Segments in this Video

Alcoholism in Britain (03:25)


Louis Theroux interviews extreme drinkers at Kings College Hospital. Peter started drinking again after his father passed away in South Africa. He enters the emergency room after consuming 1.5 liters of vodka in 24 hours.

Loving an Alcoholic (02:26)

For most of Peter and Mariana's three year relationship, Peter has been in an extreme drinking cycle. Mariana considers giving up on him, but worries he will die if she leaves. Peter began his most recent binge after his father died.

Treating Self Destructive Behavior (02:38)

King's College Hospital treats alcoholics; some are recovering from binges and others wait for liver transplants. Clinical nurse specialist Ian Websel sees Aurélie, who drinks to stabilize her system. She has detoxed several times but feels she is losing a battle.

Joe's Story (03:46)

Detoxing from severe alcohol addiction can be dangerous, and takes most patients a week. Nurse specialist Kathy Spit-Barker checks on Joe. He began a binge after stress at work and relationship problems, and does not have a support network.

Aurélie's Story (02:54)

Louis visits an alcoholic in her Brixton home. Her parents were never married and she spent several years in a children's home in France. She drinks to avoid getting sick from withdrawal, but finds the taste of alcohol disgusting.

Cycle of Addiction (04:48)

Aurélie introduces Louis to her boyfriend Gary. He drinks to ease emotional pain from losing family and jobs due to his alcoholism. He says hurtful things to Aurélie and becomes belligerent toward Louis. After he leaves, Louis tells Aurélie she deserves a better life.

Discharge Instructions (02:16)

Kathy advises Peter against a relapse and detox pattern, to avoid liver damage. Statistically, he is likely to return to alcohol.

Peter and Mariana's Story (02:28)

Louis visits a couple struggling with alcoholism. Peter was abstinent when they met, but is easily triggered by stress. Mariana cares for him when he binges.

Alcohol Free for Now (03:41)

Louis visits Joe, home from the hospital. His mother was an alcoholic and he has no support system in London. He has lost relationships and friendships to alcoholism.

Long Term Alcoholism Consequences (06:28)

Dr. Debbie Shorecross consults with Stuart, who suffers liver cirrhosis. His abdominal cavity is filled with fluid and he may not live long. Louis stays with him while he gets his stomach drained; he is in denial about his prognosis.

Hoping for a Miracle (03:11)

Aurélie consults with Professor John O'Grady about tests showing liver damage. Her spleen and pancreas are swollen and she will soon lose her tolerance for alcohol. She feels that she is past the point of recovery, and will drink herself to death.

Joe's Relapse (05:57)

Louis reflects on the emotional component of alcoholism. Joe has been evicted and is in withdrawal in the emergency room. He does not want to be an alcoholic, but seems unable to cope with life stress and has no faith in himself.

Knowing When to Help an Alcoholic (04:23)

Kathy warns Joe that too many detox sessions can be neurologically harmful. Joe has trouble deciding whether to stay as an inpatient. Against Louis' advice, he leaves the emergency room to buy alcohol— but returns with a bottle of water.

Path to Sobriety (03:56)

Louis does not know how to help Joe stop drinking. Peter and Mariana have moved to a bigger apartment; Peter takes medication for anxiety and depression and is not drinking. Their relationship has improved and they are cautiously hopeful about the future.

Fearing Sobriety (02:32)

Louis visits Aurélie on her birthday. Gary is verbally abusive. She stays with him due to low self-esteem and says alcohol shapes her identity.

Overcoming Alcoholism (03:10)

Alcohol displaces other relationships and becomes inseparable from addicts' identities. Joe now lives with his father and is sober. He discusses his path to recovery and emotional stability.

Credits: Louis Theroux: Drinking to Oblivion (00:45)

Credits: Louis Theroux: Drinking to Oblivion

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Louis Theroux: Drinking to Oblivion

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At a time when alcohol-related deaths are on the rise, Louis investigates the problem of alcoholism. Heading for Europe’s largest liver transplant center, King’s College Hospital in London, he sees first-hand the critical physical side effects of alcoholism and learns about the challenges doctors, patients and patients’ families face in trying to treat it.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL124924

ISBN: 978-1-63521-917-3

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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