The Science Behind 'Intervention's' Surprisingly High Success Rate

by Raphael Chestang 5:48 PM PDT, March 18, 2015
Playing The Science Behind 'Intervention's' Surprisingly High Success Rate

ET's Nischelle Turner went behind the scenes of A&E's Intervention to find out how the show has been so successful in helping addicts.

The docuseries, which is returning to television after a two-year absence, had performed nearly 250 interventions and claims that 99 percent of its patients went to treatment.

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On the show, the addicts are led to believe that they're heading to a meeting to be featured in a documentary but instead, an intervention occurs. But with all the good the show does, there are some ethical issues that arise, as some of the addicts are seen doing dangerous amounts of drugs on camera.

"There is no wall between us and our subjects," producer Jeffrey Weaver told ET. "I think that we always have to be ready to jump in at a given moment. I have stood next to people wondering if they will make it another five minutes before."

The show takes precautionary measures in the event that their subjects require help beyond the crew's capabilities.

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"If something goes badly we have a nurse there with a medical case ready to go," he said.

When dealing with people who aren't ready to be helped, sometimes it's the crew who are in need of assistance.

"We did an intervention on a gentleman named Mike who was a rage-aholic," Jeffrey recalled. "There was a moment and he was closer than you and I are now, where he was going to lay me out, and he was a big guy."

The next life that the show hopes to save is that of 28-year-old crack and heroin addict, Katie, whose habit costs her more than $2,000 per week.

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The new season of Intervention premieres Sunday on A&E.