing half-sisters' addictive lead, ending up with a serious addiction problem. Though he successfully completed rehab to get his heroin addiction under control, he still felt an overwhelming desire to inject something into his system, leading to an ever-worsening addiction to shooting cocaine. Anthony has robbed his brothers' businesses, stolen from his parents, and committed a number of serious criminal offenses, all in the name of obtaining drugs. The family wants to save Anthony, but will any of them be able to follow Jeff VanVonderen's tough standards for consequences of a failed intervention?
*39 - Trent: Trent, 33, is a four-star chef who's served U.S. presidents and Hollywood stars. But as the child of alcoholics, Trent's formative years were marked with violence and abuse. He ultimately turned to drugs to cope, and today he is homeless, sick, battling freezing temperatures, and has an insatiable heroin and cocaine addiction. His friends and family fear he won't make it through the winter on the streets.
*40 - Dillon: Dillon is a crystal meth addict living in a small town in Oklahoma. He is also a criminal whose violent tendencies--brought on by manic phases in a bipolar cycle and amplified by meth use--frighten his family, who admit that if he keeps going down this road, he will either end up dead from the meth or dead from the crimes. Dillon also refuses to stay in compliance with his bipolar medication, making even attempting to talk to Dillon about his increasingly out-of-control behavior nearly impossible. What starts out as a typical intervention with an uncooperative addict quickly spirals into a situation requiring police intervention to solve. ("The black screen update after re-airing in June 2008 revealed that Dillon was forced to leave rehab after 31 days due to refusing to obey house rules and stay compliant with his meds; upon his return to Oklahoma, he was arrested and jailed on a DUI charge. He now works on an oilfield, lives with his grandparents, and has been sober since late 2007; in addition, he is being treated for his bipolar disorder.")
*41 - Jessica and Hubert: Jessica, 21, comes from a tight-knit family. Her father, mother, sister and grandfather all work at the family-owned gas station. But Jessica's not allowed to work there any more. Ever since Jessica became addicted to heroin at 17, her family cannot trust her. And even worse--her addiction is straining family relationships. Everyone wants to see her go to treatment. But just organizing the intervention is tearing them apart. Hubert is a middle-aged American Indian man whose struggles to keep his family together amidst an abusive childhood at the hands of his alcoholic stepfather, along with the pressure to protect his siblings from the verbal, emotional, and physical violence from his alcoholic parents, eventually drive him to the bottle as well during his life in Las Vegas as a bartender. Hubert moved back to Los Angeles to care for his dying diabetic mother, but after her death, his alcohol abuse worsens. His stepfather, showing "Tough love", kicks Hubert out of the house, and Hubert becomes homeless, depending on recycling bottles and cans for booze money. Another homeless friend, John, a bipolar who is non-compliant with medication, helps take care of Hubert on the streets by feeding him, buying him alcohol, and helping him find safe places to sleep at night. A real estate agent who frequents the park where John and Hubert "live" during daylight hours had gotten to know Hubert and John and realized what a kind gentleman Hubert was underneath his layers of dirty clothes and alcohol abuse. The real estate agent contacted "Intervention" requesting an intervention for Hubert, and the producers tracked down Hubert's family, who had lost track of him after being he was kicked out of his stepfather's house. With Hubert's stepfather now dying and other family members feeling deep regret about abandoning the man who had always taken care of them in their times of need, the race is on to bring Hubert back to sobriety so that his family can become whole once more. ("The black screen update after re-airing stated that Hubert has been sober since 2006, and his friend John help him have his teeth fixed and he has reconnected with his family. Jessica relapsed after treatment.")
*42 - Laney: Laney is a hard-core alcoholic who grew up in a dysfunctional family where her mother's many husbands and boyfriends both physically and verbally abused her, in addition to being raped by an ex-boyfriend in her own home. Laney is a millionaire thanks to a divorce settlement from her husband, a dot-com exec whose stock options paid off handsomely, but she spends her days alone in a luxurious mansion with only her cat for a companion, drinking rum constantly and popping tranquilizers in a futile effort to numb the pain. She books limousines to take her everywhere, including long cross-country trips to visit relatives, claiming that she does not want to take her cat, Puddy-Tat Ashworth, on a commercial airliner. When Laney, during a hospital stay caused by a suicide attempt drug overdose, overhears a doctor telling a nurse that her family is planning an intervention while she is still hospitalized, she checks out of the hospital against medical advice and rushes home before her family can stop her. When Candy Finnigan leads the family over to Laney's home the next morning to conduct an "ambush intervention", Laney locks herself in her mansion and calls the police to get "this group of really weird people who are trying to break into my house" off her property, leading to the most unorthodox intervention ever seen in the series. ("The black screen update at the end of this episode reported that Laney only lasted two days in treatment before she checked out, retrieved her cat from the rehab center staffer who was caring for it, and booked a limousine to drive her back to Kansas from the Florida rehab center. In a video update at interventiontv.com, Laney now says that this decision saved her life, because her limousine driver was a part-time counselor at a
Jacksonville, Florida-area church; during the three-day drive back to Kansas, they talked constantly about Laney's drinking and the underlying issues that fueled her self-destructive tendencies, why she had decided to seek help, why she was now leaving this help, and more. After thinking back over the conversation, Laney decided to sell her house in Kansas and leave her old life behind; she now lives in Florida and has become very close to the driver who gave her the incentive to give up alcohol, and has been sober since June 2007.")
