John Marsden, a very well established Australian writer with a penchant for alcohol, delves in to the depths of alcoholism. Utilizing the saying, it takes one to know one, he creates a knowledgeable documentary. Below, I reiterate some of his thoughts because I find them to be particularly interesting.
I’ve heard many stories, as well as my own, of having a first drink in the teenage years. It’s shocking to see experiments in this film demonstrate that teenagers, as compared to adults, are better able to handle the same dosage of alcohol. Even when performing tasks, the teenagers are less hindered by the intoxication of alcohol.
He also brings up a great question that I often find ruminating in my head. How many people truly consider the damage that alcohol does to their body? I often discuss this with people who have already had the realization that he or she is an alcoholic. I find it refreshing that the majority of individuals that are aware of being an alcoholic, are also cognizant of the negative impact that drinking has on the body. However, I am plagued by the question of how many people don’t contemplate what it’s doing to their body. Many of these people don’t even realize they are an alcoholic and reside in a state of denial. It is these addicts that put me at unease because it may be too late before they realize what they have done through the years of continual inebriation.
There is a vast amount of research going on in the world of addiction. One of the research groups that John visits states, for those people whom ‘get a big kick from alcohol,’ they may be more predisposed to becoming an alcoholic due to a mutation in their genetic make up. It is possible that as much as 12% of white men have this mutation which puts them at risk for alcohol dependence. This doesn’t necessarily answer the, ‘why do I drink?’ but it may help to understand the dysfunction of relapse.
Toward the end of the documentary, John made a statement that pierced through my chest. Throughout the film he is searching for why alcohol is so addictive, and this is one of his thoughts along his journey. ‘An alcoholic isn’t just created overnight. It seems to take years of subtle, incremental changes. And that was really what happened in the case of my father. Changes occurred gradually over time, his drinking became more and more intensive, sustained and problematic. Nobody sets out to be an alcoholic and he certainly didn’t, it just happened.’
I’m sorry, but it appears that BBC has taken down the last 2 clips from this documentary. I am trying to find a full length version that can be posted. Also, if you know how, the documentary can be found on torrents.