Segments in this Video

Reunited after Rehabilitation (02:47)


More than 15 percent of Americans suffer from alcohol or drug problems at some point in their lives. Sam and Toinette have been separated for 11 months while undergoing rehabilitation.

Facing Life as a Sober Couple (04:31)

For the first time in their relationship, Sam and Toinette face life as a sober couple and seek support from the Ackerman Institute to make that adjustment.

Relapse into Drug Use (01:47)

Four months after her release from jail and drug rehabilitation, Toinette has a relapse and finds herself alone. Staying sober in the outside world proves to be more difficult than she thought.

Alcoholic Relationship (05:38)

Worried about their heavy drinking and constant bickering, Jillian and Eric seek help from the Ackerman Institute. Counselors suspect alcohol is all that holds this relationship together.

Teenage Alcoholic (04:43)

Erica lives with her mother and mother's boyfriend. The night before her 17th birthday she stays out all night drinking and partying with her friends. Her mother finds her on the street the next day.

Family History of Substance Abuse (02:33)

Patria and her daughter, Erica, seek family therapy for substance abuse. Patria was a heroin addict when Erica was a child and was separated from Erica for six years during her rehabilitation.

Addicts Rehabilitation Center (03:06)

Toinette checks herself into a religious, residential recovery program to help her conquer her drug and alcohol addiction. Everyone in A.R.C. must attend daily support groups.

Reconnecting with Family (03:01)

Before going to jail, Toinette lost custody of her 13 year old daughter from a previous marriage. Both suffer the consequences of Toinette's past and now struggle to rebuild their relationship.

Alcohol Numbs Emotions (04:15)

One week after their first session at the Ackerman Institute, Eric and Jillian are fighting even more. Their second counseling session uncovers individual feelings of loneliness and unhappiness.

Mother-Daughter Roles Reverse (03:14)

Erica, 17, stays out drinking all night again and misses her therapy session. With the help of the Ackerman therapists, Patria decides to get Erica out of the city and into a vocational program.

Cassadaga Job Corps Center (01:55)

At Cassadaga Job Corps Center, 51 miles east of Buffalo, NY, Erica can get a high school equivalency degree and vocational training. Erica has a difficult time adjusting to the program.

Mending Relationships in Sobriety (04:27)

While Toinette is at the Addicts Rehabilitation Center, Sam takes care of the kids. The family reunites and Toinette makes attempts to mend her relationship with her estranged daughter.

Trading Therapy for Alcohol (03:49)

Eric and Jillian attempt to stop drinking and feel their bickering and fighting is worsened by therapy. They go back to drinking heavily and discontinue therapy sessions.

Erica Returns to Old Behavior (04:53)

After four months at Job Corps, Erica comes home on a week-end pass. Several weeks go by and she does not return to Job Corps. After repeated arguments, Patria throws Erica out of the house.

Erica is Kicked Out of the House (04:04)

At Erica's counseling session with her mom and Hector, Erica and Patria are both visibly angry and hurt by Erica’s continued alcohol/drug use and disregard for house rules.

Working Towards Resolution (03:41)

The family must make a plan to establish how they are going to move forward and find a safe place for Erica to be. They work towards mending their family and Erica agrees to return to Job Corps.

Toinette Leaves the Program (02:23)

After three months, halfway through the A.R.C. program, Toinette decides that she wants to return home. Two weeks later she goes on a five day drinking binge.

Toinette and Sam Return to Therapy (02:19)

Toinette struggles with living in sobriety and with readjusting to married and family life. Sam feels rejected by his wife and is trying desperately to keep the family together.

Six Months Later for Toinette and Sam (01:51)

Toinette and Sam separate to deal with individual issues. Toinette continues daily support group meetings, realizing her addiction makes it impossible for her to ever consume alcohol.

Eric and Jillian's Aftermath (01:31)

Soon after quitting therapy, Eric and Jillian split up. Jillian is struggling to live a sober life and Eric appears to have quit drinking entirely, returning to college to finish his degree.

Life After Addiction (02:00)

After individual struggles with addiction, Erica graduates from Job Corps after 18 months in the program. Eric and Jillian remain single. Toinette and Sam decide to stay together.

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Drinking Apart: Families Under the Influence

DVD Price: $149.95



Every day at the renowned Ackerman Institute for the Family, teams of counselors are helping people with drug and alcohol addictions to save their relationships, their futures, and their very lives. Praised by the American Psychiatric Association, this award-winning program tracks the progress of a husband and wife, a mother and teenage daughter, and a young couple over a three-year period as they fight their way toward recovery. Candidly filmed at Ackerman and other facilities as well as in the subjects’ homes, this gripping documentary provides valuable insights into the devastating effects of substance abuse and the methods being used to assist in breaking addictions. “[Reality television] pales in comparison with the reality offered up by documentarian Ken Rosenberg in this…HBO special,” says the Los Angeles Times; extensive footage of family counseling sessions is only one of the reasons why. An HBO Production. (71 minutes)

Length: 71 minutes

Item#: BVL10952

ISBN: 978-1-4213-6509-1

Copyright date: ©2000

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Silver Hill Hospital Media Award

Recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and by Psychiatric News, the Newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association.

"Drinking Apart has no dry statistics on substance abuse or lectures from experts; Rosenberg takes care to let the stories speak for themselves... In the end, viewers will be moved by the discovery that sometimes survives the very worst of addictions."—The Los Angeles Times

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.