*43 - Ashley: Growing up, Ashley, 20, was always considered the wild child. While her younger sister was quick to follow the rules and be active in the church, Ashley tended to reject her parents' strong Christian values. The more her parents tried to guide her, the more she pulled away. By her teenage years, Ashley became a chronic runaway and drug addict, and is convinced she's on her way to Hell for being a meth addict. ("The black screen at the end of this episode reveals that Ashley completed 105 days of treatment, got married, and moved to California. She is working to regain custody of her son and has been sober since January 2007.")
*44 - Andrea and Ricky: Not long ago, Andrea, 31, decided to follow in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother and became a nurse. But all the while, Andrea was hiding a dark secret--a growing crack addiction. Now she's lost her job and relies on several male friends to buy her drugs. Growing up, Ricky seemed to be on a path to greatness. He was a straight-A student, a star athlete and named one of the three brightest students in school. He joined the Marines, where he served as a police officer. But what started as experimentation with drugs has turned into an out-of-control heroin addiction. Ricky's friends and family fear for the worst but hope an intervention will be his best chance for getting his life back. ("The black screen at the end of this episode reveals that Andrea cut ties with the older male friend who enabled her behavior in exchange for what Andrea euphemistically referred to as "wifely duties", upon entering treatment. She moved into sober living after completing the program; she has been sober since February 2007 and is expecting a baby. Ricky spent two months in treatment, then moved into sober living in Florida. He works as a waiter, has begun running again, and is training for a half-marathon. He has been sober since March 2007.")
*45 - Leslie: Leslie is a suburban Midwestern housewife with a severe alcohol addiction. Her addiction is so all-consuming that Leslie has resorted to drinking mouthwash for its alcohol content. She has been arrested multiple times and is facing jail time for several DUIs. Leslie's husband has filed for divorce from her in an effort to protect their children, but takes her back in as part of one last shot at an intervention. ("The black screens at the end of this episode as part of the April 2008 re-airing reveal that Leslie and Craig finalized their divorce while both were undergoing rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic in 2007; Leslie was able to stay sober until she relapsed in November 2007, but went back into rehab and has been sober since January 2008.")
*46 - Coley: Coley is a meth addict who was raised by his mother, who was a speed junkie for much of his childhood. Previous attempts at rehab seemed to have started Coley on the path back to sobriety until his mother was found dead in her home a year ago. Since then, Coley has been on a meth-snorting binge, endangering himself and others because of his occupation--a logger.
*47 - Caylee: Caylee is a 23-year-old bulimic who is also addicted to "speedballs" (heroin and cocaine, smoked together). She has dropped down to 80 lbs. Caylee's mother, Christy, has been a major influence for her addictive behavior. Christy had a traumatic childhood (including physical abuse and rape) and has hidden bulimia from her family since she was much younger. Christy taught Caylee how to watch her weight and together they suffer from this very dangerous eating disorder. Unable to cope with Caylee's growing drug abuse and stealing money for drugs, Christy left her family and moved to Chicago, where her bulimia is becoming life-threatening. The family wants to help both of them, but they need to have Christy present at the intervention to confront Caylee. Then, the family plans to confront Christy, with treatment options for both of them. ("Caylee and Christy both agreed to go to treatment at different facilities. The black screen at the end of this episode after it re-aired in August 2008 reveals that Christy completed treatment and moved back to Salt Lake City to be with her family again; she has not starved, binged, or purged since July 2007. Caylee spent five months in rehab, relapsed repeatedly on heroin and/or bulimia, but got clean and also returned to Salt Lake City, only to relapse once again on heroin. She has recently been sober since April 2008")
*48 - Pam: An alcoholic with a terrible past full of failed marriages and abuse, Pam drinks to cope with her past and cannot move beyond her pain, which is damaging her relationship with her loving boyfriend Marvin. Pam's mother is in serious denial about the abuse her children suffered and even claims Pam makes up these stories to keep Mother from "being happy"; Pam's siblings--all of whom have had addiction problems--sympathize with her anger at their mother, but all have urged her to let go of the pain so that she can stand a chance at having a good life. Cirrhosis has already claimed one member of her family. Her family does not want Pam to be the second victim and urge her through an intervention to agree to treatment. ("Pam accepted treatment and became sober as of July 2007. One of Pam's nieces posted on the "Intervention" forum on televisionwithoutpity.com in July 2008 that Pam was approaching one year sober and is now engaged to marry Marvin.")
