This week on the Jeremy Kyle Show, they focused a full episode on helping people dealing with alcohol problems. Many would question the wisdom of making people’s personal problems so public, but others would argue that putting the spotlight on the alcoholic is a public service. In this episode, Jeremy Kyle conducted an intervention on Karl who seems to be on the verge of killing himself because of his substance abuse.
The aim of this episode of the Jeremy Kyle Show was to confront alcoholics who were causing a major disruption in the lives of other people. Karl’s story was particularly riveting because he has all the classic signs of alcoholism. Up until this point, he has been in complete denial as to the harm his behaviour was causing to him and his loved ones. His daughter provided an account on the show of how Karl had neglected his family over the years. Even during family emergencies, his usual routine was to hide away in the pub. Things had deteriorated to such a state that his family no longer felt it was safe to have him in the house.
The audience expressed disbelief when it was revealed that Karl was in his mid-forties – he looked to be an elderly man. During his interview on the show, he admitted that he always drank at least three bottles of wine per day, and he usually supplemented this with a few pints of lager and some shots of spirit. Karl also revealed that he had not been able to work for the last 15 years. It was obvious to the audience that he had also drunk heavily before arriving at the Jeremy Kyle Show – he was noticeably inebriated.
This intervention on TV did seem to have a positive impact on life. He was able to admit that he had a problem, and he acknowledged that he was destroying his liver – he could see that his life was in real danger and his unpredictable behaviour when drunk was unacceptable. By the end of the interview, he agreed to enter alcohol rehab so that he could get the help he needed to break away from addiction.
Effectiveness of TV Interventions
The Jeremy Kyle Show certainly has its detractors, but most people will agree that it will be a positive thing if Karl enters treatment after this intervention on TV. Only time will tell if he actually follows through on this and achieves long-term sobriety. Of course, plenty of people agree to go to rehab in order to get other people to back off, but they have no real intention of quitting. It did seem to be the case that Karl was sincere in his plans to quit addiction, so hopefully he will make this work.
It may be that TV interventions will work well for some people by forcing them to face their demons. Of course, it is not a very practical solution because there are almost 2 million people in the UK alone dealing with drink problems – they cannot all appear on TV. It is also likely that in many cases this type of approach will backfire. Some people will feel very hurt to have their personal problems aired in such an open way. There are some situations where people could be negatively harmed if their addiction problems were to become common knowledge. So while the Jeremy Kyle Show may have helped to save Karl’s life, and it may do the same for other people, it is not going to be a solution for everyone.