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The 10 Most Popular Episodes of Intervention

The Intervention [top episodes]

The A&E reality show “Intervention” has been controversial from the start. Does it offer life lessons and cautionary tales for those who might teeter on the edge of drug or alcohol abuse and addiction?

Or does it glorify the lifestyles and drama of those who get lost in its throes? These are questions that have lingered in the television viewing community since the first episode of “Intervention” aired on March 6, 2005.

Whether controversial or not (and perhaps because it is controversial), one fact about which there can be no doubt is that “Intervention” is a popular program. In fact, it’s one of the highest rated shows on the A&E cable network, drawing up to 2 million viewers per episode, according to The New York Times.

While every loyal watcher has his or her favorite episode based on different criteria, the following list features the ten most frequently quoted as the best episodes on “Intervention” fan websites.

1. Season 6, Episode 4 — John C

Original Air Date: January 5, 2009.
Issues: ADHD, Depression, Refusal to treat Type 1 Diabetes.
Summary: John refuses to take the medication he needs, and it is having a negative effect on his mother, who is also unwell.
Did addict agree to treatment? Yes.
Successful at end of episode? John was asked to leave treatment for failing to follow the plan. Once he moved back home, he began following the proper regimen as of 2008.

2. Season 7, Episode 13 — Gloria

Original Air Date: August 24, 2009.
Issue: Alcohol.
Summary: Gloria is a long-time alcoholic who gets by with her charm and catering skills, although her personal relationships have disintegrated. She is in debt, and she drowns her sorrows rather than facing them.
Did addict agree to treatment? Yes.
Successful at end of episode? Gloria completed treatment, began to repair her relationship with her children, and returned to school and work. She has been sober since 2009.

3. Season 4, Episode 6 — Josh & Ben

Original Air Date: January 21, 2008.
Issues: Ben — DMX abuse, Josh — Compulsive Eating Disorder.
Summary: Both men suffered abuse in their childhoods. Due to serious self-esteem issues, Josh weighs over 550 pounds and can’t stop eating, Ben, a young man with a genius IQ, is obsessed with DMX usage as well as his “Rob Cypher” Internet persona, and he has resorted to crime to fund his habit.
Did addicts agree to treatment? Yes.
Successful at end of episode? As of October 2011, Josh had lost over 260 pounds and was working on producing his own music. Ben is still involved with his online persona and has been taking part on a forum created for DMX users.

4. Season 3, Episode 8 — Laney

Original Air Date: June 1, 2007.
Issue: Alcohol.
Summary: Laney suffered a life full of abuse. Even though she is a millionaire from a divorce settlement, all she does now is hide with her cat, drink and take tranquilizers all day.
Did addict agree to treatment? Yes.
Successful at end of episode? Laney left treatment after two days, retrieved her cat, and hired a limo to take her home. During that journey, she decided to get sober and has been since then.

5. Season 4, Episode 9 — Brad

Original Air Date: March 24, 2008.
Issues: Alcohol, PTSD, Marijuana.
Summary: Brad suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following two tours of duty in Iraq. He uses alcohol and marijuana to numb his pain and keep the flashbacks at bay. His violent, erratic behavior has begun to frighten his family.
Did addict agree to treatment? Yes.
Successful at end of episode? Brad left treatment after 21 days. His father threw him out of his home, so he moved in with friends and says he has “cut down” on his drinking.

6. Season 5, Episode 5 — Marie

Original Air Date: July 14, 2008.
Issue: Alcohol.
Summary: Marie has a history out of a movie. She was born to a mob family broken by divorce, leaving her family destitute. She was married three times, but became a well-known matchmaker and socialite. Her fourth marriage was to an addict, who drew her into that world. Her husband died of alcohol-related issues.
Did addict agree to treatment? Yes.
Successful at end of episode? As of March 2008, Marie reported still being sober.

7. Season 8, Episode 16 — Amy P.

Original Air Date: April 19, 2010.
Issues: Anorexia, Bulimia.
Summary: Amy suffered from anxiety since childhood and developed anorexia in high school. She dropped out of college after one semester, and her troubles grew worse from then on. Amy suffers from serious health problems, steals from her family, and shoplifts. Her parents moved into a new house where Amy could live in the basement, but they lock her out of the main house. Her disorder has developed to the point where she is binging every day and is obsessed with exercising and purging.
Did addict agree to treatment? Yes.
Successful at end of episode? While Amy completed initial treatment, she was dismissed from an extended care facility for noncompliance. She was not allowed to return home, and at follow-up, she was still binging and purging.

8. Season 1, Episode 7 — Peter & Renee

Original Air Date: May 1, 2005.
Issues: Peter — Video Game Addiction, Renee — Eating disorder, diuretic dependence.
Summary: Peter’s family believes he has lost touch with reality. He identifies himself as the video game characters he plays. Renee’s family is terrified at the deterioration of her health.
Did addicts agree to treatment? Both agreed to treatment.
Successful at end of episode? Peter remained in treatment for 42 days and has developed a better relationship with his family, although he continues to play video games. Renee was in treatment and doing well for about a year, but in August 2006, she ceased treatment and returned to binging and purging.

9. Season 7, Episode 17 — One Man Rehab

Original Air Date: 9/28/2009.
Issues: N/A.
Summary: This episode covers “sober companions:” professionals who closely follow recovering addicts to keep them on the straight and narrow. A companion named Donna works to keep her client Tara off meth so she can gain visitation with her daughter. Another sober companion named Mike helps a teen stay away from the gang house where he once lived so they can prevent his slide into more serious drug use.
Did addict agree to treatment? N/A.
Successful at end of episode? N/A.

10. Season 8, Episode 5 — Amy W.

Original Air Date: December 28, 2009.
Issues: Alcohol, Anorexia, Self-Harm.
Summary: Amy always lived under high pressure from her family, and she never told anyone about the molestation she experienced as a child. She began cutting and restricting her diet, and by age 17, she suffered from an eating disorder and mental illness. She drinks up to two bottles of vodka a day, eats only 500 calories, cuts and burns herself, steals money from her family and has attempted suicide several times. Her family is especially concerned about her young daughter.
Did addict agree to treatment? Yes.
Successful at end of episode? Amy completed two months of treatment and attended 12 step meetings to remain sober.

“Intervention” is a difficult show to watch on many levels, and yet it may be just the slap in the face some viewers need to change their lives for the better. Anyone could easily be one pill, one drink, one obsessive thought away from becoming a subject on the show. It is only the possibilities of survival and recovery provided by Intervention that make the viewing ultimately bearable. Perhaps it is this combination of despair and hope that makes the show so popular.

This post was written and provided by Gregg Gustafson who is a freelance writer and consultant for Gustafson works with many individuals who suffer from both long and short term drug abuse on a daily basis; in turn referring them to some of the most prestige residential drug rehab centers active today.

The 10 Most Popular Episodes of Intervention, 9 out of 10 [based on 786 votes]

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