*49 - Jill: Jill was a beautiful teen well on her way to a successful dance career but was betrayed by a boyfriend who distributed copies of a tape that depicted them having sex. Now, Jill is depressed and hurt, using alcohol to numb her pain. Further complicating the issue is the divorce between Jill's parents left all of their children hurt and adrift, and Jill's mother has serious problems with verbalizing expressions of love. Her family hopes an intervention will bring Jill out of her alcohol daze and help her deal with her pain. ("The black screen at the end of the episode reveals that Jill and her mother went to family therapy and are still working on their relationship. She stayed sober for nine months, then had a brief relapse; she has been sober since April 2008.")
*50 - Dawn and Fabian: Dawn, a forty-nine year old former model, is now homeless and wanders around town using meth and suffering from the effects of meth psychosis. Fabian is an amateur artist, musician, and photographer who was once a rising star in the Los Angeles entertainment promotion scene, but his childhood growing up with a bipolar mother who once kept her miscarried fetuses in jars and boxes in closets, coupled with his girlfriend miscarrying Fabian's child, sends him down a meth and alcohol spiral toward oblivion. ("The black screen update at the end of this episode as of August 2008 reveals that Dawn completed treatment, returned to Nebraska, and was sober for a year before she relapsed in July 2008; she says she is "trying to get sober again". Fabian was kicked out of his treatment program after only 33 days for making homemade wine. Returning to Los Angeles, he was evicted from his loft; after living with friends and doing drugs and continuing to drink, Fabian finally hit a bottom and entered a 12-step recovery program. He has been sober since July 2008.")
*51 - Emily: This twenty-six year old grew up struggling to meet her parents' high expectations, as well as constantly being overshadowed by her more outgoing identical twin, Tiffany. Despite winning many academic and athletic honors, Emily suffered from depression and low self-esteem. Her shameful feelings intensified when she was date-raped in college. She dieted in hopes of regaining control of her life, but now she weighs less than 90 pounds. Her family hopes an intervention will save her before she starves to death. ("The black screen update at the end of this episode after it re-aired in March 2008 indicated that Emily actually lost weight at her first rehab center; she transferred to another center for eating disorders and was put on a feeding tube, and has finally begun to gain weight.")
*52 - Follow Up: Ryan and Hubert: A look at how two people have fared since their interventions. Ryan, an OxyContin addict, was in and out of treatment for months before dropping out entirely and hitting bottom as a homeless heroin addict on the streets of L.A. Now he's back in rehab at Oasis in Anaheim, California, a facility where he'd had previous clashes with the rehab director, under orders from a judge to stay in rehabilitation for one year or face a jail sentence for heroin possession and DUI conviction. Ryan, as in his earlier stints in rehab, openly refuses to conform to the facility's rules; the facility's director, speaking at a follow-up hearing after Ryan's first 60 days at Oasis, informs the judge of Ryan's continued rule-breaking and asks the judge to remind Ryan of the terms of the sentence. He will be kicked out of Oasis if he breaks one more rule or continues to defy the staff counselors and doctors. Ryan puts this to the test just six weeks later as he is kicked out of Oasis' Sober Living program for prank-calling his former girlfriend. Hubert, a former homeless alcoholic, is nine months sober and has a new job as well as a new home in a halfway house program called Clean and Sober Living. But he still struggles with the death of his stepfather, who finally admitted during the intervention that he had been a "terrible father" to Hubert; Hubert was able to fulfill his stepfather's dying wish--to see Hubert sober--by coming to his bedside just weeks into his rehab. Hubert also struggles with house rules about no interactions with people previously involved with possibly enabling the addicts...meaning he must avoid seeing old friend John, a fellow homeless person who often fed Hubert, bought alcohol, and helped him find a safe place to sleep. John is equally sad about not being allowed to see Hubert, but acknowledges that if Hubert staying away from him is crucial to maintaining Hubert's sobriety, it is a small price to pay to save his life. As a gift to John for helping Hubert and his family come together for the intervention, the show's producers paid for John to have his badly misaligned and decaying teeth capped and replaced. At the time of filming, Hubert was celebrating reaching the nine month sobriety milestone by watching his episode of "Intervention" with his siblings and housemates, with a goal to reach one year so "I can get a cake" (a tradition at Clean and Sober Living); in December 2007, Hubert successfully reached that milestone, and got his cake.
