“Interventions” Happen On MAD MEN, Too!

Mad Men
Mad Men (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you a fan of MAD MEN?

This might sound like a strange question, but if you are a regular viewer, then you know that alcoholism and sobriety play a major role in this television drama. Mad Men premiered in July 2007 and its final season will air in 2015. If you didn’t work on Madison Avenue in the advertising industry in the 1950s and 1960s, then there is a pretty good chance you needed to learn that the name mad men was a nickname or slang for those who did work in advertising on Madison Avenue.

So why all this talk about Mad Men on a blog that generally deals with interventions? Well, it occurred to us that in today’s society many people have come to believe that interventions are of a fairly recent origin when in fact for centuries family members have often tried to convince their loved one to seek treatment for addiction and just as often reached out to a professional person of faith or a medical professional to intervene with their loved one.

It should not be surprising that often one’s employer forces the issue and place the addict or alcoholic employee on a “leave of absence.”  Even Don Draper (Mad Men’s focal character) was faced with a “leave of absence” at the end of the 6th season (please excuse the included advertisements).

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

Look closely, as Mad Men’s creator Matthew Weiner turns the lens on alcoholism

There is a very large story being told in the Mad Men series. For the generations who were not in the corporate world at that time it is shocking to see people smoking in their office, drinking alcohol in some offices, not to mention the covert and overt adultery and sexism. Regarding the portrayal of alcoholism Wikipedia sums it up succinctly:

ABC News noted that “as the show’s time frame progressed into the 1960s, series creator Matthew Weiner didn’t hold back in depicting a world of liquor-stocked offices, boozy lunches and alcohol-soaked dinners.” One incident in Season 2 finds advertising executive Freddy Rumsen being sent to rehab after urinating on himself. Don, Betty, Herman ‘Duck’ Phillips, and Roger Sterling were singled out by television reporters for their excessive drinking. During the fourth season Don Draper starts to realize he has a major drinking problem. ABC News quoted an addiction specialist who said that “over the last ten years, alcoholism has been more fully understood as a disease. But in the sixties, bad behavior resulting from heavy drinking could be considered ‘macho’ and even romantic, rather than as a compulsive use of alcohol despite adverse consequences.” One reviewer called the fourth season a “sobering tale of drunken excess” as the Don Draper character struggled with his addiction to alcohol.

Last week Don, back after his leave of absence, had an incident in the office and his long time co-worker Freddy Rumsen steps in to talk him through the episode…you can watch it here with Matthew Weiner commenting.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here starting at 4:03.

Some closing thoughts…

Every person doesn’t have a Freddy who can step in to guide them towards getting sober, counseling them to “do the work.” Not every family member knows what to do or how to ask for help when their loved one is suffering from the disease of addiction. Sometimes we learn by reading a news story, or a novel, or watching a movie or even a television series.

When there have been several attempts at trying to help the addicted loved one to no avail, intervention services are often necessary. Call us 800-631-7753.

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