Celebrity Rehab, Intervention, and Dr Drew

Shows like Dr Drew, Celebrity Rehab, and Intervention – Good Doctor and Good Education or Exploiting People Who Really Need Help?

For a long time now, especially since I have been clean, I have probably watched way too much reality TV. The shows I enjoy watching the most, happen to deal with addiction and things of that nature.

After watching shows like A and E Intervention TV show, Celebrity Rehab on VH1, and now Dr Drew on HLN, I have to wonder about the purpose of these TV shows. Are these shows created solely for entertainment purposes? Or is there an educational piece to them and an actual effort to help addicted people?

I have fairly mixed feelings on this subject. As much as the Intervention tv show and Celebrity Rehab attempt to educate people on the disease of addiction and show how people’s lives deteriorate due to drug addiction and alcoholism, I do believe that sometimes addiction is glorified and the people on the shows are being exploited.

That being said, I also believe that any addiction help is good help whether it’s televised or not. Intervention and Celebrity Rehab do give people a chance to get clean. Yes, it is televised and perhaps even somewhat scripted, but many of these addicted people seem to be deep in their addiction and are offered a way out into a better life.

I’ll be perfectly honest – I believe Dr Drew is an incredible doctor and an incredible person. I have read his books, watched his shows, and I really believe he is incredibly educated, intelligent, and has a good heart. I am not, however, a proponent of the Celebrity Rehab TV shows. I love watching them and I am very entertained by them, but I think that’s about as deep as it goes.

Dr. Drew has a lot of good things to say and has very good staff on the Celebrity Rehab show, but to me it seems like a big joke. All of the drama and the fighting and just the ridiculous things that go on in this show appear to me to be a way of making money.

If someone is able to get something out of the Celebrity Rehab show, that’s fabulous. I think the more addiction is talked about openly, the better. There is no reason for addicts to be stigmatized the way they have been in the past, and the way they continue to be. But I just don’t see this show helping the situation.

I’m in no position to say whether or not Celebrity Rehab is ‘reality’ or not. I do know that TV shows need to have good ratings and make money in order to survive. I think this show depicts drug addicts in an incredibly negative light and causes people to have even more negative feelings about addiction instead of the opposite.


But…that does not mean it is all bad! I think there are some pretty educational moments on Celebrity Rehab, and I also see that some of the addicted celebrities are actually getting the help they need. Even if they are being somewhat exploited, does it matter? If they are receiving the help they so desperately need, does it really matter how they get it?

Intervention is another show that I just cannot stop watching. To me, this show does not glorify drugs and alcohol the way Celebrity Rehab does. I’ll be honest, I have a hard time watching this show and watching the addicted people on it destroy themselves. In some twisted way though, it actually makes me think about wanting to use again. I see how miserable these people are and really just how insane the disease of addiction is, but in my mind it is somehow appealing.

I think A and E Intervention is an entertaining show and I am grateful that so many addicted people get a chance to go to rehab and try to get the help they need. That being said, I think a lot of shows about drugs and alcohol may actually introduce people to things they were previously unfamiliar with. This could be good – people may become educated about signs of drug addiction or ways to help a loved one.

On the flip side, people often hear about new things and decide they want to try them . I know a lot of people who go into rehab having only used a drug like marijuana and come out with all these new ideas about other drugs they want to try.

To me, Intervention is similar to this. People who do not have a clear understanding of the disease of addiction may actually find these people’s lives and their drug abuse appealing. That’s not to say that it doesn’t help viewers, and more importantly I’m not saying it doesn’t help people on the show. A lot of people on the show don’t have the finances to go to rehab or don’t have the understanding that rehab is necessary.

Intervention allows addicts to get what they need. It also, however, makes it look incredibly easy. Very, very rarely is there an episode where a person doesn’t accept treatment or doesn’t stay sober at the end of the show. Yes, there are instances of people leaving treatment early or relapsing, but they are few and far between. But who wants to watch a TV show that doesn’t have a happy ending?

I think there are so many negatives and positives with all of these reality TV shows; it’s hard to even have a definitive opinion on whether or not they are a good thing.

I would love to hear your opinions on these kinds of shows! Are they helpful? Are they just exploiting people in hopes of making money? Do you have mixed feelings like I do? Also – what could be done to make these shows more helpful and educational? Or are you just looking for entertainment when you watch TV? Please share your thoughts! 

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