"i'm going to shut down all of your tricks": Depictions of treatment professionals in addiction entertainment
Addiction, celebrity, intervention, media messages, reality television, stigma
Substance Use and Misuse
Background: Previous research on addiction themed reality television shows has focused on the depiction of addiction and treatment and has concluded that these shows reinforce stigma. Existing research has not investigated the depiction of treatment professionals in these series. Objectives: This study fills the gap in existing research by analyzing the representations of treatment professionals in reality television shows, including the ways that the shows are edited, the statements made by treatment professionals, and interactions between treatment professionals and laypersons. Methods: The data for this study was drawn from two popular reality shows Intervention and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Using a total of 117 episodes, a qualitative content analysis of the representations of treatment professionals in the two series was conducted. Results: The data reveal the ways that depictions of treatment professionals are carefully controlled compared to those of people with substance use issues. In addition, treatment professionals are granted opportunities to interpret, explain, and diagnose the behaviors and experiences of people with substance use problem. Finally, when confronted with resistance treatment professionals assert their authority and demand compliance with their orders. Conclusions/Importance: In strategically presenting treatment professionals in sharp contrast to people with substance use problems, these portrayals of treatment professionals actually reinforce rather than contradict the stigma of addiction.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Baker, Kimberly M., ""i'm going to shut down all of your tricks": Depictions of treatment professionals in addiction entertainment" (2016). Faculty Publications. 1102.