*53 - Brooke: Brooke suffers from chronic pain, and doctors have never been able to find a diagnosis. Her family thinks she takes too many prescription pain pills. Brooke was found unconscious and injured by the "Intervention" production crew after taking "an extra pill or two" to take the pain away. Her mother wants her to go to a Lyme Disease treatment center, but Brooke's regular doctors are adamant that she does not have Lyme Disease. Can Interventionist Ken Seeley help Brooke's family understand that chronic pain is a true disease "and" help Brooke find a way to manage her pain with fewer pharmaceuticals? ("The black screen update at the end of this episode after it re-aired in April 2008 indicated that Brooke underwent treatment for Lyme disease and rheumatoid arthritis at a center for chronic pain management where doctors continued to adjust her medications to alleviate her chronic pain; however, Brooke admitted after viewing the episode that she was indeed addicted to pain pills. As of September 2008, she has undergone treatment for that addiction and had her knee replaced, resulting in improved mobility.")
*54 - Jason: Jason is an alcoholic and cocaine abuser who makes all of his money selling drugs. His sister, Joy, is often his drinking partner and co-drug user whose partying ways cost her custody of her two-year-old son. They come from a large religious family that was torn apart by their mother coming out as a lesbian and then abandoning her entire family. Though the primary addict who needs an intervention is Jason, it becomes increasingly apparent that both Jason and Joy need professional help.
*55 - Josh and Ben. Josh is a talented young singer with an uncontrollable desire to eat; he weighs over 550 pounds. Ben is a genius with an IQ of 170 and a debilitating addiction to
DXM. Both addicts suffered at the hands of abusive fathers and father figures throughout their childhoods, and both have serious issues with low self esteem. Ben also happens to be a long-time Internet persona known as "Rob Cypher"; his [http://robcypher.livejournal.com blog] contains entries describing the filming of this episode, his stint in rehab, and his reaction to the finished episode. Ben under the name Rob Cypher has also appeared on the dextroverse forums [ [http://www.dextroverse.org/forums/index.php?s=082c77b84e62386c1f9c96527a4ccecf&act=Profile&CODE=03&MID=14175 Board Message ] ] , which is a forum of people who use DXM for recreational purposes. ("Josh recently provided his own video update on [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3MhoVCIHA0 YouTube] , in which he says that he has moved into a halfway house in Boca Raton, Florida. As of July 2008, he has lost 192 pounds; his father underwent treatment as well and has lost 50 pounds.")
*56 - Tressa: Tressa is 32 and was an outstanding female athlete from Nebraska, the world women's shot put champion who would only have had to drop the shot in front of the throwing circle to qualify for the 2000 Summer Olympics, until she tested positive for cocaine the day before the 2000 Olympic Trials. Tressa was banned for 2 years from Olympic competition; her family then found out about her
LGBTlifestyle and drug abuse, which caused severe strain in all of their relationships. Tressa has given up sports altogether and now uses crystal meth daily as her life spirals out of control. Her girlfriend has kicked Tressa out for stealing, leaving Tressa even more emotionally overwrought. Can her family save Tressa despite her father's disapproval over her LGBTlifestyle? ("The black screen at the end of this episode reveals that Tressa speaks to her family several times a week, but they do not discuss her sexuality. She coaches a high school track and field team, continues her own training, and has been sober since October 2007.")
*57 - John T: As a former clean-cut track star, John's life used to revolve around athletics. Now, after a leg injury ended his running career, John spends his time abusing his body with alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy and hallucinogenic drugs. He believes he is living a charmed life as a successful and popular DJ when the reality is that he is losing his friends, his family, and his chance at success in the music industry to an addiction that could result in permanent brain damage or death.
