Intervention: Rachel Is Addicted to Heroin, Coke and Artistic Expression

Last night, the season premiere of Intervention-an A & E reality series that documents addiction and subsequently makes everyone else feel better about their own drug use-premiered for another round of tears, fights and recovery. This week, we were introduced to Rachel, a 21 year-old heroin addict who’s been living on the streets of NYC for almost a year. Despite being a junkie, Rachel claims to have a passion for art, which is further demonstrated in one scene when she takes stickers and puts them in a notebook to make a pretty collage.

Even though her upbringing was pretty unremarkable, Rachel blames her father-a competitive bodybuilder- for giving her a body complex. She originally used heroin at 16 as a way to lose weight (whatever happened to good old-fashioned starvation?) and to appease her superficial father but whoops, she got addicted to it along the way. Her family seems worried about Rachel dying and they also seem freaked out about her boyfriend, Joie (nice spelling), a homeless junkie who looks like he might kill you but Rachel defends him and is all “No, I love him!” I guess love is blind and/or on heroin.

At this point in the episode, things start to get really convoluted and strange. Rachel’s boyfriend, Joie, is arrested and within a day, she starts sleeping with a new guy named Ryan. Rachel and Ryan first met at Starbucks and according to her, Ryan “has a pad. He deals pot. He has a lot of things going for him.” Their romance is short-lived though because two days later, Ryan is also arrested on possession and sent to jail. At first, Rachel is super sad about two of her boyfriends being in jail but then miraculously, Joie is released and the two reunite. Rachel immediately comes clean about sleeping with Ryan and Joie calls her a whore and tells her the relationship is over. Five minutes later, he admits that he ratted Ryan out to the cops in order to get released early from jail (haha?) and that he still loves Rachel. Jesus Christ. Drug addicts’ lives move at the speed of light. I seriously can’t keep up with their drama. So then they walk off together in the cruel harsh sunlight and go to sleep in front of a church. The next morning, Joie proposes to Rachel (presumably with a ring-pop) and she accepts. EEEEEK.

At the pre-intervention, interventionist, (is that what they’re called?) Candy, pinpoints the blame on Rachel’s parents divorce and says that when a child goes through divorce from ages 2-6, they’re at a higher risk for being insane. Ugh. This show always blames divorce. My parents split up when I was 8 and you don’t see me shooting cocaine into my neck in a McDonald’s bathroom. I really feel like they give divorce too much power on this show.

Anyways, Rachel goes to her final interview AKA the intervention and the producers distract Joie so he won’t come and ruin her chance at recovery. Rachel walks into the room and flips her shit. It went sort of like this:

Rachel: Fuck, this is Intervention! (Screams hysterically and runs down the stairs. Her father chases after her.)

Rachel’s Dad: Babe, please go back in there. You’re addicted to drugs and it’s scary.

Rachel: But Daaaaaaaaaaad. You’re an asshole. You ruined my life!

Rachel’s Dad: I know. I’m sorry.

Rachel: Oh, you apologized? Sweet. I’ll go to rehab then. Smooch!

It was actually a longer process than that but that was basically the gist of it. Joie ended up crashing and told Rachel, “I love you but if you quit drugs, we’re over.” So that was that.

She ended up going to a rehab in Malibu (which is a city comprised of rehab centers and coke dealers but whatevs!) and has been sober since July 24, 2010. They showed footage of her in rehab and she looked super healthy and happy. She was eating, drawing, and eating some more. She relapsed once but immediately asked for help afterwards. Everything was going to be okay. TC mark

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Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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More From Thought Catalog

  • http://sarahspy.tumblr.com sarahspy

    fantastic

  • Owen

    – “Stop sleeping with my friends.”
    – “Stop beating me”

    • http://clarifiedconfusion.blogspot.com aaron nicholas

      round and round it goes…

  • http://brianmcelmurry.blogspot.com/ Brian McElmurry

    Very enjoyable!

  • tay

    This was the best episode ever. Seriously.

  • http://twitter.com/straponheart Evan Hatch

    Being addicted to heroin is performance art at its purest bro. The physical wasting away it causes is a metaphor fickle and temporary nature of of beauty. Sucking cock in a gas station bathroom for pocket change symbolizes the sexualization of money. Totes artistic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505759069 Julian Tully Alexander

    Not a big fan of this show. Seems like the “happy ending” is bullshit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bee-Goode/100001676566533 Bee Goode

    hilarious. i sorta don't want to watch the episode now. i like your summary so much i'd probably be let down if i actually watched it.

  • Janie Rocket

    Don't break out the champagne or the crack pipes quite yet.
    Check out “Rachel Coccio” on MySpace and Twitter — she's already back with “Joie.” This is gonna end well.

  • Guest

    Rude.

  • Guest

    From all the sarcasm, I'm guessing you have never had to suffer from addiction……….Lucky you.

  • Andy only

    This is one addict I never thought would say yes to going to rehab. I personally have a world of experiance with addition and its consequences. Rachel was an extremly troubling case because of her young age and still somewhat reasonably shot a normal life she was rejecting…ie: young, talented and attractive. I was in tears this morning thinking about the turning point when her father who is told to go after her if she runs, and she did, breaks his “tough guy” image and cries real tears in front of her…from the heart. “WHAT COMES FROM THE HEART , REACHES THE HEART” Rachel then, to my utter disbelief, goes back to the intervention. She goes to treatment and is shown 60 days later a different woman. Fairytale? no. Happily ever after? no. BUT…she experianced something she will never forget and somethingno one can ever take away from her…HERSELF. Her real feelings and inner being. Now she knows…the beginning.

  • Zoe

    Joie was murdered after 8 months of being sober. So no not happily ever after

  • Gabbylaurenzox3

    This was the saddest intervention I’ve ever seen.

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