It's Time to Let Go of Intervention

By Sarah Beller 05/24/13

After a 13-year run, A&E's popular addiction-themed reality series is ending.

Goodbyes are hard. Photo via

Letting go is hard—whether it's letting go of an addiction, or a reality show about addiction—but all good/bad/ugly things must come to an end. A&E announced Thursday that its hugely popular addiction-themed docuseries Intervention is ending after the final five episodes of its 13th season. During its long run, the show earned two Emmy nominations for outstanding reality series, taking home the gold in 2009. “As Intervention comes to an end, we’re proud to have paved the way for such an original and groundbreaking series,” says David McKillop, executive vp programming at A&E Network. “We’re honored to have been a part of the 243 interventions since its premiere in March of 2005. McKillop says the show's on-air interventions have culminated in "156 individuals that are currently sober to this day.” The show covers addictions ranging from gambling, sex, crack and inhalants to eating disorders. In each episode, the subjects are led to believe they are being filmed for a documentary on their addiction, and are then surprised by an intervention by family and/or friends. The Fix followed up with 10 of the show's alumni in 2011, some of whom had remained sober, whereas several had relapsed and one had passed away. The final five-episode season—starting Thursday, June 13, at 9 pm—will feature what the cable network dubs its most "intense" and "gripping" stories yet.

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Sarah Beller is a writer and the Executive Director at Filter. She has written about drug policy with a focus on harm reduction for Substance.comThe Fix and Salon. She has worked as a social worker with formerly incarcerated people in New York for a number of years. Her writing has also appeared in McSweeney’sThe HairpinThe ToastReductressThe Rumpus and other publications. You can find Sarah on Linkedin and Twitter.