Reality shows don’t get much more real than A&E’s Intervention, in which family members enlist the help of addiction specialists to try to save the lives of loved ones struggling with substance abuse. Not all the subjects accept the help, though, and even some who do later relapse or die of complications. In the episode that aired on Feb. 27, for example, we learned that Season 18 subject Taylor Bittler passed away after filming had ended.
This 18th season of Intervention focused on “The Heroin Triangle,” an affluent suburban area north of Atlanta in which the opioid epidemic has run amok. By the time of the Feb. 27 finale, many of this season’s subjects had accepted help. Taylor had, too, stayed at a treatment center for 74 days before returning home.
— Taylor Bittler (@TaylorNBittler) November 5, 2015
“I’m sober,” she said in a videotaped epilogue. “I’m still doing very well, so I’m still happy. I’m still nervous about being home, but I never thought I would, you know, feel emotions again. I never thought that I would feel like the old me again. The old me that was a good me, you know?”
But then interventionist Heather Hayes told us the tragic news: “The last I spoke with Taylor, she appeared to be doing really well, but tragically, on Jan. 22, we learned that she passed away. Although we don’t know exactly what happened, there are no words that can comfort this kind of pain and loss. It is always devastating to lose someone that we worked so hard with and that we’ve seen make such good progress.”
According to AJC.com, Taylor’s memorial service was held on Jan. 27. The 26-year-old’s sister Morgan set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to cover the funeral expenses, saying the family needed all the help they could get. So far, 48 people have donated $8,238, surpassing the campaign’s $8,000 goal.
“Taylor was a bright and happy spirit, always laughing and always making everyone around her laugh,” Morgan wrote. “She was a beautiful soul [whom] we have lost too soon. She was so much more than just a good friend, she was so special to many who knew her … We lost a beautiful soul.”
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