One of the most memorable people featured on A&E’s Intervention was Allison Fogarty, who was addicted to inhaling a compressed gas used as a computer cleaner. Today, Fogarty is completely clean and sharing her story with others who are struggling with addiction.
Fogarty’s Descent Into Inhalant Addiction
Fogarty was just 21 when she started abusing inhalants. She was dealing with depression, anxiety, and anorexia, but refused to use alcohol or marijuana. “Why would I drink, because it has calories in it, and why would I smoke weed, because then you get the munchies?” she explained to Inspire Malibu.
Someone introduced her to inhalants, and Fogarty was instantly hooked. “It didn’t start off every day,” she explained. “It was a couple of times a week. Then it got … It was pretty quick that it was every day.”
She was using up to 12 cans of inhalant a day, and had to drop out of graduate school. Fogarty’s addiction also led to her getting fired from her job. She knew she had a problem, but couldn’t stop.
“I wasn’t surprised that I had an issue,” she explained. “Sucking on a can of inhalants is like absolutely clear that I had an addiction. I was just in such a hole of despair, and depression, and PTSD, and all these things that I know now, but towards the end I had given up and I had just accepted I’m going to die.”
“I was 90 pounds. My skin was gray. I looked nasty. I had just accepted I’m going to die. That’s like hell, the little I thought of my quality of life.”
She Is Now An Addiction Specialist And A Ph.D. Student
Her time on Intervention was a “turning point” for Fogarty, but she wasn’t even aware she was being filmed for a big TV show. Instead, she thought it was just a video about addiction for medical school students.
After being on Intervention, Fogarty went to rehab and stopped using inhalants. She is now an interventionist and registered addiction specialist intern and has been inhalant-free for almost six years. She’s also working on getting her Ph.D. in psychology.
Her advice for others struggling with addiction? “When people say that it will get better, it really is only temporary,” Fogarty said.
“Things will get better and your life will get better, but you have to do the work, but you’ve got to make that initial jump start. It’s just the rewards are so much better, and it’s so much better on this side of life.”
Fogarty’s story of overcoming addiction and helping others has inspired many who are also working to beat their addictions.