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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A&E TV's Intervention Covered Bret and how his Alcoholism Destroyed his Family

A & E's Intervention

A&E TV's Intervention covered Bret and how Alcoholism destroyed his family. Before Bret's alcoholism progressed out of control he was a successful real estate mortgage broker, but that all changed when alcohol started to take its toll. Two years ago Bret's family attempted to offer him the opportunity of treatment via an Intervention which he accepted only to end up relapsing. Everything in Bret's life spiraled out of control after his relapse; he lost his wife, kids, and his career in the grips of his severe alcoholism. His family decided that they would give an Intervention one more shot before they turned their backs on him out of love.

Bret's story is not too dissimilar to every alcoholic's or drug addict's story, the circumstances are different for sure, but where every addict ends up is generally the same - jails, institutions, and death! Bret's disease told him that nothing would work and until he was mentally ready to rid alcohol from his life he would continue to drink. His relapse in a way reaffirmed the belief that an alcoholic can get better on their own, saying the same thing that many who try working a program of recovery say, "I tried that, but it didn't work and I won't put myself through that again". When a program of recovery does not work for someone it is usually because they did not let it work and they let their disease continue to influence the choices they make. When this happens, a relapse is only a matter of time and where they pick up is usually a lot worse than where they left off.

Intervention did a great job painting a picture of the pain that Bret was inflicting on his family and friends. Tears and anger are common themes in most families plagued by alcohol; the feeling of helplessness is present in everything. Intervention, with the help of Ken Seeley, a professional interventionist, gave Bret's family the tools to help Bret make the decision to change his life. I'm glad to report that they were successful in their endeavor to get Bret into treatment at Hope by the Sea in Laguna Niguel, California. Unfortunately, the years of drinking had done its damage to Bret's body and after 80 days of treatment he had become very sick and was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer. With 104 days sober, cancer spread throughout his body, Bret passed away this summer on June 19th, 2009.

Bret's 104 days of sobriety was a major achievement for him and he was able to give his family back the husband and father they had known. As sick as he was he made a point of being emotionally available to those who love him right up until the end of his days. Bret was able to make amends to those he had hurt before he died, giving his friends and family the ability to remember Bret for who he really was. I invite everyone to watch the show and the memoriam on A&E and send me your thoughts so that next week we can discuss this more...

Bret's Story
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Bret's Memoriam


  1. Truly a sad show it broke my heart. This is the reality of what this disease can do.

  2. Touched by and praying for Bret's children. I related tremendously to this story. As a part of my healing journey I settled some of my pain at a non-profit childen's camp called Comfort Zone Camp. I hope someone reading this can personally mention the healing miracle that is Comfort Zone to Bret's family. comfortzonecamp.org

  3. Such a powerful episode...my heart breaks for those kids!

  4. My favorite episode because even though it is a sad ending, the words of his son say it all, it was happy because he died a dad! Sober, happy, and with his family! Who know where he wouldve been if the show was not there. I hope his family is well and i send out my prayers!

  5. I am a 48 year old married male with a boy and a girl about the same age of Bret's. i don't normally watch that show, but it really got to me... to the point of tears. watching that little boy tore me up. it tore me up to the point that i was weeping at 1 in the morning. i wish i could get a hold of that family and offer some support and see if that little boy is doing OK. it will affect me for a long time .

  6. Unfortunately, let's give some of the credit to Bret's wife! She wanted money, pawned children and never did actual support(alanon). Then during her intervention speech she mentioned they were "her" children. Bret would still be alive, happy, a father, and employed if it wasn't for an easy out that his wife got from his disease. Princess Amaya I hope you enjoyed helping with the demise of a wonderful human being. RIP my buddy Bret. I still love you my friend!

  7. I watched this show last night with my boyfriend and it quite an effect on both of us... a very different effect than any other episode. It made me realize what an alchoholic parent does to a family. Both the children, and also the wife, touched us in a way that made us never want to get to that point where you are so dependent on alchol.. I want the family to kox what an impact that made on us and how much I appreciatie the sharing of their story. I will continue to pray for Bret's family.

  8. I think the plastic straws did more damage than the actual alcohol.

  9. We would like to thank all of you that have left a comment regarding Bret's Story. It is clear how severely addiction impacts the entire family and close friends. Our hope is that Bret's story helps save the lives of countless other suffering addicts who might need help getting help.

  10. I grew up as one of 3 boys to an alcoholic father. I never understood his addiction, so I avoided being around him and wanted out of the house as soon as possible, as did my two brothers.
    It was no way to live. As a consequence, I've spent most of my life suffering from anxiety disorder. I never turn to alcohol to ease my pain and fears, however.
    I cried when I watched the show this morning. It brought back some painful memories. For Bret to finally get the help he needed, with a chance to turn his life around, only to have it jerked away, was gut wrenching. Shakespeare couldn't have written a more compelling tragedy. My heart goes out to the children and I pray for their well being.

  11. how sad. my soon to be ex of 31 years is an alcoholic. he went to rehab and just relapsed.

  12. I must say that overall I am really impressed with this blog.It is easy to see that you are passionate about your writing. If only I had your writing ability I look forward to more updates and will be returning. Thanks for the article in this post topic.

  13. The principles of an intervention are very concrete and simple. An intervention is not to get an addicted individual off of drugs or alcohol. It is not to get him living a self-fulfilling life, happy and whole while free from drugs and alcohol. It is not the time to emotionally, spiritually or chemically heal or treat him. It is to get him into a treatment program where the professionals can treat him so he may live a life clean and sober with healed wounds and stability with his chemical imbalances.

  14. I follow Intervention every week and I have to say that this intervention not only hit me right in the heart but changed my life completely. I hope the best for Brets Children!!! His family will be in my prayers.

  15. Although we've watched Intervention many times over the past year, we hadn't seen the episode featuring Bret until 2 nights ago. It was by far the most raw and compelling. Our hearts went out to his son, especially. I lost my father at a young age and some of those feelings came flooding back with his emotions. The role of the father in a family is often understated. We hope and pray that Bret's family is coping and getting any additional support they need to get through this difficult time. We can't stop thinking about that story. Our 15 year old son said he thinks that episode should be shown at every high school.

  16. I just watched this episode in high school. i am 14 years old, and a freshman. Watching Bret's story brought me back to all the heart wrenching memories of my dad. He was an alcoholic, and my parents split up because of it. Ironically, my brothers name is Kyle also. I have always been a daddy's girl and my dad has always been my best friend. I watched him suffer for the longest time, and i was never so upset in my life. Because of it, i grew up a lot faster then most kids my age. My dad traveled from rehab to rehab to get help, even though some part of him didn't want to. The words that Bret's kids said to him were the exact ones i said to my dad. My dad finally entered a rehab that helped him tremendously. It has been a year now that he has been sober and i couldnt have been happier. He lives in Florida near his family, since where i live its only my mom brother and I. We see him every once and a while and he looks better than i can remember. I can honestly say i have my best friend back and i dont have to cry myself to sleep every night thinking about if he is drinking or not, i can sleep in peace. Although his mother (my grandmom) died of alcoholism about 4 years ago, and his dad (my grandpa) now only has a couple days left to live from alcohol. My brother and I have learned a huge lesson from all of this and im glad i did. All my friends are starting to drink, and i have somewhat isolated myself since everyone is drinking now. My brother and I made a pact to eachother that we will never drink and we will stick to that till the day we die. I know i am making a good decision and i am more than proud of myself. I agree that this video should be shown at every highschool to show the effects of drinking. This story was very hard for me to watch in school without crying, but i encourage everyone to pass this video around. I will never forget about this family since now i know im not the only one who went through this.

  17. My husband is a functional alcoholic who grew up in a dysfunctional family. His father was an abusive alcoholic, his parents divorced when he was 5 and he had a very unhappy childhood. His father died probably at mid 40's and his older brother died at age 50, he was an alcoholic too.
    We've been married for 30 years. I was too young to understand about his drinking problem 30 years ago. One day he stopped drinking and stayed sober for 14 years, I really appreciate it. But when our daughter graduated from high school he started drinking again, I was devastated. He has been drinking for last 10 years. I had a therapy for 9 months and my therapist recommended me to go to Al-Anon meeting. I've been with Al-Anon program for an year and a half. This is the best thing I do for my health and to keep my serenity. Since my husband told me that he doesn't want to quit drinking so all I can do is to take care of myself.


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