A&E Almost Gets It….


The A & E show Intervention had a story on this evening that dealt with a 25-year-old Crystal Meth addict.  The first 25 minutes of the show chronicled her self-destructive behavior. Family members and the addict shared the pain and suffering each was going through as the drug use spiraled out of control.  Fifteen minutes into the program it was
casually mentioned that following her parent’s divorce at age 11, the young lady disclosed to her mother she had been molested as a child.  The show did not disclose the molester.  The show portrayed that following the disclosure of the abuse was the moment that the drug use began. The girl stated that immediately after disclosing to her mother the abuse, her mother went directly to family members to expose the abuse. The girl’s response, “I felt betrayed by my own mother.  I never trusted her again. I started using Crystal Meth when I was 15”.

For the next nine years she fought with meth addiction, abusive relationships, drug dealing and violent behavior.  The show then focused on all the pain the family members were feeling, the great need for intervention to stop the drug use.  Never, did the show,
the therapists, or family members suggest that the core issue, the original cause, was the catalyst for the drug use. Never was the damage done by the childhood sexual abuse considered or addressed.

The drugs are the SYMPTOM.  The sexual abuse is the ISSUE.  A & E makes a lot of money documenting the pain and suffering of symptoms and FAILS to address the cause.  It is much easier to sensationalize the pain and the physical suffering…so easy to document the broken-hearted family members.  When will A & E, or TLC, or churches, schools, the society start addressing the real issue.  It is frustrating when the cause is so clear, the reality of hope so present, and no one is willing to listen.

Incredibly, A&E aired a second program  immediately following show with the identical theme.  This time a 22-year-old heroin addict.  The common thread…she was sexually molested for several years.  She is convinced her mother knew about the abuse while it was happening but did nothing about it.  The show then focuses on the addiction, the
anger, the compulsivity and fails to return to the core issue of abuse, the
damage it caused, and the pathway it led to. If INTERVENTION would intervene on the root cause, they would begin to see true healing.  The problem? That takes time, lots and lots of time.  It takes relationships with meaning.  It takes a Savior.

About Bill Harbeck

Founder and Director of Holding on to Hope Ministries. A non-profit work that helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse unveil their past and begin the healing process. Author of the book Shattered; One Man's Journey from Childhood Sexual Abuse
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