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Louis Theroux: Drinking To Oblivion

Drinking To Oblivion sees Louis Theroux set about spending some time in the world of extreme drinkers, getting to know people who consume alcohol not just to excess but to the point of total oblivion. Basing the film out of King’s College Hospital in South London Louis finds himself in a haven for patients and families affected by life-threatening alcohol abuse, in an attempt to understand the mindset of people who are addicted to Britains favorite drug and the difficult choices faced by those who are closest to them.

Most people in today’s society think of addicts as those who are addicted to illegal substances such as heroin, cocaine, etc. but in Drinking to Oblivion we see first hand the effects of alcohol, which is in fact the most common substance people are addicted to in the United Kingdom.

This might seem strange because many of us drink, sometimes more than we probably should but in this film we get a true sense of what being addicted to alcohol really means. One of the main subjects of the film is Joe, who has turned 32-years-old, the scenes he features in have the power to reduce the viewer to tears, especially when he was shown walking out of hospital covered in blood, to buy vodka after being told his continued alcoholism would kill him. This is the face of true addiction, just one more drink no matter the cost.

It’s hard to know why people become addicted to alcohol and why it is impossible for some to stop drinking, even when it is killing them. To outsiders, it may seem like an easy decision, but it is nowhere near that simple. Louis spends time with patients and their families as they struggle to find a way out of their addiction to alcohol before it’s too late.

Directed by: Tom Barrow

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  1. Addiction truly is a living hell. If we do not confront our demons, what is hurting us internally, we will continue to numb our pain with a destructive substance, be it alcohol or drugs.

  2. As both an alcoholic and drug addict with over ten years clean and sober, this film was a grim reminder of active alcoholism and addiction. The number of hospitals, detoxes and rehabs, for me are a blur. There is no recipe for success. All I know is, I reached a point where I was presented a clear option, continue and die in relatively short order, or stop, come what may. It wasn’t an easy decision but I was so sick, I actually couldn’t drink at the time. I obviously chose to live but it wasn’t easy, there was a lot of damage to repair, despair and mental issues to be dealt with. But eventually things began to fall back into place. I began to feel human and, to my great delight, I was able to rekindle a lifelong passion for music. That, in many ways is what gave me purpose after losing a career, home, marriage and all my money. Today, I have a band that brings me joy, family who do the same, and other addicts I spend time with, people I understand and can relate to, people I will help if they want it. I’m one of the lucky ones. Most of us don’t make it and will continue until it kills us.

    • Nice to read this Brent.

      Maybe I don’t know you but it’s nice to see a story like yours and I wish more people with addictions will follow a path like the one you took instead of the worst one.

      Again, it’s nice for you Brent and keep it up!

  3. Very true. It’s a painful road.

    • Very engaging. Great doco
      I recommend that if you or someone you love is struggling with an alcohol addiction, watch this documentary