*58 - Brad: Brad grew up the eldest of three--and the only boy--in his family. His parents split when Brad was young, and his mother attempted to parentally abduct his younger twin sisters, leaving Brad behind with his father; despite evidence to the contrary, Brad's mother insists she never intended to abandon her son. Brad's father won custody of all three children and married his children's former babysitter. Brad self-medicated as a teen with marijuana to deal with the emotions left by his abandonment and his anger at his stepmother's attempts to enforce discipline. At 18, Brad's father ordered him to either leave home forever or sign up for the military; Brad chose the Army and came out of Basic Training seemingly a changed person. After two tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom, however, Brad's tenuous hold on maturity and inner peace was shattered after Sgt. Deason, his commander, was killed on the last day of their second tours. Brad returned home suffering from serious PTSD. Unwilling to accept the drug and counseling therapy offered by the VA, and unable to find a job because his Army skillset doesn't match current employer needs ("Nobody wants to hire someone whose only job skill is killing people," Brad's dad notes), Brad gets a job as a stock clerk at a liquor store, self-medicates to deal with his pain, and is now drinking over a pint of vodka per day and smoking any weed he can get his hands on. Brad wants to return to the Army Reserves, but Brad's family wants him to get past his PTSD and anger issues first. ("The black screen at the end of the episode reveals that Brad left treatment after 21 days. His father refused to let him back in the house; he quit his job at a liquor store and moved in with friends. Though he continues to drink, he says he has cut down.")
*59 - Lawrence: Having graduated high school with academic and athletic honors, Lawrence, 34, became a successful owner of a chain of tanning salons in Las Vegas in the early 1990s....but he was never able to dull the pain of emotional and physical abuse suffered in childhood at the hands of a brutal father figure. In his early twenties, Lawrence gained formal custody of his two younger siblings in an attempt to remove them from a home environment full of unhealthy abusive dynamics. However, Lawrence could never conquer his own demons brought out by the brutality, and he began consuming GHB for both its muscle-building and mind-relaxing properties. When GHB was taken off the market, Lawrence looked for a substitute for GHB's calming effects, and turned to alcohol. Addicted within weeks, the alcohol abuse left Lawrence a shell of his former self as he frequently consumed over a liter of vodka a day in large 32-ounce mugs. A recent battle with testicular cancer has left him further weakened; Lawrence had surgery to remove the cancer, but never underwent any follow-up treatment, despite his family's pleas to see an oncologist or a urologist to ensure the cancer has not returned. Lawrence's body is covered with deep purple bruises in random spots, a sign of low blood clotting factors indicating impending liver failure. Lawrence's denial of his deteriorating health and his accelerating drinking problem is so strong that at one point he openly denies having had anything to drink while holding a plastic mug full of straight vodka, in an apartment where the garbage cans are full of empty vodka bottles. Lawrence's loved ones bring in Jeff VanVonderen for an intervention in the hope that this show of love and support will help Lawrence get the help he needs, and that by sharing his story he might help others. ("The black screen summary at the end of this episode reveals that after 30 days in treatment, Lawrence was asked to leave for refusing to focus on his recovery. He returned to Las Vegas and relapsed after three weeks of sobriety. In February 2008, he died as a result of complications stemming from
cirrhosisof the liver. He is the first Intervention profiled addict to die post-intervention.")
*60 - Chad: After a troubled childhood that sent him to juvenile hall for felony arson, Chad's father introduced him to cycling at age 15. Chad went pro and cycled on the same team as Lance Armstrong (the United States Postal Service Professional Cycling team, later known as the
Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team), and was even brought in for a tryout for the U.S. Olympic Cycling team. But after getting kicked off the PSPC team for "personality conflicts," Chad was crushed and turned to drugs. Now homeless, Chad spends his days panhandling, smoking crack, and drinking. His family's many efforts to get him off the streets have failed. Their last hope is an intervention, but can a young man used to doing everything his own way and defying authority for any reason under the sun be able to accept their help and their consequences if he fails to do so? ("Chad walked out of the intervention, but accepted the offer of treatment after a subsequent one-on-one meeting with Jeff VanVonderen. The black screen at the end of the original airing revealed that he completed treatment, moved into sober living with plans to attend college, and bought a new racing bike. An August 2008 re-airing stated that he relapsed briefly with alcohol, but has since regained sobriety and maintained it since July 2008.")
