Alcoholism shared between mother Donna and son Josh was the focus on the Intervention, Season 9, Episode 1 premiere with Jeff VanVonderen on A&E Monday night. Once again, the less than glorious side of booze is the culprit that’s destroying a family. Season 9, Episode 1 of Intervention continues the gripping accounts of how addictions destroy not just the addicted, but the loved ones, too. The hour moves so fast on this A&E program. It takes long enough to show the conflicts and the interventions, that the post-treatment aspects don’t get a lot of air time. Nonetheless, this series continues to show the dark side of being involved with such things like alcohol and drugs.
A Mother and Son Bond Through Alcohol on Intervention, Season 9, Episode 1
In Covington, Washington, Donna and Josh are mother and son who live together, but the problem is that they’re drinking buddies. Donna admits to being an alcoholic (for the last 14 years), and has been taking her son down that road for the last 9 months. The mother gulps down the booze like there’s no tomorrow, and gets money for the hooch by “flying (panhandling)”, while son watches her from his vehicle.
Marilyn, Donna’s mother, lives with the two, and has to put up with Donna’s unacceptable behavior, blackouts, being found by the cops around town, etc. Marilyn painted a picture of a basically normal childhood, but Donna said that her mother and step dad were drinkers and the kids lived in fear of the stepfather, claiming sexual abuse by him. The stepfather never got convicted for it. Donna went into foster care, got married, and then had Josh and a girl named Justina. But into the marriage, the heavy drinking started with mom and dad, and divorce followed after 9 years of marriage.
Years later, Josh moved back home with his mother Donna and grandmother Marilyn, and the drinking is the bond between mother and son, who were apart for a long time after the divorce. Now, Donna is basically blaming everyone but herself for her problems, especially mom and her half-sister Candy, who got custody of Justina when she was 12. Josh boozes it up in front of his daughter, showing more interest in drinking than being there for her.
Josh Agrees to Immediate Treatment on Intervention, Season 9, Episode 1
Marilyn and Candy are fed up, and ask for an intervention on the Season 9, Episode 1 premiere. During the pre-intervention, Jeff VanVonderen laid out just how toxic the mom and son relationship has become, and asks who should be confronted first. It’s agreed that Josh should be approached.
During the intervention. Josh is the first to be confronted and advised to go to treatment for 90 days in Washington, and readily agrees because he’s tired of being like his mother. Things don’t go so well with Donna, who protests when she finds out that her son is in treatment for 90 days instead of 28 on Intervention, Season 9, Episode 1. The heartfelt letters and pleas by Candy, Justina, and Marilyn don’t sway the alcoholic initially. Marilyn threatens to throw Donna out of the house if she doesn’t get help, but even that doesn’t help. VanVonderen tries to reason with the hollering Donna, who harbors a lot of resentment against her mother for allowing her to be sexually abused. Finally, Donna agrees to treatment in Orange County, California.
During the update part at the end of Intervention, Season 9, Episode 1, it’s three months later and Josh and Donna were seen to being better. But unfortunately for Donna, she fell off the wagon when she was in a sober-living facility, and is drinking again. Josh has been sober since February 12 of this year.
“Donna & Josh”, Intervention, June 28, 2010, A&E