How A&E's Intervention, Shockingly, Works

Somehow, reality show manages 71% recovery rate
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2010 12:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – Hard as it is to believe, there’s one reality show truly doing the world good: A&E’s Intervention, which has a startlingly high recovery rate of 71%. “How has a 45-minute reality show that airs during summer on basic cable succeeded where so many other treatment regimes have failed?” writes Natasha Vargas-Cooper at the Daily Beast. One reason: The show “focuses on the complicated ecosystems that sustain addiction: families.”

The show goes to great lengths to accurately diagnose participants and send them to the most suitable rehab facility—where they stay for at least 90 days, not the standard 28. But one of the biggest factors in the high recovery rate is the intervention training the family gets—more like an intervention for the family, which has likely been enabling the addict all along. For what it’s worth, Vargas-Cooper adds, the show “is riveting.”
(Read more family intervention stories.)

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