If you’ve seen the elegantly produced and emotionally riveting show Intervention, you know the harrowing road addicts have to walk. You know the damage that addiction does to family and friends, and the incredible, soul-baring struggle required to get back onto the straight and narrow.

But even if you know the show (or the experience) backward and forward, you won’t be prepared for Newsweek’s online exclusive: a woman wrestling with a 12-glass-a-day addiction to diet soda.

Oh, you laugh. It seems harmless. But get this: “I learned soda was a serious problem when I had laryngitis for two weeks during a book tour.”

That’s right—laryngitis.

Then comes the tough love from a courageous physician: “But a doctor said my viral infection was worsened by acid reflux, a common ailment. Take Nexium and avoid spicy foods … and fizzy drinks.”

If you read just one story today about overdoing it with a boring legal substance, make it this one.

See more articles