Newcomers to Recovery - BBC documentary - Last night claimed a third of young people under 25 in U.K. Don't drink. I may not be as bad as Alex or some people in these comments but I do feel like I drink too much, too often. BBC OS Conversations: Addiction during a pandemic. “I’d lost control,” he says. “I thought I needed alcohol to be the person that I wanted to be. Once you have gone down the slippery slope for many many years its very difficult to stop. I’d been damaging my friendships and family relationships.”. He had been drinking since his mid teens to cope with emotional problems, and although he dried out from time to time, it was a downhill struggle from his early 20s onwards. “ Prohibition”: A brilliant documentary on alcoholism, “Prohibition” is a marvel directed by Ken Burns, … It’s hardly surprising, then, that though young people say they drink less often, it seems that when they do drink, they do it to excess. Sometimes, it’s even a rite of passage with getting totally wasted and pushing the limits of your body cast as an accepted part of growing up. What’s the real story? Happy to be the driver for a change. If you pardon the pun this is a very sobering article. A documentary about women's alcoholism chronicles the progression of the disease in Bette VandenAkker-a nurse, wife, and mother-who died in the fall of 2007. Louis Theroux: Drinking to Oblivion is an astonishing look at alcohol addiction. A series called Addiction was aired on The Vice Channel, where several episodes dove into the reality of addiction in different parts of the world. “Two years before she passed away doctors told us that she was terminally ill,” says Amy. “Alcohol acts on the brain to dampen and depress thoughts, emotions and behaviours,” he explains “this creates a pleasurable, soporific effect.” It is this effect that can be so appealing if you’re self-medicating with alcohol. “They said nothing could be done to save her and told us that, going forward, it was just about managing her treatments.”. Without two cans of cider when I woke up I couldn’t function. “She was so lethargic and suffered internal bleeding, which was obviously very scary for all of us.”. Dr David Ball, of the charity Action on Addiction, backed the call for more funding. It’s a disease that, until recently, we mostly saw in people in their fifties and sixties.”. I wish more people were aware of the very real damage alcohol can do in the short term as well as the long term. I may well have the odd drink going forward if I feel like it but I won't ever go back to being a regular drinker. Alcohol abuse has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the British Liver Trust, which has reported a 500% rise in calls to its helpline since lockdown began in March. I did, next appt, she said 'well I don't know what to do with you' another GP, 'you will be fine you managed 5 days', another GP was lovey, but by that time I had become terrified of NHS & so called professionals. I can see myself here and now want to do something about it. “Even though my sister was desperately ill, I didn't feel that I was able to share her illness with the people around me. Drug Addiction Documentaries. But, amongst Generation Z’s slightly older peers, millennials, who are currently in their late twenties and early thirties, there has actually been a sharp rise in cases of cirrhosis in recent years. Amy is not an alcoholic, … I was on a diet for 18 years. The policeman in a MAGA hat. Opioid addiction continues to grow, and substance abuse professionals and law enforcement officials continue to work hard at attempting to curb it. I wouldn't wish the pain of an acute attack on anyone and if it becomes chronic, you are talking a degraded level of life quality and shortened life span. When I think about him, his drinking is the first thing to come to mind but he was much more than that. Amy isn’t sure exactly how much her sister was drinking, but says it was “way above the recommended amount”, and adds that she would “put alcohol in fizzy drink bottles and hide her empty bottles from us". The number of 16 to 24-year-olds who do not drink increased by 11% between 2005 and 2015, meaning that around a fifth of young people today are teetotal. VideoThe road back to Wuhan. "I'd say addiction is like throwing a stone into the sea and the ripple effects is the rest of the family trying to deal with it.". A documentary on addiction may inspire you to seek treatment or help others who are struggling. This is "Louis Theroux Drinking To Oblivion" by Tom Barrow on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. But perhaps another factor is not only cheap booze but the fact that more young people in this country are going to university where, studies show, binge drinking is an ingrained and, sometimes, problematic part of the culture. PBS Airdate: October 17, 2018. Now that Alex is sober, he says he no longer feels the intense pain in his side, but he is yet to find out the current state of his liver. “There is still some shame when it comes to talking about our emotions, for men especially," he says. “Once I stopped drinking, all the emotional stuff I’d been pushing down suddenly surfaced.”. