"Intervention" -The TV Show

Old 08-31-2009, 08:00 AM
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"Intervention" -The TV Show

Do any of you watch the show "Intervention" on A & E? If so, how do you feel about it? Do you think the family members of the addicts are giving ultimatums instead of setting healthy boundaries? I watch the show and most of their family members are saying things like, "If you don't go to rehab, we are getting divorced" or, "If you don't go to rehab, you can't live here anymore" etc. etc. Are they trying to control or are they just trying to help?

I personally like the show, and it seems to have helped some of the people who end up going to treatment. I just wondered what everyone thought...I have been struggling with boundaries vs. controlling vs. ultimatums so I thought I would ask.

have a happy day!

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:47 AM
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I catch reruns from time to time, but am not a regular viewer.

I personally have struggled with setting boundaries and maintaining them. My 28 yr old son is the addict in my life.

I do not feel the people are issuing ultimatums, I feel they are stating fact that either the addict in their life seeks recovery or there is no way they can continue to maintain a relationship with them. The family members seem to have struggled with enabling and may have reached their bottom and realize that it's time to stop enabling and let the addict deal with their own life.

That is a difficult thing to do, I know that it my struggle. My son is currently seeking recovery on his own so I hope that during this time I can grow and find the strength to take care of myself going forward and let him take care of himself from now on.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:16 AM
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I love the show. If you listen to the counselors in the "pre intervention" they tell the family to list what the 'consequences' are if the person chooses not to go. The counselors also explain to the family that 'they' (family and counselors) are bringing the addicts 'bottom' to them.

You might also like to know that the Show pays for a One Way ticket to the destination. IF the person finsihes treatment and any other suggested work, ie Sober Living Facility, then and only then does the show pay for their trip back home. If the addicted person leaves treatment early, they have to find their own way back.

Many times they also send the 'closest' family members (parent(s), spouse, etc) for treatment also, to deal with their own codependency issues.

I really like the show and I personally think it has done wonders to bring the subject of addiction to the public.


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Old 08-31-2009, 11:07 AM
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I watch this show every week. If anything it has educated me so much. I am so naive when it comes to drugs cause I have never used or seen or been around till recently with my AH.

I am struggling to set boundaries for myself. And one is if I will let him come back home and if I will allow him to be around our kids.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:20 PM
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I think the show is great in helping families set boundaries. I wouldn't call them threats but more of telling the addict "Enough is enough."
Old 08-31-2009, 12:28 PM
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I love this show. It reminds me of my old out-of-control life while I was an addict. And it empowers me to do everything that I need to do to never go back to the place.

I also think it is a great way to educate families and friends of addicts about their loved ones addiction. When I was younger, I had to sit on a panel in front of all of the parents and teachers in my school district and answer their questions about drugs (My prinicpal knew I was an addict and it was either do the panel or get kicked out of school). Anyway, I was amazed about how little the audience knew about addiction. The rest were in denial that there "perfect" children could possibly be using (their "perfect" children were my addict friends). So I do believe that A & E is doing a great thing about educating the public about addiction and how bad it can affect lives.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:09 PM
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I just recently started watching this show. I started watching about the time my AD came out of rehab and wanted to understand the addict's perspective better.

Until I started watching this show, I was 100% opposed to interventions. I always said that addicts will not ever quit until it was their idea to seek help.

Then I was faced with the situation of removing my AD from my home. I couldn't take it any more. She had kept my life in chaos for nearly 5 years. At that time she was in her second relapse with meth. She had quit 2 times before on her own, but I was always there as her "safety net" and she would relapse.

When I told her she could no longer live with me under any circumstances, she sought help through a state sponsored program (detox and 28 day rehab). We are still in the early stages, but I guess kicking her out was a form of intervention.

The program has given me a new perspective on intervention. I don't view the family remarks so much as ultimatums (I guess there are some mixed in there) as I do the family telling the addict what the addiction is doing to the family's lives and how they just can't take it any more (like what I did).

I do agree with others that the program does make people more aware of addiction and how all addicts are not just "bad people". I think it can also help those who have never been exposed to addiction understand what the families of addicts go through and how they can't just make the addict stop using.

I still wonder, though, what the percentage of success rate is when an addict is "backed into a corner" as opposed to seeking help through their own motivation. Any one out there know??
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:49 PM
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I hate the show because it primarily shows some slouch getting loaded and then the last 10 minutes (maybe) the family pounces. I don't think it is a good show for people early in recovery to watch. That show or "the cleaner" all it does it make people struggling with addiction want to get loaded. I need more solution and less drama or drug use.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:18 AM
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I had a hard time watching it in the beginning. Now I watch the show and love it. It is heart breaking at times, for the families. When I speak at the rehab I tell the families to watch it, it gives them an idea of what the addict feels. I also recommend to the families to attend NA or AA meetings, but not the same one their love ones attend. I wish someone would have come to me and told me what was going on when I had 2 addicts living with me.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:29 AM
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I watched this show last night with my RAD, and I asked her if it made her want to get loaded (just curious LowBottom...from what you said). She's less than 90 days clean.

