Monday, April 11, 2016

Intervention is Back

I mentioned before my love for "Intervention".  I believe that while one can watch with a sense of schadenfreude, it also make really clear that addiction is a disease that requires the treatment of professionals, and that family members cannot generally love or reason the addict out of their addiction. They worked to help people, and in general the focus on the depths of their addiction was to make it clear that the addict had gotten themselves somewhere past all their own boundaries, they were generally not having a great time.  And they helped people, both addicts and families.  When it returned, it felt a little different.  It seems likely they may have swapped out some producers and people either due to normal attrition or becuase some of these folks, the off camera folks, had become too well known to the addicts.  The new spin off show about addicted couples ("Intervention: Codependent") is working on a different model, in this case the addicts are aware that an interventionist is coming, the interventionist meets with the parents and the addict prior to the intervention, and then the official offer of love and treatment is made, with the surprise factor being the couple being unaware that they need to seek treatment separately. 

There have been issues where the newer episodes seem to feature addicts going a little farther, getting themselves in more danger in front of the cameras.  It's hard to say how much of that is better mobile camera technology allowing them to send addicts being filmed a little further away, and only discover what they were doing in the car until later, and how much it's simply a factor of long running shows tending to get called in on worse and worse cases.  (As an example, "Extreme: Home Makeover, in early seasons would just get called in for nice people who had adopted extra kids, or as a surprise for a winning basketball coach. By the end, you likely had a special needs child, a death in the family, and/or at least one other hardship. I suspect the person who does the pre-sorting of applicants just gets so many, they have to prioritize higher level cases.)

But they had also added the check in's where the interventionist video chatted with the former addict to catch up on how they were doing.  As a long time watcher of the crawl at the end updating us on the status of the addict (still sober, relapsed but recovered, married, etc)  really liked this. There had even been some episodes where a recovered addict had called the show to help another of their loved ones to assist them in starting their recovery.  I had certainly noticed that a high percentage of addicts spend at least some time working in a sober home, helping with the recovery of others. 

And yes, I had seen one even mention on her check in that she was now doing interventions.  So, when I spotted in an episode that Silvia Parsons was the interventionist, I was thrilled. I have never met Silvia, and possibly never will, but seeing it come full circle in that way was just wonderful and a reminder that the core premise of the show is to provide help.