*61 - Dan: To the outside world, the life of 40-year-old Dan may seem ideal. Dan is married to a supportive wife, Sarah, and has a beautiful daughter, Ava. He loves music and works as a first mate for a snorkeling and whale-watching boat company on a stunning Hawaiian island. But everything is not what it seems: Dan is an alcoholic. An adolescence filled with physical violence and verbal abuse left Dan with deep emotional pain, and the loss of his son Miles after only a few days of life only intensified the pain. Dan's family desperately hopes that an intervention will turn his life around. ("The black screen at the end of the episode reveals that Dan completed four months' treatment and moved back to Hawaii to reunite with his family. An October 2008 re-airing stated that he had a brief relapse after eight months' sobriety, then moved into sober living; he has been sober since September 2008.")
*62 - Sandra: Sandra sits in her garage every day, popping painkillers, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and sleeping pills. Her pill use is so bad that her two sons, 17 and 11, have left the house. Her best friend, Julie, moved in with her, and although Julie suffers from multiple sclerosis, she takes care of all the housework. Julie and Sandra's husband, Dan, ration Sandra's pills so she doesn't overdose. They know they're enabling her, but they're afraid of what will happen if they stop. Sandra's family is ready to try an intervention, but they're not sure she'll ever choose her family over her addiction. ("The black screen at the end of the episode reveals that Sandra is still in treatment and has been sober since February 2008.")
*63 - Charles: A talented motocross rider, Charles, 23, is still dealing with terrible childhood memories. When he was seven, his father went to jail for molesting him and his younger brother, and his mother became an alcoholic. Today, he uses heroin and alcohol to blot out his memories, but he's pushed most of his family away. Now, his half-sister, Lindsey, is reuniting the family in one last attempt to help Charles with an intervention. ("The black screens near/at the end of this episode reveal that Charles was kicked out of his program for having syringes mailed to him, but transferred to another one, where he remains in treatment. He has been sober since January 2008, but he and his brother have not spoken since he began his recovery.")
*64 - Marie: Marie was born into an Italian mob family. When her parents' marriage ended, Marie and her mother struggled with extreme poverty. Marie's three marriages ended in divorce, but she was still determined to give her children what she didn't have growing up. Despite her own unhappy love life, she became a highly successful matchmaker and well known socialite. She even appeared on shows like 60 Minutes. Then Marie met her fourth husband, Bora, an addict and alcoholic. Marie tried to clean him up, but developed her own addiction to alcohol. Bora's alcoholism killed him, and now Marie is headed down the same road--fast. Marie's family knows an intervention is her last hope. ("The black screen at the end of this episode reveals that Marie completed treatment and moved to Alabama. Her two daughters are now attending
Al-Anonmeetings; she talks to her son every week and has been sober since March 2008.")
*65 - Tom: Growing up in a South Boston neighborhood run by the Irish mob, Tom got caught up in the gangster lifestyle. By his 20s, he was dealing drugs and running with the wise guys while holding down his day job as a fireman at the Boston Fire Department. Throughout it all, Tom remained a dedicated and loving father to his four children. Eventually, Tom's other life caught up with him after being indicted on drug charges. He lost everything -- his house, his job, and his family's respect. Can an intervention help Tom and heal his fractured family? ("The black screen at the end of this episode reveals that Tom now has weekly contact with his family and hopes to become a drug/alcohol counselor when he finishes treatment. He has been sober since January 2008; his wife had been planning to divorce him, but has not gone ahead with it.")
*66 - Asa: Born into a mixed-race family in a predominantly white town, Asa struggled with low self-esteem and body image growing up. Classmates teased him because of his size, ethnicity, and effeminate manner. Desperate to lose weight, Asa became bulimic. He came out as a gay man at 19 and started using hard drugs and drinking heavily. For the past 10 years, Asa has been working towards his college degree. Being a medical science student, he understands how his eating disorder and alcoholism are affecting him, but he's been unable to stop. His family now realizes that an intervention is their last chance to help Asa. ("The black screen at the end of this episode reveals that Asa completed treatment, moved into sober living, and plans to return to school next semester. He has been sober since March 2008 and has not binged or purged since April 2008.")
*67 - Derek: He was once a championship bodybuilder and successful property owner. But when he turned 30, Derek felt he was over the hill and became severely depressed. He started drinking to cope with the pressures of marriage and the responsibilities of getting older. His beautiful wife left, and now Derek's days are all the same--he sits in his dark basement, smoking and drinking and bemoaning the loss of his wife. He narrowly survived one suicide attempt and his family is worried he'll try again. An intervention is their last hope. ("The black screen at the end of the episode reveals that Derek was kicked out of treatment after three months for getting drunk and bringing alcohol onto the grounds. He went on a four-day drinking binge, then returned to his home in Ontario. Although he attends AA meetings, he continues to drink; his girlfriend still rents a room from him.")
