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The documentary wasted is an intimate tale of alcohoism, and hope.

The documentary wasted is an intimate tale of alcohoism, and hope.
Photo Credit: Bountiful Films

Documentary WASTED- alcohol addiction by Maureen Palmer

Maureen Palmer of Vancouver-based Bountiful Films has produced a very intimate documentary on alcoholism called “Wasted”.  It’s more intimate than anything she’s done before as it focusses on her partner in life, Mike Pond.

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The book Wasted by Greystone Publishing

Mike had a very successful business as an addiction therapist in Penticton British Columbia.

That is until his own addiction took him from that business, his fancy home, and wife and children, to losing everything and  living out on the street before  eventually getting back on his feet and struggling to stay there.

The film documents that story, a relapse, and the ongoing process to stay “sober” and how others could learn the pitfalls and the way out as well

But as filming progressed, Maureen became aware that getting the message out to the public could come at a terrible price:

“I have never felt more conflicted in my career. As we came to understand how the brain’s reward circuitry gets hijacked even by things associated with booze, like a flashing neon liquor store sign, I realized that the more we filmed – returning to Penticton, for instance, triggered all those memories associated with drinking – the more we risked Mike’s well-being. Filming had the potential to make his disorder worse.”

In the film, they together discover new evidence that addiction does indeed have a strong genetic base. They also found out that the standard recourse for recovering from the affliction, Alcoholics Anonymous, works for only about a third of those who try it.

In the documentary, they find scientific evidence of a genetic connection to addiction.
In the documentary, they find scientific evidence of a genetic connection to addiction. © Bountiful Films

The duo have written a book, The Couch of Willingness, which chronicled Mike’s gripping battle with alcoholism.  An updated book which is out this year is called  Wasted: An Alcoholic Therapist’s Fight For Recovery in A Flawed Treatment System.

Mike Pond is the subject of a new very personal documentary on his struggle with alcohol addiction. *Wasted* uncovers evidence that addiction has a strong genetic connection, An interactive website to help others has also been set up by the film company

Mike Pond is the subject of a new very personal documentary on his struggle with alcohol addiction. *Wasted* uncovers evidence that addiction has a strong genetic connection, An interactive website to help others has also been set up by the film company © Bountiful films- Wasted documentary

The documentary film will be aired in Canada on the CBC show “The Nature of Things” on January 21st.

Although that show may be geo-blocked outside Canada, the effort also spawned the creation of a first-of-its-kind online interactive therapy tool-kit  for families struggling with addiction.  It’s called addictionthenextstep.com  and is available to anyone on the internet.

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4 comments on “Documentary WASTED- alcohol addiction by Maureen Palmer
  1. suzane wyman says:

    wonderful information

    where is the part about dr woods?

  2. Klaus Kaczor says:

    This is a more open and enlightened approach to our greatest modern age social problem. I am still struggling with addictions at age 65. Some great success Alcohol free 13 yrs, Tobacco free 21 yrs. Currently still smoking one gram of marijuana per day, which is an addiction of the inhalation process as well as substance burned. My view is that tobacco and alcohol use in my parents lives and a genetic predisposition as well as self confidence issues, verbal abuse centered developmental issues, and much more that I am only coming to grips with now. Definitely if there are any gateway drugs in my life they would be alcohol and tobacco. My biggest life asset was self awareness and a logical thought process demanding I change as dramatically as I could at times of crisis. Now, as well, it is still an ongoing subtle development process which requires constant re evaluation and monitoring. My 28 yrs infatuation with the sport of hang gliding, upon reflection and analysis, was at its core a constant chase for a hit of adrenaline. Today I try to keep my boredom from stimulating an out of control dance with psychedelic substances. I try to keep the use of magic mushrooms and possibly MDMA down to once per month for spiritual enlightenment and ego balancing, but sometimes I do it more often resulting in guilt and strong awareness of the depth of addiction I am capable of. I am a complex being and all of my life has been a learning experience. My faults add up to a strong invitation to alter my consciousness for many contrived “reasons.“I believe that intermittent LSD use, has for me like Bill Wilson Co founder of AA, resulted in expanded awareness of my own problems. The operative word is intermittent and use in a spiritual enlightening setting not for party purposes. Thank you.

  3. Laura Smart says:

    AA works for some, but for the vast majority evidence-based treatments such as Cognitive Based Therapies, are showing more success.

  4. Frank Fallon says:

    Naltrexone tablets are now ranked number one treatment out of a possible 43 treatments available to cure alcohol addiction. Naltrexone has a 79 % success rate in curing alcohol addiction and has no side effects. Naltrexone is approved by the FDA.