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Each program follows one or two participants, each of whom has an addiction or other mentally and/or physically damaging... More

Each program follows one or two participants, each of whom has an addiction or other mentally and/or physically damaging problem and believes that they are being filmed for a documentary on their problem. Their situations are actually being documented in anticipation of an intervention by family and/or friends. Each participant has a choice: go into rehabilitation immediately, or risk losing contact, income, or other privileges from the loved ones who instigated the intervention. Often, other tactics are used to persuade the addicted person into treatment, which vary depending on the situation; some of these include threats to invoke outstanding arrest warrants, applying for custody of the addict's children, foreclosing on the addict's property, and break-up of marriages or other relationships. The producers usually follow up months later to monitor the addicted person's progress and film it for "follow-up" episodes of the series or for shorter "web updates" available on the show's website.