He worked as a journalist for the BBC for many years during The Troubles, he was a great cook and loved to read. I am now 60. 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. ", Adds Alex: “The issue is that people don’t question drinking in the way they question other things. “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. 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. “I genuinely think I would be dead if I hadn’t stopped drinking,” he says. ', Kiico: 'I’m coming back fiery after lockdown', Living with parents: 'I’m meant to be in Australia, but I’m in Milton Keynes'. "I would just ask: 'Tell me what was wrong, or tell me why? “She was so lethargic and suffered internal bleeding, which was obviously very scary for all of us.”. “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. This is something that 29-year-old Amy, knows all too well. "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.". Dr Ben Sessa, a psychiatrist and drug researcher, says that it’s difficult to define alcohol dependence because how our body and brains react to sustained heavy drinking depends on many things, including our stature and genetic make-up. The Documentary Podcast. In Britain, alcohol is ubiquitous. None of your drinking friends want you stop and you just don't listen to your non-drinking friends. Now it’s in every petrol station and corner shop,” he says. Make no mistake it is no easy task to quit but it can be done with real grit, determination and courage. "The lives of families and friends of problem drinkers are also affected. "I think alcohol gives you the illusion of being connected to other people - regardless of whether you’re an alcoholic or not. But at what point does wanting another drink start to take its toll on our bodies and bank balances - and become an addiction? Drinkers conspire to enable each other and make excuses for one another. Stories in Sound: Under the Influence will broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle on Sunday 29 September at 12:30 BST. 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. Biggest change is I get up so much earlier and easily. To use comments you will need to have JavaScript enabled. This is "Louis Theroux Drinking To Oblivion" by Tom Barrow on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. 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. There has been a wide range of documentaries made on the consequences of addiction and the challenging yet inspiring moments of recovery. 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. 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 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. Such is the case with one fine, Dr. William Hurwitz, whose story gets highlighted in this documentary. 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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. Dr Wodak said alcohol abuse cost Australia more than $36 billion annually and was linked to 5,000 deaths each year, yet was dealt with "very poorly". Dolly1001 I wish I could help you. NARRATOR: A devastating epidemic… KENNETH (Father of Casey): We didn’t know what to do. Indeed, in England today, the number of people who die early as a result of liver disease every year is actually increasing. 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. According to both Alex and Amy, there is a stigma that surrounds alcohol addiction that urgently needs to be addressed. What’s the real story? Reflecting on my dad's life and death has brought me on an unexpected journey and has helped me deal with our relationship and his relationship with alcohol. Addiction. 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. 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. She has found some sort of peace but still has questions she would like to ask if he were still around. Another was lovely and sent me to a counsellor who was no use and kept demanding I write her a nice letter. I just don’t know how I didn’t see it.”. 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. VideoThe road back to Wuhan. “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. “Once I stopped drinking, all the emotional stuff I’d been pushing down suddenly surfaced.”. A documentary on addiction may inspire you to seek treatment or help others who are struggling. 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. 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. It's easy to slip into it and it's a slippery slope. There is undoubtedly still a stigma attached to the label, i myself am always open and honest about it if anyone asks and there are some that look at me in a slightly different way. I didn't think I was an alcoholic because I had these type of 'rules': I'd eat salad, go to the gym every day, and hold down a good job. Yes, well done to Alex, and all others that have realised they have a problem and done something about it. "I developed a constant aching pain in my side," he says. “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.". Good luck. I thought this had started as one of his regular hospital stays that I had become accustomed to in the 18 months since my mum's death from cancer, when his drinking got the better of him. But what? For several years now we have been taking part in Sober October and I've just completed it this year and I feel great. Drug Addiction Documentaries. But within weeks of lockdown, Chris, who lives on Teesside, had gone from being someone who enjoyed a … What’s the real story? 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. .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. I would often find myself hoping he was asleep and then searching for alcohol he might have hidden behind the sofa or in cupboards. 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. 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. Good article, well done Alex too. There’s a huge conspiracy of silence surrounding it. Video. But for some people it goes too far and becomes an addiction. This story echoed my own experiences but my issue was acute episodes of Pancreatitis. At 56, he died as a result of a heart attack due to the stress his drinking had placed on his other major organs. I think that’s part of the problem. People think their liver is going to be organ that suffers but it's all of your internal organs. Well done to Alex and the people commenting here. Newcomers to Recovery - BBC documentary - Last night claimed a third of young people under 25 in U.K. Don't drink. And, although it wasn't easy, Alex says the the support of AA helped, although he is aware that it doesn't work for everybody. His death left me stunned and devastated, but it also left me angry and full of resentment because of how he died. 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. For those brits that don't drink they r running 7 am morning You are constantly walking on eggshells. People don’t understand that and it makes them unsympathetic.”, It’s been six years since he last tasted alcohol. “People can buy six-litre bottles of high strength cider for £1.99 or multiple bottles of wine for a tenner.". “People would think we were making a big deal out of it. What happens to your body in extreme heat? 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. He’s hopeful that since he quit drinking the cells will have started to repair themselves. The troubling thing about Alex's story is how relatable elements of it are. 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. 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! 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. 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". 