TV review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Intervention TV Poster Image
Hellish reality journeys are eye-opening.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Addicts often live on the edge, resulting in some questionable acts of racism, sexism, and even crime. That said, the goal of the show is to help people turn their lives around and get a second chance.


Self-injury is as violent as it gets, though some fights have broken out. For example, in one episode, a cracked-up young man got into a fistfight with another and threw a computer at him.


Addicts often indulge in risky sexual behaviors (including unprotected sex or sex with strangers), acts that are sometimes alluded to in the show.


Subjects often swear, especially when agitated or upset, using everything from "damn" to "f--k" (the harsher words are bleeped).


The show is very low-key about product awareness. Paying attention to labels isn't the point.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Substance abuse is at the heart of the show, so everything's on display here (paraphernalia, the act of getting high, etc.).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this documentary series takes an unflinching look at an addict's life in all its rawness and desperation. It can be painful to watch others make terrible choices, but it's ultimately enlightening to see them get on the right path (if they're lucky). Footage of some of the addicts' problem behaviors (like drug use and excessive drinking) is included.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTV-14-DLSV Teen Boy March 25, 2012

Really sad but Really Good Documentary

I think that Intervention is a Really good Documentary about alcohol and drug addiction. Most of the people in this Documentary go to a clinic and get over the... Continue reading
Adult Written byJ2dalee33 January 10, 2012

Just a taste!

Addiction affects everyone, even the ones you think ain't payin attention.(Children) Children undrstand more than you think, and when your not their for th... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byCommon sense LST May 19, 2017

great reality tv show for older teens

this show has some very sensitive subjects. it has a warning before the beggining of the show that says, this program contains subject matter and language that... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCrackingCracker April 6, 2015



What's the story?

INTERVENTION is a graphic documentary series that follows the horrific journey from addiction to -- hopefully -- redemption. Past participants include one blond, still-handsome, once-successful mortgage broker who sleeps on a random rooftop, his prized condo lost to cocaine use; an FBI driving instructor falls from the top of his game after drinking too much and gets a near-fatal diagnosis; and a divorcee faces the prospect of losing everyone she loves.

Is it any good?

In many ways, the show's premise works. It's straightforward, no-holds-barred, and uncensored, which is really the only way to address the topic. The subjects are shown drinking and drugging, and the results of their actions are also made clear; ambivalence would only water down the series' impact. If anything could scare somebody away from using and abusing drugs and alcohol, surely watching the people who depend on them fall deeper and deeper into their own personal hell should do the trick.

Because there's so little sentimentality (thus reducing the risk of turning the show to an after-school special), it's hard not to feel like a rubbernecker staring at an accident that's best left behind closed doors. Nevertheless, this show is truly a learning experience (as well as full of cautionary messages for teens).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what addiction means, how it starts, and the havoc it can wreak on a person's life. How can you tell if someone's an addict? What's an intervention? Can an addict pull back from the brink without an intervention? What role does an addict's family play in recovery?

TV details

  • Premiere date: March 6, 2005
  • Network: A&E
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: DVD, Streaming
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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