*68 - Allison: An intelligent, talented
flautistwho once double-majored in music and pre-medicine in college, Allison could not escape feelings of deep pain and rage over being molested as a child, and her parents' devastating divorce. She started to inhale computer dust remover (a practice known as " huffing") several times daily, which is potentially fatal with each breath. She even caused a four-vehicle auto accident while under the influence of inhalants. In the wake of the erratic and irresponsible behavior that resulted, Allison was dismissed from the pre-med program; she barely completed her music major. Allison's huffing has risen to 10 cans of "duster" a day, which she literally inhales non-stop, not even waiting to get home from the store before huffing cans as she drives. Can interventionist Jeff help Allison and her family? ("Allison immediately walked out of the intervention; in response, her family called her "sugar daddy" [Allison's sole source of income] to warn him off and called the Humane Society to have her cats taken away. When animal control officers, the police, and her sister arrived at her house, she became argumentative and was forcibly removed for a psychiatric evaluation. She was subsequently released from the hospital and accepted Jeff's final offer of treatment the next day. Now she speaks with her mother and sisters every week, but is still in contact with her "sugar daddy." Sober since May 2008, she intends to remain in treatment and continue her recovery.") Allison has been featured in several Youtubevideos that feature her quote "It's like I'm walking on sunshine!" with the song "Walking on Sunshine" playing in the background.
*69 - Phillip: A 44-year-old singer and songwriter, Phillip used music to escape the pain of an unstable childhood. He gained fame due to his charisma and musical talents, but Phillip now consumes up to four pints of peppermint schnapps a day. He lost his career, the love of his life, and the respect of his family. Can Phillip break the grip of addiction before he loses the most precious relationship in his life, the one he shares with his 11-year-old daughter? ("Phillip agreed to go to treatment, after asking his brothers and sisters to tell him over and over that they loved him. His girlfriend Teresa would not commit to getting treatment, though she was offered to be taken as well. After 2 months of treatment, his daughter went to visit him at the treatment center, and then he later played music at a coffee shop. During his set, he reveals a song he wrote about his daughter being his angel. The black screen at the end of this episode reveals that Phillip completed treatment and moved back in with his girlfriend Teresa. Teresa had not had a drink since Phillip's intervention. Phillip sees his daughter Cristina regularly and has been sober since April 28th, 2008.")
*70 - Mike and Jenny: Mike, 67, was a police sergeant, avid outdoorsman, and respected citizen. But after he was injured while apprehending an addict, signs of Mike's obsessive-compulsive disorder started to emerge. His fear of germs caused him to wash his hands over 40 times a day. The problem forced him to retire early, and his wife divorced him. He was able to keep his
OCDunder control for eight years, but a relapse caused him to think his food was spoiled, and almost starve. Mike's children feel an intervention is their only hope of helping him. Jenny, 32, is a talented hairstylist from a close-knit Mormonfamily in Utah. When a diagnosis of endometriosiscrushes her life-defining dream of having a family, she dampens the pain with prescription drugs. Her addiction quickly escalates to IVheroin and meth use. With Jenny on the verge of her "next" overdose, can her family stop enabling her drug use and get her the help she needs? ("The black screen at the end of the episode reveals that Mike completed nearly three months' treatment, then moved back to his apartment in Utah. He now takes medication for his OCD and follows his doctor's orders. Jenny quit her 3-month program after one month and relapsed on heroin; shortly afterward, she learned that she was pregnant. She returned to treatment and has been sober since August 2008, with her baby due in the winter.")
*71 - Kristen: When Kristen was 3, her parents divorced and soon after her grandparents died, and Kristen somehow felt responsible. Then Kristen's mother married an alcoholic and addict, whose daughter introduced Kristen to drugs. By 15, Kristen was getting high. Currently, Kristen shoots heroin and cocaine, and then stays with her parents to recover. Ridden with guilt, Kristen's mother is desperate to save her only daughter's life.
*72 - Ed and Bettina: Ed, 53, and Bettina, 49, had a picture-perfect life, including three adoring kids, a dream home, sports cars, motorcycles, and a respected place in their church community. But six years ago, Ed made a bad career move and ended up unemployed. He and Bettina lost everything they had worked for. They began to drink, and quickly became alcoholics. Ed has been hospitalized for internal bleeding, and Bettina for withdrawals so excruciating she thought she was dying. Their children have begged them to stop drinking, but it only strengthens the bond between Ed and Bettina, leaving the children to wonder, "How do you intervene on a married couple?" ("The black screen at the end of the episode reveals that Ed and Bettina completed their respective treatment programs and moved into sober living in Florida. He plans to find a job in sales, while she is now a house mother in a sober-living facility; they have been sober since June 2008.")
