It’s always shocking to find out one of the addicts profiled has died as a result of their addiction. It shouldn’t be so shocking, given that they were in such bad shape that their their families felt like the would die without an intervention, but still, it is. Maybe it’s because we come to feel like we know them over an hour (I know, not possible, but it still feels that way) and we have hope that there will be a happy ending to their story, not a tragic one.
My sincere condolences to the families and friends of the people who have passed on since their intervention. Please know that there are many people out here that became emotionally invested in your story and are deeply sympathetic to the pain that addiction has caused in your lives. We are terribly sorry for your loss.
Episode 93. Season 7, Episode 7
Died after successful treatment at 105 days sober
Cause of death: Esophageal cancer
Death revealed on first airing, June 2009
Episode 59. Season 4, Episode 9
Left after 30 days of treatment and was sober another 3 weeks before relapsing. Died 2 months later after developing esophageal bleeding.
Cause of death: Esophageal bleeding as a result of cirrhosis of the liver.
Note: On first airing, the followup was hopeful. It said that Chris was sober and he and Shawn were planning a commitment ceremony. When it re-aired, it was revealed the Chris had relapsed and had then taken his own life. It was a shocking thing to read on the screen. I think the show was a bit cruel to do that do the audience – they could have at least done some kind of brief memorial with some words about his life, similar to what they did with Bret, instead of just putting it up on the screen all nonchalantly. Do they not realize that this show’s audience gets a bit attached to these addicts and their families, and their deaths might be a bit hard on us?
Episode 40. Season 3, Episode 6
Left after 31 days of treatment, claimed to be sober
Cause of death: Suicide. “In November 2011, Dillon’s girlfriend called the police after he attemped to strangle her. Dillon fled the police and broke into his mother and stepfather’s home, where he beat his stepfather with a gun and then forced them out of the house. The police were called, and after a standoff, Dillon fatally shot himself.”
Episode 70. Season 4 (Missing episode)
Obsessive Complusive Disorder
Completed treatment and was on medication for OCD until he couldn’t afford it any longer
Cause of death: Unknown. A re-airing of this episode revealed that Mike died in September 2011.