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Addiction in “Dragged High on Alcohol” Documentary

“Dragged High on Alcohol” is about an alcohol addict Ryan, and the film crew follows him and his family, showing how Ryan experiences his addiction. At the end of this film, Ryan dies from injuries he received in a bike accident, and because he was consuming so much alcohol, his body could no longer heal, and he died. It does not seem that the film creators are biased since they acknowledge that little is known about addictions and ways of preventing or combating them. This film shows the experience of addiction, the effect of it on one’s body, and the problem with the US rehabilitation market.

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In the “Rehab Racket” article, the author refers to this film and explains the rehab market is “poorly regulated” (Hill, 2015, para. 2). Hence, the implication is that Ryan died not only because of his injuries and addiction but because of the treatment he received at this center. The issue with rehab centers is that they use interventions that have little to no evidence supporting the effectiveness of these solutions.

In this movie, similarly to this course, the insufficiency of treatment methods is disclosed. For instance, van Warmer (2018) also critiques the popular approaches to alcohol treatment, such as underage drinking laws, for their lack of evidence. In terms of my personal life, this movie helps explain the different aspects of addiction. In this case, Rayan’s physical health suffered immensely because of his addiction, and he was not able to recover from a bike accident.

From the documentary, I have learned how addicts experience their addiction. For example, Ryan stated in one scene that he feels as if the world is ending, and a sip of alcohol can make things better for him (“Alcohol – Drugged,” 2015). Additionally, new information for me was the lack of evidence behind the rehabilitation interventions and the immense cost of treatment, which for Ryan was $1,800 per day. I would recommend this film for future classes since it touches on several issues, the problems of addiction rehabilitation centers, lack of evidence, no early interventions and screenings, and the experience of addiction that makes a person crave a substance.


Alcohol – Drugged high on alcohol full documentary – Alcoholism. (2015). Web.

Hill, J. (2015). The rehab racket: The way we treat addiction is a costly, dangerous mess. Web.

van Warmer, K. (2018). Addiction treatment (4th ed.). Cengage.

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