2014 Shows

Todd Herzog was just 22 when he won Survivor: China in 2007, and his family says he was on top of the world with his million-dollar winnings and newfound fame. But now, they say he's an alcoholic who drinks a half gallon of vodka every day, and has blood alcohol levels so high that doctors say he should be dead. Interventionists Debbie and Brandon help transport Todd to Los Angeles to meet with Dr. Phil. When Todd is unable to walk on stage without assistance, the urgency of the situation becomes clear. Todd, clearly intoxicated, faces Dr. Phil and his family. Does he realize the severity of his condition? Dr. Ian Smith, from the Emmy Award-winning show, The Doctors, explains the toll Todd’s drinking is taking on his body. Todd, who has had multiple failed attempts at sobriety, says he wants to try to detox on his own -- without a treatment center. Will a surprise appearance by a close friend and fellow Survivor winner convince him that he has to get well? And will he accept the help that Dr. Phil offers? (OAD: 11-18-13)

Find out what happened on the show.

Update: Todd returns to the show -- see his remarkable turnaround!
Replied By: basil7070 on Nov 15, 2014, 12:44AM
I really love the work that Brandon and his mom do through Dr Phil and on their own.  He is so inspiring (some serious eye candy too  :-) and his story carries a lot of weight.

They are a real asset to Dr Phil's mission.
Replied By: loyalalways on Aug 13, 2014, 12:49AM - In reply to renzfield
It's very admirable of you to be honest with yourself and then post it on a public comment board. Recognizing your problem is half the battle right there. Please don't give up. There ARE people out there who are willing to help you. Write a letter to Dr. Phil. Try other rehab places. However, I think Dr. Phil is  your best bet. But, PLEASE don't give up!!! Todd is doing very well now and so can you. Reach out for help immediately!!! Good luck to you!! You ARE worth it!!!
Replied By: trauma_nurse on Aug 12, 2014, 6:18PM - In reply to yazmataz
Alcoholism fits this in all respects.  It is widely accepted based on many studies, particularly studies which looked at twins growing up apart yet having similiar rates of alcoholism corresponding to genetic risk factors, that there is some link to genetics for at least some individuals.  There is genetics, then epigentics (in english the factors physical, emotional, and environmental that turn the gene on or off).  So those who have a predisposition to alcohol but never try the first drink will not exhibit the disease.  Diabietes is a terrific example of this.  Some have a genetic predispoition which is expressed for women during pregnancy or both sexes with weight gain (the additional fat is hormone secreting and turns the gene on).

Additionally alcoholism follows the disease model in that it is diagnosable by inclusion factors, is progressive in a predictable manner, and follows a path.

You are correct that alcoholism unlike your cancer can be fought by an individuals choices just as a diabetic who loses weight will improve their blood sugar and reduce their need for insulin.  Noone says diabeties is not a disease, or depression is not a disease (which can often be treated effectively with medications affecting brain receptors for seritonin and norepinepherine which may be altered in depressed patients).  Of course depression like alcoholism was once poorly understood and looked at as a moral failing. 

Lastly how do you explain, if it is all willpower and not a physical, chemical issue, why the drug naltrexone has significant success rates compared to placebo especially in white populations with higher genetic links to alcoholism, in reducing and eliminating alcohol use?

I feel for you as a nurse, and would say epigenetics is important to you as well.  There is a really terrific book discussing the connection of mind and body with healing, specifically about cancer written by a brilliant physician, called "Love, Medicine, and Miracles" by Bernie Seigler.  It was written before we understood epigenetics.  Now it makes even more sense that by regulating our brains and the hormones as well as   neurotransmitters, and immune function mediators we secrete, we can affect diseases cancer included.  May God be with you in your journey!


Replied By: luveemondaze on Aug 12, 2014, 1:00PM
Todd my dear get help please, win honey.
My beloved son as 37 is as of this day 8/12/14 my son is in the hosp. He is just like you . My son tried to quit drinking alone , long story short. My precious beloved son now has Wernickes syndrome, severe neuropathy . He is so I'll and confused can not walk with out a walker he cannot even leave hosp to go to skilled nursing center.My son has been this way almost a month now. Permanent brain damage; my heart is so broken as a mom , honey for the love of your family and the huge value of your life and please for me , Win this battle .
Replied By: duckydes on Aug 12, 2014, 1:00PM - In reply to tassey1345
Thanks, I didn't know that.
Replied By: gchoogen on Aug 12, 2014, 10:36AM
I hope this young man reads these entries. 

I watched this show yesterday and watching the clips of you literally made me cry.  You are a beautiful young boy destroying yourself for some reason and it's heartbreaking to even me, a stranger.  I pray that you can see your way to fight this and I'm grateful that Dr. Phil stepped up to try to help you.  My question is, what happened to you?  Clearly you are loved.  What drove you to this level of self hatred? Maybe you don't really know yourself.  I honestly wish you my very best.  You are a wonderful, caring, kind young man.  My best wishes to you, your family and to your care providers.
Replied By: upsydasy on Aug 12, 2014, 9:14AM - In reply to jsmith86
I had an uncle who passed away due to complications caused by alcoholism.  Many years later his son died of a drug overdose.    We need to stop shaming and blaming and start understanding more about diseases such as alcoholism and depression, which often go hand in hand and can be passed down from parent to child.  Just look at the tragic loss of Robin Williams who was so loved and admired by people all over the world.  He also battled alcoholism.  Clearly this disease doesn’t just target the weak minded or the foolish. 

Replied By: loyalalways on Aug 12, 2014, 8:25AM - In reply to lindy71
Please, please write to Dr. Phil immediately, before it's too late. If anyone can help your daughter, Dr. Phil can. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Replied By: upsydasy on Aug 12, 2014, 7:04AM - In reply to mlftocha
Had you bothered to ACTUALLY READ the post that I was replying to, you would have seen that we were discussing a completely different subject.  People often ask for help here or comment in the wrong forum.  You really need to chill and take the time to investigate the issues before jumping all over a person who's just trying to help someone.  Please get over yourself.  You're not the only one allowed to an opinion here.
Replied By: loyalalways on Aug 12, 2014, 2:07AM - In reply to sarahpooley
I agree!! IMO, I think that doctors and scientists know more about this illness than the average Joe. They've been studying this for many years now. There's nothing in it for them to give them reason to lie about any of the research that's been done. Alcoholism and drug addiction is incurable. They have to live day by day to stay sober.
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