She said no, she liked watching it becasue it gave her a more true picture of how pathetic she must have been when she was using. She felt it gave her more incentive to stay sober and on the right path.

So I guess it depends on the person and what they can handle about their addiction at the time they're watching.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:32 AM
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I do watch the show occasionally and I have found it very informative. I can see that it could be a trigger to those in recovery, but as a parent of an AD, it answered many questions that I had and still have. Some of the shows on TV depict addicts as street people, etc. On this A&E show, they show that these people have families and often the families are like everyone else. They show that some of the people in addiction are your neighbors, family and friends. I think they have done a great deal to dispell the sterotypes of addiction by raising awareness.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:57 PM
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I don't feel the families are giving ultimatums or trying to control. They are saying to the addict, "Your behavior is HURTING ME to the breaking point. If YOU won't make the pain stop (by getting treatment), then I WILL (by refusing to enable you one more minute - even if that means shutting you out of my life)." This is not trying to control or an ultimatum. This is a family choosing to take care of itself instead of always catering to the whims and needs of the addict. Every family - every person - has the right - has the RESPONSIBILITY - to say "your behavior is hurting me, and I will not accept it any longer." That is how humans learn to be accountable.
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:12 PM
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If anything, I think the families are taking control of their own lives BACK - not trying to control the addict. The addict can do what he/she wishes. He/she can get "well" with the family, or go on their merry way in active addiction, albeit all by their dang selves with no help or enabling-style support from the family. At an intervention, the family is saying to the addict, "we acknowledge that your addiction has made us 'sick' also, and we are choosing to get well. we hope you choose to get well with us, but if you don't, we are still choosing to get well - with or without you."
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:53 PM
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I love watching the show but not for the obvious reasons. Personally if someone would have done an Intervention on me before I was ready to quit Drinking, I would have walked out. The addicts who participate in the show however are past the denial stage as they have to do the little bit at the beginning saying they are addicts. To see the difference in their face and eyes from the opening monologue compared to the closing statement after they have been in treatment for 90 days is astounding. It's why I watch the show.

I think the show highlights the enabling behavior of the Friends and Family as much as anything. Also no other show better illustrates the destructive behavior of an addict and how it effects themselves and the people around them. The addicts think the drugs and alcohol are helping them cope when it is plain for everyone to see the Emotional pain they are causing themselves as the tragedy unfolds.
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:44 PM
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I love the show. I have been watching it since the beginning. Sometimes it would be nice to see a little more of what the families are going through but it has helped educate people about addiction. If you have not been touched by addiction you have no idea what we are all going through.

We were at a company dinner for my husbands job and one of the couples at our tables son called and said a girl he knows is on Intervention. This father at our dinner went on and on about what scums addicts are and they are such losers and they come from screwed up families. It was all I could do to sit there because none of them know my son is an addict. My son who has had a very good upbringing and my husband who is the vice -president of the company. So you never know what someone else is going through.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:06 PM
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I like the show because it brings the whole addiction disease out there on the table. I wish they do an episode of what it is like on our side of the fence. The disease that we carry... I have notice that they offer some family members to go to a place for themselves, I think they should keep that up. I am a little skeptic of some of the content they show, they had one woman who shot heroin in her neck. It was a little too graphic and I felt it educates new addict on alternative methods of administration . I can't even watch the show "The Cleaner" it just looks too glorified, and silly.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:25 PM
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I can't even watch the show "The Cleaner" it just looks too glorified, and silly.
I am sorry you feel that way. The Cleaner is based on some of Warren Boyd's (he is also one of the Executive Producers) earlier cases. He is well known in the L.A. area, does not necessarily do what he does for money, just takes the 'real hard core ones'. He now has 3 or 4 'detox and treatment' houses where he has staff (mostly in recovery themselves) that run them. He has 'hi tech' surveillance equipment now and several Doctors that work with him.

He has toned down some since his early years in recovery. The show is actually 'toned' down from his early years also.

I enjoy The Cleaner. It is an excellent depiction of 'addiction.' Maybe more graphic than some would want to see.

Intervention too is graphic. Maybe by not sugar coating what they are showing they will wake some folks up. I sure hope so. As to the one showing the gal shooting into her neck ...................................... well most addicts do that as a last resort when all other avenues are too scarred over, I don't believe it was 'educating any new addicts on ways of administration.'


Love and hugs,
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:33 PM
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YEP, addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer ...

I held an intervention for my son. The way it is done works .

I don't see it as ultimatum....
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