Is the Show “Intervention” a Real Representation of Addiction?

Reality TV shows often get a bad rap for provoking the people on the show into acting in an explosive and dramatic way to get more ratings. The producers are known to conjure up situations and settings that might otherwise lead someone to appear outrageous which makes viewers question the validity of the “reality”. 

The show on A&E, “Intervention,” is another reality show that people have questioned the authenticity of. If they have never had to deal with addiction themselves or with a loved one, they may be blown away with the footage they will view on this show. Overall, Intervention does a really good job of showing the life of someone who struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. Whether someone is drinking mouthwash to get drunk or they are licking the blood off their arm after intravenous drug abuse, the portrayal of being a prisoner to drug and alcohol addiction is completely accomplished. 

If you were to ask those who are recovering alcoholics or addicts, many would say that this is an accurate depiction of a person who is powerless over drugs and alcohol and needs help to stop their active addiction. What makes this show so powerful is that they really chronicle the unmanageability that surrounds the cunning, baffling, and powerful obsession. The misconception is that a person who battles drug and alcohol addiction should just stop, and if they could, they would.

The Reality

Substance abuse is a disease that affects the body and the mind causing an unending compulsion to drugs and alcohol. When you see the people on Intervention doing anything they can to obtain drugs and alcohol to keep from getting a withdrawal, that is exactly what happens as the disease of addiction progresses – even if they seem functional in their life. Eventually, substance abuse will make the consequences become too high. This measure is different for every person which is why addiction is a force to be reckoned with. 

The Stigma

Intervention shows how all walks of life can be affected by drugs and alcohol, and how no one is discriminated against where drugs and alcohol are concerned. Professionals, grandmothers, or teenagers, for example, are all profiled on the show to try to make a difference in changing the skewed perception of who really becomes addicted. Typically, the homeless and low-income families are thought to be the ones who abuse drugs and alcohol the most, but that is not the full scope of people who become addicted. Anyone who drinks alcohol or uses drugs, even recreationally, could be susceptible to developing a Substance Use Disorder. All races, ages, genders, and walks of life qualify when it comes to the disease of drug and alcohol addiction which is a hard fact to fathom. 

The Intervention

During the entirety of the show, interviews of the family and the persons who are addicted are rolling along with the documented activity that takes place during their daily drug and alcohol use. After the story is told, families come together with a professional interventionalist to conduct the process where the person with the addiction is confronted and offered the help they need for cessation in a safe environment. The person who is addicted will be read letters from their loved ones telling them how their addiction affected them and laying out their bottom lines. A bottom line could include to stop giving them money, gain custody of the kids caught in the crossfire, or to kick them out of their house depending on what they believe their currency to stop will be. Comprehending how they are enabling the person with the addiction to continue using and drinking is a must and should be met in order to stop the cycle of abuse. 

The Aftermath

After 30 to 90 days after the intervention, people who took the help will hopefully be shown to commence with long-term sobriety, but there are those who relapse. A misunderstanding that happens much of the time is that recovery does not work because people relapse. Ending substance abuse is difficult because of the physical and mental aspects that take a toll on the body and on the brain. If someone is not ready to get sober, then they probably will not be successful in treatment at that time. When a person resides in an addiction rehabilitation facility and accepts the continuum of care, which could include detox, rehab, sober living, and aftercare, they have a better chance of staying sober for the long haul. Until they are ready to surrender to the disease and take the necessary measures of addiction recovery that are articulated in the intervention and then carried out in treatment, they could be at risk for relapse. 

If you want to see the possibilities of what happens to someone with chronic addiction, Intervention is a great show to watch. You will see some disturbing images that show the realism of addiction that may make you afraid, but that is the point of Intervention. In true recovery form, they show what it was like and what it is like now.

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463