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A&E TV’s “Intervention”: More Harm Than Good?

Now in its 24th season, A&E’s show arranges, funds, and films confrontations between family members and sufferers from substance use disorder. The show’s many critics deem its methods coercive and counterproductive.

The mediations that take place on Intervention are, in a sense, very real. The actual family members of the substance user appear on film, along with the users themselves. But these moments of confrontation are also produced for television entertainment. And thus, unfortunately, for maximum drama.

In most cases, episodes end with the user committing — after immense, on-camera pressure from Loved Ones, and often while high — to impatient treatment. Whether that can possibly constitute informed consent is just one of the problems with this popular show. Hear from critics and defenders of Intervention alike in this excellent article entitledA&E’s Intervention Returns This Month, But Some Addiction Experts Wish It Wouldn’tpublished June 22, 2022 in Vanity Fair.

Image Copyright: Intervention on A&E


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In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)