It has long become apparent that reality television shows are far less true to life than they may wish for viewers to think. As a result, many viewers watch these shows purely for entertainment reasons, though some may admit that they learn some things from them too. The A&E reality show “Intervention” may very well be one such show.
“Intervention” made its debut on March 6, 2005, and has been highly controversial from their very first episode. The fact is that few members of the general public truly understand the causes, effects and dynamics of addiction, and they therefore may not give the appropriate support and encouragement where it is needed. Any information that opens their eyes to the truth about addiction and the value of intervention services can be helpful, but only if it’s factual. It is likely for this reason that critics wonder whether the reality show is actually helpful–whether it presents viewers with valuable life lessons and cautionary tales that may help them with their own addiction problems, or whether it just glorifies the lifestyles and drama of those individuals who are trapped in addiction. Either way, there is no doubt that “Intervention” is a highly popular program, with approximately two million viewers tuning in for each episode. “Intervention” is also one of A&E’s most highly rated television shows. When reviewing the facts about the top three most popular episodes, it may be easy to understand why:
Number 1 – Season 6, Episode 4
Originally aired on January 5, 2009, this episode followed John through the intervention process as his family and friends sought to get him help for his ADHD, depression and his refusal to properly treat his Type 1 Diabetes. John was refusing to take the medication that he needed in order to cope with his medical condition, and it was negatively affecting himself and his ailing mother, among others. As a result of the intervention, John agreed to participate in treatment services. However, he was excused from the treatment facility when he refused to follow their treatment plan. Fortunately, he did begin to follow a proper treatment regimen when he moved back home.
Number 2 – Season 7, Episode 13
Originally aired on August 24, 2009, this episode followed Gloria through the intervention process as her family and friends sought to get her help for his alcohol addiction problems. Gloria had struggled with alcoholism for many years, and tried to hide it behind her charm and catering skills. Unfortunately her efforts were in vain as her personal relationships had entirely disintegrated, she was wallowing in deep debt and still she used alcohol to drown her sorrows instead of confronting and handling them. As a result of the intervention, Gloria agreed to participate in treatment services. She completed her full treatment program, repaired her relationships with her children, and returned to school and work. She has been sober ever since.
Number 3 – Season 4, Episode 6
Originally aired on January 21, 2008, this episode followed Josh and Ben through the intervention process as their family and friends sought to get them help for Ben’s DMX abuse and Josh’s compulsive eating disorder. Both of these individuals had suffered abuse in their childhoods, and due to serious self-esteem issues, Josh weighed over five hundred fifty pounds and couldn’t stop eating and Ben was obsessed with DMX use. As a result of the intervention, both Ben and Josh agreed to participate in treatment services. Within two years, Josh had successfully lost more than two hundred sixty pounds and begun a promising new career. Unfortunately Ben was not able to achieve lasting recovery.
Regardless of the outcomes of these and other episodes of “Intervention”, it is clear that the show is intriguing to viewers. There may be some argument about how much of the program is honest life and how much is staged, but it is most definitely a mind-opening process that sheds light on the power of addiction, and the benefit of intervention.