Does pop culture get addiction wrong?

Are intervention-style TV shows an effective means to recovery? (Intervention/A&ETV)

Are intervention-style TV shows an effective means to recovery? (Intervention/A&ETV)


Health and science journalist Maia Szalavitz argues that the death of Canadian actor Cory Monteith shows how dangerous the post-rehab period can be for people with drug problems.

And she argues that the way addiction treatment is portrayed in pop culture, on shows like Celebrity Rehab, Brat Camp and Intervention, is giving people the wrong impression about the true nature of addiction.

"Addiction wouldn't exist if that kind of stuff was effective," she says of the harsh tactics employed by the intervention-style programs that viewers love. According to Szalavitz, reality TV portrayals of recovery are merely "good drama and bad therapy."

Szalavitz recently wrote about the Cory Monteith case for Time and The Fix. She speaks to guest host Terry O'Reilly about what science tells us about what works, and what doesn't, when it comes to recovery.

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