Over the years, A&E’s popular cable television series Intervention has profiled many alcoholics and drug users. At the conclusion of every episode, the person profiled is highly encouraged to accept rehabilitation, which often begins with a 90-day residential treatment program.
But in real life, not everyone successfully completes rehab. Furthermore, some who triumph through rehab may take a turn for the worse and ultimately relapse. During the show’s past 14 seasons, more than thirty Intervention deaths have occurred among those profiled in the show. The following include Intervention deaths due to drug-related causes.
Taylor Bittler, Season 20, Chapter 9
On February 27th, Intervention aired an episode that revealed that Taylor Bittler, 26, a woman who had been featured on in a series called The Heroin Triangle, had passed away.
According to her obituary, she died on January 22, 2018. Her funeral was held several days later in Woodstock, Georgia, where she lived.
The story that featured Bittler focused on three women struggling with addiction. In her last episode, she was visiting a dentist for teeth problems related to her drug addiction. The viewers soon begin to realize that she is finding it difficult to stay clean, and her family intervened.
In her obituary, her family, including mother Katherine Bittler and sister Morgan Bittler, described Taylor as “the brightest soul in the room” a “friend everyone wanted, adored, and was drawn to” and “beautiful inside and out.” Her Facebook page reveals more about her exuberant personality and notes that she attended Chattahoochee Technical College and is originally from New York City.
They also stated that she “has returned to heaven to be reunited with her father, Nicholas, whom she has so desperately missed.”
She was also said to have “a love for fashion, make-up, creativity, and art” and “lived for the love of her life and the axis of her world, her baby girl, Wheezy.”
Austin P., Season 10, Episode 3
Austin was a man in his early 20’s living in Colorado. He lost his stepfather to alcohol and then ventured down the same road in an attempt to dull the pain. At the time of the show’s taping, his girlfriend was pregnant, but Austin continued to party like nothing had changed.
Austin spent two months in rehab, leaving after claiming recovery and sobriety. But in a twist of fate, Austin was not among the Intervention deaths from alcohol – he actually died of a heroin overdose in December 2011.
Brittany, Season 15, Episode 17
Twenty-year-old Brittany is addicted to heroin and uses meth, and her father suffers from addiction as well. He revealed a willingness to go to treatment with her to help her get clean. Brittany herself experienced a myriad of traumas, including rape and divorce.
Brittany died in August 2016 of an overdose, just two days after completing treatment.
Eric, Season 14, Episode 5
Eric, 31, is addicted to heroin and been engaging in unscrupulous activities, such as hustling and stealing, to feed his habit. His ex-girlfriend is his best friend, and he is still madly in love with her.
Tragically, Eric died of an overdose in August 2017.
Joshua, Season 14, Episode 12
Joshua, 28, was addicted to heroin and abused alcohol. During his teens, he was severely beaten by his girlfriend’s father and began using heroin to deal with his past trauma.
Like so many others, Joshua died in March 2017 of a heroin overdose.
Megan, Season 10, Episode 5
Megan was a 27-year-old woman living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She was an intelligent, well-educated woman who was abused by her stepfather growing up. When her mother remarried, she never felt accepted into the new family.
She became a prostitute to fuel her multi-drug habit, which consisted of cocaine, heroin, opioids, and Xanax.
Megan completed treatment but sadly died of a heroin overdose in February 2014, just under three years after the show’s original air date.
Charles W., Season 4, Episode 62
Charles, a Californian aged just 23, was a heroin addict. He was a skilled motocross rider but was also haunted by a traumatic childhood. At age 7, his father was incarcerated after he molested Charles and his younger brother. His mother then became an alcoholic. In the show, he admits to both drug use and alcoholism and isolating himself from his family.
Nearly 6 years after the show aired, Charles died by overdose from an “unspecified substance”.
Brooke B., Season 4, Episode 53
Brooke, age 26, was from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was addicted to opioid painkillers and muscle relaxers, which she began receiving when she was diagnosed in high school with an early form of rheumatoid arthritis.
Prior to the onset of pain, she had been a talented cheerleader. Her disease, however, left her in chronic pain every single day.