Intervention In-Depth Specials
*Heroin Hits Home: Aired between episodes 59 and 60; narrated by
Donnie Wahlberg. This episode examines the recent rash of drug abuse among high school students in and around Brockton, Massachusetts--first OxyContin, then heroin. The experiences of four such addicts (Pat, Peter, Sarah, Shannah) are profiled.
*Meth Mountain: Aired between episodes 68 and 69; narrated by
Meredith Vieira. In Marshall County, Alabama, crystal methhas permeated the rural community on all fronts, to the point where the area has earned the nickname “Meth Mountain.” Affected individuals featured on the show include Chuck, who may lose custody of his children because of his addiction; Boo, a long-time addict who looks far older than his 58 years; Shanta, who injected meth while she was pregnant; and Dr. Mary Holley, a crusading obstetricianwhose addicted brother committed suicide.
Intervention After Treatment Special
Aired between episodes 70 and 71. Three of the show's interventionists and five former addicts are featured guests on this episode, hosted by
Christopher Lawfordand recorded before a studio audience. Jeff VanVonderen, Candy Finnigan, and Ken Seeley discussed their respective motivations for entering the field, after which clips from the addicts' episodes were shown and the addicts themselves commented on their experiences during and after treatment.
The addicts, with their comments on sobriety as of the tape date:
*Sylvia — 2 years, 1 month
*Michelle — 3 years; has since given birth to a child.
*Hubert — 1 year, 7 months. Hubert's friend John, who figured prominently in the original episode, made contact with his daughter and has also received help; now he is living in Indiana.
*Dillon — said he was "sober today"; his mother Tammy was not sure that he was really recovering, since he had left his treatment program early and would not commit to returning to a 12-step program. Dillon asserted that 12-steps did not work for him--each time he went through one, he left treatment and immediately went on a meth binge--and that "relying on God" to keep him on the right path worked best for him. He declined an offer from Ken to enter a new program, saying that he wanted to find his own way to sobriety.
*Coley — 1 year, 3 months. His wife Francine and their children went through a treatment program for family members of addicts. The couple announced during the show that their 14th wedding anniversary fell on that day.
Jeff VanVonderen disclosed that he had taken a leave of absence from "Intervention" in order to sort out personal issues associated with a relapse into his own past addiction.
Critics of Intervention and shows with similar premises argue that the documentary may cross the line into
exploitation, and that people who were perhaps not in the best frame of mind were persuaded to appear on the program, even if they later agreed that appearing on the show was good for them. [cite news |title=Vile 'Intervention' pulls a fast one |work=The Boston Globe |first=Matthew |last=Gilbert |date=2005-03-05 |accessdate=2007-06-01 |url=http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2005/03/05/vile_intervention_pulls_a_fast_one/ ] [cite news |first=Melanie |last=McFarland |title=On TV: 'Addiction' takes pains to show us real drug abuse |work=Seattle Post-Intelligencer |date=2007-03-14 |accessdate=2007-06-01 |url=http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tv/307110_tv13.html ]
While this program does provide an excellent idea of the approach of traditional interventions, it fails to discuss other approaches that can be useful for families who are struggling with loved ones who are refusing treatment. Some of these approaches have higher success rates at engaging alcohol and drug users into treatment than traditional interventions and may be more successful in keeping loved ones in treatment.Fact|date=August 2008 A Relational Intervention Sequence for Engagement (ARISE) [The ARISE Intervention Using Family and Network Links to Engage Addicted Persons in Treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Volume 15, Issue 4, Pages 333 - 343J. Garrett] and Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT) [More info can be found at http://www.robertjmeyersphd.com/craft.html] are two such methods.
On August 27, 2008,
Kristin Chenowethand funnyordie.comreleased the video [http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/aa15baae2b Intervention with Kristin Chenoweth] , [ [http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/aa15baae2b Intervention with Kristin Chenoweth] ] where Chenoweth gave a gay crystal methaddict a cheerful, Broadway-style singing intervention.
* [http://www.aetv.com/intervention/ Official site]
* [http://www.aetv.com/videos/display.jsp?id=intervention_sf Video] 'The Time for Intervention' video on A&E TV's Website.
* [http://www.aetv.com/videos/display.jsp?id=intervention_sf_addiction Video] 'Intervention: The Impact of Addiction' video on A&E TV's Website.
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