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. BBC Three Both Amy and Alex say that their experiences of alcohol addiction and its effects have completely changed the way they see drinking. Dr Aluvihare explains that our liver, which recognises alcohol as a poison, contains enzymes that convert alcohol into other chemicals, including one toxic substance called acetaldehyde. More adults seeking support for alcoholic parents, The policeman in a MAGA hat. Dolly1001 I wish I could help you. ... Nuala McGovern considers alcohol and drug addiction … Studies have found alcohol is more likely to cause chronic liver damage in women because they are generally “smaller in stature” and have “less body water”. Unlike Alex who managed to recover from the early signs of liver disease through abstinence, Amy's sister Carys sadly developed cirrhosis. The Documentary Podcast. I didn't drink in the morning - unless - I hadn't been to bed.”. Once that trust is broken in the family home, it is very hard to build it up again. So stopping is like giving up something that gives pleasure. Read about our approach to external linking. In Britain, alcohol is ubiquitous. I was left with so many questions; Why couldn't he kick the habit for me? Alcohol played a part in his life but he never viewed it as a problem. One year on I am still alcohol free, don't miss it at all. ', Kiico: 'I’m coming back fiery after lockdown', Living with parents: 'I’m meant to be in Australia, but I’m in Milton Keynes'. “There's a real lack of sympathy surrounding being an alcoholic,” says Amy. With challenging our perceptions of who an alcoholic is and what they look like? How many of us have then joked about “hair of the dog”? I can’t even put it into words how much I want to keep it that way.”, *names have been changed to protect identities, For help and support with alcohol abuse, click here. But when your body begins to tell you enough is enough you know you have to do something. Many parents and school administrators want to actively prevent teen drug and alcohol use and abuse, but they don’t know where to begin. This story echoed my own experiences but my issue was acute episodes of Pancreatitis. “Some people can drink a bottle of vodka every day and not experience the symptoms of dependency, while others can drink three pints a day and experience them,” he says. Directed by Sherri L. VandenAkker. Towards the end, Carys was in and out of hospital. With more real talk about the physical and emotional repercussions of drinking? “I had become a stranger to myself; my entire life had started to rotate around drinking.". Of course I am not the only person to go through this and I wanted to find out if how I was feeling about my dad was normal. I don't miss booze, it's poison to me. My friends would say things like, ‘Oh she just had a big night out’. We offer schools and parents simple, evidence-based resources that can help reduce the risks of teen drug or alcohol use or abuse. From speaking to people, including people in recovery, it becomes clear that talking frankly and openly about addiction is the best way to understand the profound effect it can have on people and families. Yes - the liver is on the right side of the body and hopefully the incorrect diagram will not provide false reassurance to any heavy drinker reading the article! With Tad Størmer, Brian Cox. I just don’t know how I didn’t see it.”. How many of us have woken up with a hangover and not remembered what happened, perhaps finding the only clues are a smashed phone screen and a cab receipt we can’t bring ourselves to look at? I am an only child and my childhood memories are happy and full of love, but our relationship in those final few months was strained by his drinking. VideoThe policeman in a MAGA hat. During her mid-twenties, Carys went to rehab on more than one occasion but she wasn’t able to stop drinking. But after the power got into his head, he would soon abandon his medical code for Opioid trafficking and over-prescribing. '", "That's taken me quite some time to get to that point but in the context of where I'm at in my life now, there isn't really a place for holding any grudges or being angry any more.". The BBC has suspended its relationship with the company that produced a controversial and partly inaccurate documentary about the far west New South Wales town of Wilcannia. If you damage it, that's it in a lot of cases, it's damaged for life. Stories in Sound: Under the Influence will broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle on Sunday 29 September at 12:30 BST. Did he intentionally hurt me and those around him? I tried and failed many times and just ‘cause I’ve been successful for the last 23 months I know that it’s something I have to consciously do and fight for everyday as if I start again it will probably kill me. Make no mistake it is no easy task to quit but it can be done with real grit, determination and courage. While I now know that addiction is a disease, that’s not what keeps me sober. Elizabeth, 30, has cut contact with her mother due to her drinking. You might be thinking - “but we keep hearing that younger people are increasingly going off booze, right?” And, while it’s true that where once we read headline after headline lamenting "binge drink Britain" and the fact that excessive drinking appeared to be more widespread among young women, now