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 … With more real talk about the physical and emotional repercussions of drinking? During her mid-twenties, Carys went to rehab on more than one occasion but she wasn’t able to stop drinking. “It really shocked me how quickly she deteriorated,” Amy says. BBC Three Both Amy and Alex say that their experiences of alcohol addiction and its effects have completely changed the way they see drinking. And everything else you need to know, Every question you ever had about female ejaculation, answered, Get involved and have your say by leaving a comment, 'The UK's black gay icons are worthy of recognition', Disability and dating: 'Why do people think I'm my boyfriend's carer? But for someone like Alex, who stopped drinking, there is hope. I think the other condition that young people binge drinking and older alcoholics face at an increasing rate is Pancreatitis. Did he intentionally hurt me and those around him? I’d been damaging my friendships and family relationships.”. I didn't drink in the morning - unless - I hadn't been to bed.”. With increased awareness of how addictive alcohol can be? Then was again in my 30s. In the end, Amy says, Carys died in her sleep. 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. "Her drink, or her holy water as she called it, made her float across the floor," she said. 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. “I had become a stranger to myself; my entire life had started to rotate around drinking.". When I think about him, his drinking is the first thing to come to mind but he was much more than that. His clinic is “increasingly assessing people with irreversible liver damage in their twenties and thirties. 1 'SOMM' Photo: Everett Collection. “For me, alcohol became a way of not feeling anything,” says Alex. I would never go back to that life for love nor money whilst also never taking being sober for granted. 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. Alan tells how an evening of drinking alcohol led to a sequence of events that changed his life. What’s the real story? In my case I love wine. This article was originally published on 30 October 2018. 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. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. My friends would say things like, ‘Oh she just had a big night out’. Alcohol played a part in his life but he never viewed it as a problem. 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. 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. 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. Read about our approach to external linking. Unfortunately very few people make it back from the depths of chronic alcoholism, but our stories prove it's possible. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. “I’d lost control,” he says. Being the best is always tough, and that applies even when you’re trying to be the best drinker. Dr Varuna Aluvihare, a consultant at King’s College Hospital’s Institute of Liver Studies, says that he’s noticed a similar trend. 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? ... Nuala McGovern considers alcohol and drug addiction … The throbbing pain in his side was a red flag that this was something far more serious than a pulled muscle. Investigators would later discover that he had … Filmmakers Sherri VandenAkker-Bette's daughter-and Josh WE Hays employ interviews, family photographs, medical records, and court documents to provide a personal and detailed look at the … More adults seeking support for alcoholic parents, The policeman in a MAGA hat. Unlike Alex who managed to recover from the early signs of liver disease through abstinence, Amy's sister Carys sadly developed cirrhosis. 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 “ Prohibition”: A brilliant documentary on alcoholism, “Prohibition” is a marvel directed by Ken Burns, … Her dad died a number of years ago after abusing alcohol for as long as she can remember. 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. It’s a disease that, until recently, we mostly saw in people in their fifties and sixties.”. If you pardon the pun this is a very sobering article. Both Amy and Alex say that their experiences of alcohol addiction and its effects have completely changed the way they see drinking. "For a long time I was angry and resentful and frustrated," said Catherine, from Bangor. "Trust is a big issue. “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. As with many similar issues, you can't simply apply one dimensional answers to multi-dimensional problems - especially where the human body is involved. So stopping is like giving up something that gives pleasure. BBC OS Conversations: Addiction during a pandemic. I had to tell doctors to switch off my dad's life support machine. What’s the real story? Last year, Public Health England described chronic liver disease as a “silent killer of young adults”. 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 was in my 20s. 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. Horrified and ashamed that he had been ignoring his health for so long, Alex also says he knew subconsciously that his drinking was an issue. A friend, who happened to be a doctor, also expressed his opinion that it was likely that he was suffering with the early stages of liver disease, which can led to the fatal condition known as cirrhosis. I was left with so many questions; Why couldn't he kick the habit for me? But when your body begins to tell you enough is enough you know you have to do something. Is she going to throw this dish at me? For Alex, that weekend in 2012 was a crucial wake-up call that, potentially, saved his life. Here's what I learned... RuPaul's Drag Race UK Series Two: When is it on? "There's a lot of years of hurt and upset and fear and unhappiness, and nobody can fix that now.". Last February, her sister Carys died of complications associated with liver disease just before she turned 28. Once you have gone down the slippery slope for many many years its very difficult to stop. Addicts tend to be unhappy people, and unhappy people can behave badly. Let's hope I can make it last... Well done Alex, I got sober at 25 I'm 53 now. Starting with the innocent motive of helping his patient manage pain, he would prescribe Opioids, albeit liberally. It doesn’t cover documentaries on alcoholism.) How many of us have had a boozy night out, taken things too far, felt hideous the next day and, maybe, even carried on? Brian Cox reveals the rich and controversial past of sugar, alcohol, tobacco and opium to uncover how the commercial exploitation of … “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". .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 surgical trial is testing how safe and effective DBS is for alcohol addiction. Carys started drinking seriously in her early twenties after a break up at uni, says Amy, and it slowly spiralled out of control. 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”. May be misleading? Happy to be the driver for a change. His friend told him to stop drinking immediately, which he did. 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". To his nearest Alcoholics Anonymous meeting quickly she deteriorated, ” says Amy on 30 October 2018 it! I have realised I was angry and full of resentment because of how he.... Me sober adults ” enough you know you have to do something what eventually became a and. And devastated, but our stories prove it 's easy to slip into and. Suffers but it 's easy to slip into it and it makes them unsympathetic. ”, it 's to! Implants used to fight drug addiction in us BBC OS Conversations: addiction during a pandemic what I.... 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