Intervention Follow Up: Brandon Returns

Intervention Follow Up: Brandon Returns
Brandon returns straight from rehab.
When Brandon left the show after his intervention, he angrily walked down the runway leading off the stage with a choice to make: treatment or jail. Now he returns a different man. The audience welcomes Brandon with a standing ovation. He sits down with Dr. Phil, who introduces himself again, to drive home the point that at their last meeting, Dr. Phil only met the drugs, not the man. "We haven't met before," says Dr. Phil. "Tell me how you're doing."

"I feel great," says Brandon. "I've been sober 50 days now." The audience applauds loudly, and his family looks on with pride. "I feel a lot better than I did. I was always angry, I don't know why, I just was. Physically, I was just drained from years of using and abusing drugs and I kept getting worse and worse. I tried several times to stop myself and I did for a period of time, but I always started up again. I couldn't do anything without my pills."

Brandon didn't see his intervention on Dr. Phil until 20 to 30 days into his treatment. "I didn't see any change in myself until I saw that episode. I saw how screwed up I was. And how bad I looked and what a horrible person I was, and that's not me. I don't want to go back to that person," he says.

"I've said many times there are no accidents," says Dr. Phil. "Why do you think you've been given this opportunity?"

"I think I've been given this opportunity to show people it can get better," says Brandon. "There is hope. Once you travel down a certain road that you don't want to be going down, there's always a chance that you can come back and help yourself out. I want to show that it can be done." Brandon explains that he now understands where his family was coming from and why they wanted to help him, and he's grateful. "I thought I was the victim," he says, "but after seeing the way I looked, the way I acted, the things I did, it was horrible."

Suffering in life is inevitable, but, Dr. Phil explains, "If you create meaning to your suffering, it gives some symmetry to life, some value and purpose."

Dr. Phil tells Brandon what he was thinking when he was working with him on his intervention. "I have two sons. I just sat back and asked myself if one of our children's lives were on fire, what would I want from somebody that was going to help and be involved? I didn't want to see you go to jail. And I didn't want to see this great family standing at your funeral. I really had this vision that you were truly lost in the dark, and even through the drugs what I wanted you to hear was, 'I'm coming for you. However dark it is and however lost you are, I'm coming for you and I'm bringing a lot of people with me.'"

"What do you think about your folks and the sacrifices they made about all of this and putting this together?" Dr. Phil asks Brandon.

"I think they saved my life," he says. "I think they saved my future and how well I live my life. I don't think I could've done it without them." Debbie blows her son a kiss from the audience.

Dr. Phil asks Brandon if he believes that he can be OK, that he can have a productive life and a bright future. "I sure do," Brandon says. "But not with drugs. I can't do anything when I'm on any kind of drugs." Brandon explains that he started using drugs while he was partying, but it soon became an every day thing and then a way of life. When Dr. Phil asks Brandon what he'd like to do in the future, he responds, "I'm still open right now. I've only been sober 50 days. I'd like to maybe look into an acting career, if that's possible. I haven't been sober that long to think about it, but I believe I'm heading in the right direction."
"You have to put your world together in a way that supports your sobriety when you get back into the world," Dr. Phil tells Brandon, because a person can't be addicted to drugs without a lifestyle to support it. For example, Brandon can't hang around the same people, or go to the same places now. "Don't feel like you're behind," says Dr. Phil. "I was 25 before I got out of college because I took a few detours along the way. You can still beat me," he says.

Brandon reveals that a lot of his friends use drugs. "I know a couple of my friends have checked themselves into rehab facilities after watching my show. And if they can stay sober, maybe I can continue friendships with them." He says he knows how hard it will be because it's easy to be pulled back into the same lifestyle.

Dr. Phil asks Brandon where he goes from here. He explains that he's headed back to the treatment center to finish out the remainder of his stay, and then he's moving to a halfway house to continue the momentum of recovery with outpatient treatment for three more months.

"You getting along with the judge OK at this point?" asks Dr. Phil.

"She was real angry the last time I saw her," says Brandon, "but I think I can make her happy the next time around."

Dr. Phil tells him he's going to stay in touch with him and his family. Turning to Doug and Debbie he says, "I want you guys to go to school on what's happened here. You have two kids at home. You've been in denial and looking the other way. You don't want to make that mistake again. You don't want to miss the early warning signs again. We have to be alert and look at what's happening to our children. It doesn't just happen to other people's kids."