Wednesday January 20, 2016

Can a pill cure alcoholism? Film looks at how prescription drugs can fight addiction

The documentary Wasted looks at alcoholism and the search for a science-based cure. Wasted airs Thursday, January 21 on CBC's The Nature of Things.

The documentary Wasted looks at alcoholism and the search for a science-based cure. Wasted airs Thursday, January 21 on CBC's The Nature of Things. (Makia Minich/Flickr cc)

Listen 23:34
"It's like a dimmer switch." - Mike Pond on how medication helps him with alcoholism 

Between one and 10 per cent of Canadians receive evidence-based treatment.

Mike Pond,Vancouver psychotherapist and an alcoholic, and his partner, Maureen Palmer, set out to make a film exploring the latest science on addiction treatment.

Research shows that addiction is approximately 60 per cent inherited and 40 per cent environment.

Their documentary Wasted by Bountiful Films, airs Jan. 21 on The Nature of Things on CBC-TV

People with a substance abuse problem are three times more likely to have a mental illness.

In this segment The Current spoke to:

  • Mike Pond,  psychotherapist in private practice.
  • Maureen Palmer, filmmaker and journalist.
  • Dr. Evan Wood, professor of medicine and Canada research chair at UBC.  He's also an addiction physician and medical director for Addiction Services for Vancouver Coastal Health.  


If you, or a loved one, have struggled with alcoholism and getting treatment, or if you have experience with the medications for alcoholism, let us know how effective they were for you.  

Send us an email. Reach out on Facebook or on Twitter @TheCurrentCBC.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath.