Intervention is an Emmy Award-winning American television series dealing with the struggles faced by addicts of all kinds, presenting their struggles in a very real and understandable light without making fun of their hardships.
Each episode follows one or two participants, each of whom has a substance dependence or other type of severe addiction. The subjects believe they are being filmed for a documentary on their problem, but their situations are actually being documented in anticipation of an intervention by family and/or friends.
During the intervention, each participant is given an ultimatum: go into rehabilitation immediately, or risk losing contact, income, or other privileges from the loved ones who instigated the intervention. For those whom such ultimatums would fail against, other methods of persuasion are used to get the person into rehab. Sometimes, these tactics include threats to invoke outstanding arrest warrants, applying for custody of the addict's children, foreclosing on the addict's property, and break-up of marriages or other relationships.
The producers usually follow up months later to monitor the addicted person's progress and film it for "follow-up" episodes of the series or for shorter "web updates" available on the show's website.
On May 24, 2013, A&E announced they had concluded the series, with remaining episodes to begin airing in June 2013. The final episode in the lineup aired on July 18, 2013 and concluded with reflections from past addicts and a thank you from the producers to the interventionists, family members, treatment centers, and addicts themselves. On August 5, 2014, however, LMN announced the revival of the series with a new season premiering in 2015.
A&E revealed the return of the show on January 13, 2015 and aired both a special behind-the-scenes episode—providing viewers with first-hand accounts at the filming process by the production crew, as well as updates from former addicts—and the Season 14 premiere on March 22, 2015.
The addicts featured on the show are offered a chance to undergo a 90-day, all-expenses-paid treatment plan at one of a number of rehabilitation facilities. As in real life, not all interventions depicted in the episodes end well. Several addicts have walked out of the intervention, though almost all who initially balk at the offer eventually accept it. As of 2012, only four addicts have completely refused all offers of treatment: Alissa in Season 1, Marquel in Season 8, Adam in Season 9, and Larry in Season 11.
The show has received criticism, most notably from Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe, calling the show exploitative and showcases the self-destruction of an individual as it's happening. He also argues that the confrontation within the intervention is milked to show only the most dramatic moments and that the final results of the intervention and subsequent rehabilitation is glossed-over.
Conversely, other critics praise the show for delving into the lives of those many would remain blissfully unaware. By showcasing the various types of people who suffer from addiction, audience members have a better understanding that every addict doesn't come from a long line of addicts. In many cases, these were successful people who were unable to cope with their reality and turned to drugs to alleviate the stress.