we are just as likely to see articles about how young people are increasingly rejecting alcohol. Not least the hypersensitive pancreas. Investigators would later discover that he had … Amy is not an alcoholic, but she doesn’t drink unless it’s “a glass of wine at a work function” and, even then, it’s a rare occurrence. With increased awareness of how addictive alcohol can be? And he regularly found himself out trailing the streets looking for somewhere he could still get a drink long after his friends had gone home. I wish there was somewhere I could go, someone I could speak to. "There's a lot of years of hurt and upset and fear and unhappiness, and nobody can fix that now.". The AA, I got demands for sex from the males, told by AA that it could not turn a man away, so I was turned away. I, like Adam1962, am wondering why the second illustration would indicate that the liver disease pain would be felt on the left side? “People can buy six-litre bottles of high strength cider for £1.99 or multiple bottles of wine for a tenner.". It’s dangerous because, regardless of why you’re drinking, if you drink regularly – every day – Dr Sessa explains that the “brain and body will build up a tolerance to the drug, which means higher doses are required to get the same effect". It’s also saved the city of Ottawa millions of dollars in public services – one man was hospitalised 191 times in … BBC News NI's Richard Morgan takes a very personal look at living with an alcoholic parent. This article was originally published on 30 October 2018. They didn’t understand that she was an addict”, she reflects. Unfortunately very few people make it back from the depths of chronic alcoholism, but our stories prove it's possible. For those brits that don't drink they r running 7 am morning Good luck. Trapped in a state of denial, Alex carried on drinking, but that weekend, in the middle of the club surrounded by sweaty ravers, he says, “everything hit home”. Dr Sessa has noticed an increase in the number of young people with alcohol addiction at his practice, and believes the problem lies with a lack of public education around the perils of drinking, and the fact that alcohol is cheaper and more accessible than ever. Not that I have the answers that’s for sure but I’ve been there and had to work through giving up alcohol and getting sober myself on my own and it was so hard. He’d been drinking and taking drugs for three days straight, the hot ache on his right hand side was impossible to ignore, and he could no longer deny the emotional turmoil he was feeling. I came to my own conclusion I was probably a functioning alcoholic in reality but was not able to categorise myself that way to others so I decided to say I just needed to cut back a bit! Let's hope I can make it last... Well done Alex, I got sober at 25 I'm 53 now. For several years now we have been taking part in Sober October and I've just completed it this year and I feel great. This got worse until I got to the point I would drink up to a bottle of vodka or a box of strong wine every day, but the scary thing was I was so used to the alcohol that people wouldn’t be aware I was drunk. "But, the more you drink, the more toxic substances are made resulting in permanent damage to the liver and DNA.". Capitol security scare ahead of Biden inauguration, Putin critic Alexei Navalny to be kept in custody, One in, one out: How the White House changes hands, .css-1snjdh1-IconContainer{display:none;height:0.875em;width:0.875em;vertical-align:-0.0625em;margin-right:0.25em;}The road back to Wuhan. I was a hopeless alcoholic for nearly two decades but now thankfully sober for nearly four years and what a dramatic difference my life is now. "You would dread going home wondering if she is in a good mood or a bad mood. This occurs when the liver becomes damaged by the chemicals in alcohol, which stops it from doing its job of clearing the body of toxins. Addicts tend to be unhappy people, and unhappy people can behave badly. ", Adds Alex: “The issue is that people don’t question drinking in the way they question other things. When the doctor said that, yes, what he was describing did sounded like liver damage, Alex cut the appointment short before being examined – and left. I would never go back to that life for love nor money whilst also never taking being sober for granted. “She got weaker, her liver and kidneys were no longer functioning and she was jaundiced,” says Amy. “When I was growing up, you couldn’t get booze easily. There’s a huge conspiracy of silence surrounding it. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}In September 2016 at the Mater Hospital in Belfast I had to make a decision I never thought I would be faced with. The Government's chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, warns the world would be better off without the demon drink in the BBC's The Truth About Alcohol, writes Christopher Stevens. "For a long time I was angry and resentful and frustrated," said Catherine, from Bangor. The ‘Managed Alcohol Program’ has improved the health of its participants, reduced their alcohol intake, and in some cases enabled them to stop drinking altogether. I feel like I've broken the cycle and the craving has gone. What’s the real story? The troubling thing about Alex's story is how relatable elements of it are. What happens to your body in extreme heat? His death left me stunned and devastated, but it also left me angry and full of resentment because of how he died. May be misleading? People think their liver is going to be organ that suffers but it's all of your internal organs. And, alcohol abuse is the top cause of it across the UK. "Her drink, or her holy water as she called it, made her float across the floor," she said. To use comments you will need to have JavaScript enabled. “It really shocked me how quickly she deteriorated,” Amy says. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}More adults seeking support for alcoholic parents, 'Why I drink 100 units of alcohol a week', World on brink of catastrophic moral failure - WHO. NARRATOR: A devastating epidemic… KENNETH (Father of Casey): We didn’t know what to do. I think the other condition that young people binge drinking and older alcoholics face at an increasing rate is Pancreatitis. He said: "Alcohol can cause many problems, including crime, violence and anti-social behaviour, accidents and long term illness. Dad was always very social and liked a drink but I have realised I was somewhat shielded from what eventually became a problem. “Our parents used to call us ‘the girls’ because we were so close in age and I feel like part of me is missing now.”, Dr Sessa says treating alcohol-related liver disease is about more than simply tending to the physical symptoms. Starting with the innocent motive of helping his patient manage pain, he would prescribe Opioids, albeit liberally. ', "But I'd also tell him: 'I forgive you. The policeman in a MAGA hat. Yes, well done to Alex, and all others that have realised they have a problem and done something about it. I would often find myself hoping he was asleep and then searching for alcohol he might have hidden behind the sofa or in cupboards. He’s hopeful that since he quit drinking the cells will have started to repair themselves. Amy is still grieving. "I developed a constant aching pain in my side," he says. “Her heart just stopped; it gave up because her organs were too weak.” But the two years leading up to this moment were not so peaceful. In the end, Amy says, Carys died in her sleep. The worst bit for the bystander was the personality changes - he wasn't the bro I knew when he died. The number of young people who are ruining their livers - and their lives - is on the rise. For Alex, that weekend in 2012 was a crucial wake-up call that, potentially, saved his life. Indeed, in England today, the number of people who die early as a result of liver disease every year is actually increasing. This is something that 29-year-old Amy, knows all too well. Last week, this issue hit the headlines again with the inquest into the tragic death of first-year Newcastle university student Ed Farmer, who died from the "toxic effects" of drinking excessive alcohol on an "initiation-style" bar crawl. How many of us have had a boozy night out, taken things too far, felt hideous the next day and, maybe, even carried on? Being the best is always tough, and that applies even when you’re trying to be the best drinker. Comment posted by Caz, at 11:00 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by Cornishpirate, at 12:08 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by showoddydoddy, at 12:46 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by Billy, at 14:57 30 Oct 2018, Comment posted by deleted, at 12:40 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by trancefan, at 11:38 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by Dolly1001, at 13:43 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by Harvia, at 12:02 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by Wee Nyaff, at 10:32 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by LesleeP, at 12:07 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by adam1962, at 09:30 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by Maths, at 10:39 4 Nov 2018, Comment posted by Caz, at 15:18 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by ladynijo, at 14:23 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by Tim, at 13:54 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by Hello Frisco, at 13:46 31 Oct 2018, Comment posted by liesdamnlies, at 13:05 31 Oct 2018. He increasingly felt like he couldn’t function without booze - whether that was on a big night out or during a quiet dinner with friends. Tony Slattery talked frankly about his alcohol and drug consumption (Picture: BBC) Tony Slattery has revealed he used to consume 10 grams of cocaine in a … Last year, Public Health England described chronic liver disease as a “silent killer of young adults”. Life was difficult when he was drinking and I never knew what version of dad would be waiting for me when I arrived home from work. Despite making these 'rules' for himself, the warning signs were present that Alex's relationship with alcohol was having a negative impact on his life and his health. “I genuinely think I would be dead if I hadn’t stopped drinking,” he says. At 57 I had drunk regularly all my adult life increasing year on year until in recent years I was drinking 1-2 bottles of wine a day. But for some people it goes too far