Every Monday night my television is locked on A&E. I love the documentaries it features. Intervention, Hoarders, Beyond Scared Straight and Heavy have been my most recent favorites. Last night however, Intervention was featured and when it came on I surprised myself by not ushering 14-year old Jonathan (he sees 15-years in April) and 13-year old Jordan out of the room.
If you’re not familiar with Intervention, it features drug addicts in America who have reached rock bottom. Their families and loved ones reach out to the addicts and urge them to seek treatment in a facility that the producers of Intervention have set up. The show is so captivating for me because as the viewer, you get a close-up and intimate glimpse into a world that is grossly misunderstood and frowned upon in this country.
Intervention has graphic images that I know I had not seen at Jon and Jor’s age. The viewer witnesses actual illegal drugs and by watching the addict, the viewer is educated on how to use said drugs. Because Jon and Jor have not been affected by anyone close to them battling addictions, the concept is foreign to them and there is a child-like innocence that still exists as a result. Because of this, I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing.
My conscience kicked in and asked me, “What if Jon and Jor experiment with drugs at a young age? Certainly they will know how to do it because they watched people using drugs with their big sis Ashley.” On the other hand I thought, “J&J are living in a tough world. If you shy them away from everything as they get older, they may turn wild. Education is power.”
I thought back on my own life and my limited interaction with drugs and alcohol. Beer and alcohol had always been present at family gatherings. As I got older (16+ years old) I was permitted to taste my parent’s beer and mixed drinks. It was never condemned. By the time I reached college and went to college parties my freshman year, alcohol wasn’t enticing. I understood I wasn’t 21-years old and without my family around it wasn’t something I should be enjoying. My conscience told me don’t do it. I listened.
But in 4 and 6 years will my little brother and sister make the same decisions I chose to make? And if they don’t, how much will I be to blame? I understand I’m a major role model in their lives and I take it very seriously. During commercial breaks I shared limited conversation with the little ones about how the destructive nature the addict’s life choices affected their loved ones. I’d like to believe that watching the show influenced Jon and Jor’s lives in a positive way, but one can never be certain.
What do you think?