Addiction reality TV is turning into something of a franchise and the very first subject of a filmed-for-TV intervention is now on the other side of the table. Brandon Knauss is now the star of his own intervention show, Cracking Addiction, alongside his mother, Debbie Knauss. Together, the two function as family mediators to help addicts and their families move a step closer to getting into drug addiction treatment.
Brandon’s intervention took place on the Dr. Phil Show back in 2003. Addicted to both heroin and Vicodin, Brandon had attempted to get clean on his own and ultimately relapsed, spending six months in jail. His mother took him to a number of different doctors in an attempt to get him the help he needed but was wrongly told by one doctor that he was just a “normal” kid who liked to party and by another that he could safely detox on his own despite his use of between 20 and 40 Vicodin pills a day. To her relief, Dr. Phil responded positively when she requested his help and thanks in part to his assistance, Brandon has now been clean and sober for seven years.
An Intervention Duo
Today, Brandon and his mother work together in front of the cameras to help families stage interventions for active addicts. She has a more laid-back attitude than some of the more “tough love” approaches that she’s seen some family mediators take on television, and she believes that she and Brandon provide a balance that addicts respond to. Now, viewers can see for themselves as the two have a new episode of Cracking Addiction air once a week on TLC.
Says Debbie Knauss: “I want Cracking Addiction to reveal to families that this is a family disease, that this is a real disease and that you can recover. When kids are just taught that ‘drugs are bad,’ then when they experience them for the first time, they’re like ‘whoa!’ when they get that dopamine rush.”
The Knausses believe that everyone is different and will respond to different tactics and stories during an intervention. It’s a challenge that they attempt to take on in Cracking Addiction. It’s also a challenge that they believe should be taken on by the drug rehab as well – personalization at every step of the process can help to “meet people where they live” when it comes to helping them move closer to a life that is free from drugs.