and becomes an addiction. “But I convinced myself that it was a pulled muscle from the gym.” He'd been to see a doctor six months before going to Berlin, but, once they started talking, Alex says he was "so embarrassed" he ended up asking about the symptoms of liver damage "for a friend". Despite this, Amy says most people didn’t realise the severity of Carys’ situation because she was so young, had gone to a good uni, and because she had a stable family. This is a good article. Alan tells how an evening of drinking alcohol led to a sequence of events that changed his life. But for someone like Alex, who stopped drinking, there is hope. I had a problem with alcohol and got to the point I needed to drink first thing every morning else I would shake, vomit and feel absolutely terrible. © 2021 BBC. ", Comparing Instagram photos of himself before he stopped drinking with images of himself now, Alex notes: “I looked like a corpse. It was in the middle of a bender at Berlin’s world famous nightclub Berghain that Alex*, now 31, realised he was out of control. Transcript. From prescription drugs to marijuana to alcohol, the teens in this documentary gradually fell deeper into the grips of addiction and now share their stories with viewers. Good article, well done Alex too. But at what point does wanting another drink start to take its toll on our bodies and bank balances - and become an addiction? I had to tell doctors to switch off my dad's life support machine. He worked as a journalist for the BBC for many years during The Troubles, he was a great cook and loved to read. For doctors, painkillers do really give them enormous power to heal, and if one is not keen, the power can get into his/her head. There has been a wide range of documentaries made on the consequences of addiction and the challenging yet inspiring moments of recovery. Another was lovely and sent me to a counsellor who was no use and kept demanding I write her a nice letter. When I wasn’t drinking, I was very anxious. Both Amy and Alex say that their experiences of alcohol addiction and its effects have completely changed the way they see drinking. None of your drinking friends want you stop and you just don't listen to your non-drinking friends. tried a few times, one GP 'we don't deal with that sort of thing here' down his nose before he went to sleep during consultation. “I think there’s a huge awareness of the dangers of smoking - because of the pictures of diseased organs on packets and the smoking ban - but I don’t think people see or understand the impact of alcohol abuse, unless they’ve seen it first hand.". I think that’s part of the problem. But what? The presenter's London-set BBC film is a surprising, heartbreaking insight into humans who drink to … Also highlighted how young people who do binge at weekends can easily spiral into alcoholism if they encounter a personal or family tragedy . I quickly learnt that if I opened up about it, people were eager to judge, which only made an already difficult time harder, so I stopped talking about it. Like Amy, I lost a sibling to chronic alcoholism - my brother died when he was just 40. And one of the more significant sentences in this story, receives no further analysis at all: "He’d been drinking and taking drugs for three days straight". Addiction. Her liver damage gradually worsened until, one-by-one, her organs started failing. The broadcaster’s film about ‘nice, regular drinking’ soon becomes an analysis of much more, from his physical and mental health to society’s difficult relationship with alcohol Pathway to Prevention puts prevention principles to work. The throbbing pain in his side was a red flag that this was something far more serious than a pulled muscle. A sobering article, though isn't the liver on the right side of the body, unlike your second illustration, where the pain appears to be on the left? “If you stop drinking as soon as you experience inflammation, forever, your liver can recover," he says. Her dad died a number of years ago after abusing alcohol for as long as she can remember. Dr Varuna Aluvihare, a consultant at King’s College Hospital’s Institute of Liver Studies, says that he’s noticed a similar trend. But within weeks of lockdown, Chris, who lives on Teesside, had gone from being someone who enjoyed a … Drinkers conspire to enable each other and make excuses for one another. However, she was not eligible for a transplant because regardless of how unwell a person is, the NHS will only consider a liver transplant for people who have developed complications of cirrhosis despite having stopped drinking - and Carys hadn’t stopped. It's easy to slip into it and it's a slippery slope. Is she going to throw this dish at me? "The lives of families and friends of problem drinkers are also affected. The Truth About Alcohol 2016 TV-14 58m Social & Cultural Docs Emergency room doctor Javid Abdelmoneim endeavors to learn the truth about alcohol, both its benefits and risks, by exploring the science of drinking. As with many similar issues, you can't simply apply one dimensional answers to multi-dimensional problems - especially where the human body is involved. “I started drinking at 16 - the same time I came out as gay,” says Alex. Biggest change is I get up so much earlier and easily.