Intervention: Inspiring or Insensitive?

Over eight years and 243 episodes later, A&E finally pulled the plug on one of its most successful shows, Intervention; however, as the show comes to a close, the stars of it live on (or at least, the majority of them).

From substance abuse to compulsive shopping, Intervention covered nearly every kind of addiction imaginable. Although each story featured different people with different stories, the storyline remained the same throughout every episode, every season following a pattern of observation, intervention, & rehabilitation.

Intervention exposed each individual at their lowest point, revealing their past, filming the present, and leaving the future in their hands.

So, what did the future hold?

According to A&E, 156 individuals are currently sober of the 243 interventions conducted since its premiere in March of 2005– a figure just under 65%.


Allison (Season 5, Episode 69) may be the most famous episode of Intervention ever. As a pre-med student studying to be a surgeon, Allison was forced to drop out after being unable to cope with her addiction to inhalants. Allison would huff up to ten duster cans per day, an addiction that is almost unheard of considering 22% of people who die from inhalants die are first-time users, according to Foundation for a Drug Free World. In other words, nearly 1/4 of people who try inhalants die at the very first breath.

Today, Allison remains sober, but still feels that some of the actions taken against her during Intervention were unfair. In her follow-up video, she explains that, “just because you’re sober doesn’t mean life is any easier”.

And the numbers go to show you that not every story is a successful one–at least ten post-intervention deaths have occurred.

For Dillion Brewer (Season 3, Episode 40), his addiction to meth eventually led to his suicide after assaulting his girlfriend & stepfather and then holding a standoff with authorities.

But nonetheless, 65% is more than half of the shows contenders.

Sarah (Season 8, Episode 114), an oxycodone using mother, Mikeal (Season 11, Episode 150), a full blown-heroin addict, and Elena (Season 12, Episode 175), a methamphetamine and prescription drug abuser, all have found serenity after their interventions & remain sober today.

Intervention is a five-time PRISM Award-winning series and was awarded the Emmy® for Outstanding Reality Series in 2009. With such dramatic & disturbing events, it’s no wonder why these people’s lives serve as such a strong form of entertainment.

However, the question arises if the show actually was inspiring or insensitive to those featured. Because now, we are forever invested in the lives of the people Intervention exposed without their knowledge, whether they like it or not.

For some, Intervention may have truly saved their lives, but for others, publicizing their problems may have only worsened their condition.

For more updates on the stars of intervention, check out A&E’s Follow-Up Videos.


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