Do I Drink Too Much – BBC Documentary

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.

  1. Thank you for posting this. I will reblog it to my site. This is well worth sharing as is your blog.

    thank you!


  2. Reblogged this on Step On A Crack…Or Break Your Mother's Back and commented:
    PLEASE take the time to watch the video on this Blog post. This video, though not complete, begins to explain the dangers of alcohol on the body. The video does this very effectively.

    This blog, written by a med student, is a valuable resource.

    Peace, Jen

  3. Riversurfer said:

    I agree the alcoholic is not created over night… I have thought about the matter of addiction and can see that certain events led me to use alcohol more frequently. Had these events not occured, perhaps I wouldn’t have developed an addiction. But I understand it then would have been latent and perhaps it would have surfaced later in life. Or never. But now it is a fact and I must deal with it, being an alcoholic. Better sooner than later I suppose.

    It is madness… the usage of alcohol. People’s unawareness of alcohol being a drug and the effects that it has on our bodies and brains. It must be some sort of denial, in order for them to continue using alcohol with a clean consience. Alcohol will never be banished or illegalized, as of course [everybody] uses alcohol. And would it have been illegalized, then our very creative minds would quickly find new means for intoxicating ourselves. I guess it’s in our nature, the desire to trigger our “pleasure center”.

    Your reflections are very interesting, your blog overall is very educational and well written. It increases or often confirms my own knowledge. And then I must add that I love your way of writing and your rich vocabulary which you use so beautifully.

    Thank you for sharing and take care!

    • Riversurfer,
      You’re totally right and I agree with what you’re saying. It’s similar to the argument of nature vs nurture. I feel addiction is a mix of both of these influences. Yes, some people may have a genetic predisposition to alcohol dependence, but we must also consider the way we were raised and the events in our lives that mold who we are today.

      I also find it pretty crazy that most people do not consider alcohol to be a drug. If it alters your state of mind, then it must be a drug, right? Denial has always been a way to keep the mind healthy by ignoring the unhealthy.

      Thank you so much for the kind words. Much like yourself and most other people here, we are not writing/reading for monetary or other material gains. Our motivation is to be heard while telling our story, and knowing that people enjoy/learn from what we have to write is the inspiration to continue. In short, your words mean more than you realize and I thank you for them.

      I look forward to hearing more of your story as I read your blog.

  4. Heidi said:

    Thanks to Jen, I’ve found your blog. I appreciate your work and anticipate learning more. Definitely a follow.

  5. nnkato said:

    ditto what Heidi said! Is it ok if I reblog this on my site?

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