In the episode, Brooke was addicted to pain medications. However, she died in December 2014, of a meth-related overdose. Brooke is one of the more tragic Intervention deaths, as she became addicted to drugs due to her legitimate need for pain relief.
Other Deaths, Possibly Drug-Related
Laurie, Season 2, Episode 33
Laurie, 31, from Texas, was addicted to painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, and alcohol. She was actually a psychotherapist, as well as a mother of three. However, she lost her job and family due to her addictions.
She died 9 years after the original airing, in July 2015, from unspecified cause(s).
Sebastian, Season 7, Episode 97
Sebastian, 21, and his brother Marcel, 20, were addicted to black tar heroin. From Palm Springs, California, the two boys were once soccer stars in their hometown. Sebastian, however, befriended older teammates and began doing marijuana, meth, and cocaine. Soon after, Marcel also got drugs, such as cocaine, Xanax, and opioids.
In April 2013, almost 4 years after the episode’s airing, Sebastian died from a “heart attack or stroke”. He was reportedly sober at the time of his death, so it is unclear if prior or present drug use may have played a role.
Read More: 7 Of The Most Engaging Intervention Episodes
Over the years, the TV series has produced some breathtaking moments – some beautiful, some tragic. Here are some of the most engaging episodes.
John C. (Season 6, Episode 4)
John C. was a diabetic who refused to administer insulin or change his diet due to a deep depression from which he was suffering. His story is very tragic – he grew up having ADHD and consequently, became a loner who was known for being “different.” His mother and the rest of his family decided to intervene because they were very concerned about his health.
Sadly, five years after his episode aired, John passed away from complications related to diabetes.
Amy P. (Season 8, Episode 16)
Amy P. suffered from anxiety most of her life. In high school, she developed an eating disorder and suffered from anorexia. She began binge eating and purging as an adult. She stays in her family’s basement but is not allowed into the home because she steals from them and can’t be trusted.
As a bulimic, she suffers from many health problems. She consumes about 24,000 calories per day but purges her food and exercises excessively. Her family requested an intervention because if she doesn’t stop they fear she will die.
Josh and Ben (Season 4, Episode 6)
This episode featured two interventions, Josh and Ben. Ben was a genius but was also addicted to cough medicine. Josh is a singer addicted to food and as a result, weighed about 550 pounds.
Both men had abusive fathers growing up and suffered from low self-esteem.
The episode revealed that Ben was living in poverty, earning money from stealing, panhandling, and engaging in prostitution.
Gloria (Season 7, Episode 13)
Gloria worked as a caterer near San Francisco and is an alcoholic. She considered herself a victim, after having a baby die during childbirth and being diagnosed with breast cancer. She fancies herself to be a high-functioning alcoholic, but she has two failed marriages, and no relationship with her two daughters because of it. Her daughters stage an intervention hoping that they can have the mother they always wanted.
Emily (Season 4, Episode 1)
Emily is a 26-year-old woman who suffered from anorexia. She felt that she wasn’t as good as her identical sister Tiffany, and could not fulfill her parents’ high expectations. At college, Emily was date raped, which added to her depression and low self-esteem. When the show aired, she weighed less than 90 pounds. Her family chose to intervene because they were afraid she would starve to death.
Allison (Season 5, Episode 9)
Allison was molested as a child and still suffers from the trauma. She has one of the stranger addictions – huffing from cans of computer dusting spray. Eventually, Allison had to drop out of her pre-med program. Also, she suffered from self-mutilation and anorexia. Her need to huff the air caused her to consume ten cans per day.
Laney (Season 3, Episode 8)
Laney is a 36-year-old alcoholic. She was abused growing up by her mother’s husbands and boyfriends. She was also the victim of rape. She is a millionaire with a beautiful mansion but is usually alone with just her cat. She drinks rum incessantly and is also addicted to tranquilizers.
When she is hospitalized for a suicide attempt, she overhears that her family is going to ask for an intervention, and therefore, rushes home as soon as possible. They go to her home the next day, but Laney locks herself in her mansion and calls the police on them – which results in one of the strangest and most engaging episodes, ever.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology