Joani The Interventionist

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A Recent Review of The Interventionist

Addiction trumps everything. It's a bad habit that persists in the face of negative consequences, and no matter what happens to the addict, the disease will always fight to survive. As Joani Gammill says in "The Interventionist," "I loved my babies as much as any mom in this country; I would walk in front of a truck if it meant my life for theirs, and I still could not stop my addiction."

I've now read fifty-something books about or related to addiction, and "The Interventionist" is one of the best books yet. Gammill recounts the tale of her own life as a middle class wife, mother, and RN who became severely addicted to the pharmaceutical drugs she was constantly around. Woven into her own story is her experiences as an interventionist after she recovered with the help of the Dr. Phil show.


Gammill became a professional doctor shopper and even underwent unneeded root canals in order to obtain narcotics. She finally started to recover after frantically emailing Dr. Phil one night, and a chain of events were set in motion that eventually allowed her most horrible experiences to become her most prized assets. As a professional interventionist, she's learned many things along the way, such as, 1) spouses cannot get sober alone as a general rule; the whole family has to be involved, 2) two things that deter people from getting well are wealth and youth, and 3) never fight denial; you will not win. An addict will not seek or accept treatment if he doesn't believe he has a problem.

The definition of an addict is much broader than most people realize. With an ever-growing, pharmaceutical abusing middle class, "The Interventionist" is a must read for anyone wanting to understand addiction better. This story exemplifies the Khaled Husseini quote that, "true redemption is when guilt leads to good."
-Bobbi, January 3, 2012