A roommate got me hooked* on "Intervention". It sounded like train wreck television, but I think it does really attempt to show a balanced look at what addiction does both to the addicts and families, and then, of course, offer assistance to both the addict and the families. Intriguingly, the addicts agree to get help far more often than the families, although certainly the addicts sometimes bail on treatment after a few days, or experience relapse. "Intervention" continues to follow the families, providing new updates (and sneakily getting me to watch reruns over and over), and following the successes and failures as they occur. "Intervention" - according to this article about it has a higher success rate than a lot of programs (and we're not just talking about TV programs here).
If it were up to me (which, you know, it isn't) I also think "Intervention" should be shown to kids as part of drug and alcohol awareness.
So, here's my seven things I have learned from "Intervention".
1. Addicts do not look as cool drunk or high as they think they do drunk or high.
2. Addiction is an equal opportunity offender - rich, poor, city, country, religious and not, famous or not, all races, and both good and bad parents have ended up with addicts in the family.
3. Siblings are often the most pissed off, both at losing a sibling and at their parents letting the sibling behave that way. Older kids of addicts will also be supremely pissed off.
4. Family members will often buy into the most ridiculous stories to avoid realizing that their relative has an issue.
5. Everyone's bottom is really different. I have seen tales of addicts who at the start of the show were homeless.
6. I am about as good at predicting who will be most successful at staying sober as I am at predicting sports.
7. There is a certain sameness to it, that after a while you begin to see what meth addicts or opiate addicts or coke addicts or drunks look like. It's not unique. No matter how awesome they think they look or seem high.
*Sorry, couldn't resist.