Denzel’s New Film Tackles the Subject of ‘Hidden’ Dependency

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Main Blog | 0 comments

I am looking forward to Denzel Washington’s new film, Flight, not just because it has Mr Washington as the lead character, but because it is about a topic that is close to my heart. Denzel Washington plays William “Whip” Whitaker, a pilot who is dependent on alcohol. Following a night of heavy drinking, he still has a large amount of alcohol in his bloodstream the next day, yet has to fly a plane. The plane gets into trouble during its flight but Whip manages to save nearly all of the passengers and crew through his crash-landing. His heroic accolade is short lived when it is discovered that he was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. (Incidentally when alcohol and cocaine are taken together, they create a new, third drug in the liver, cocaethylene, which is more toxic, increases aggression and puts the user at a greater risk of a heart attack.)

This isn’t just a Hollywood film; this is about real life and about how people can and do go to work under the influence of alcohol or other substances, including medicines. A recent article from the BBC News   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20498044 highlights an interview with someone whose dependency on alcohol was hidden for quite some time from his employers and employees. He would get into work early and set up bottles of vodka in water bottles, so it looked like he was drinking water throughout the day. Of course this had an impact on the workplace and on his health and personal life too.  

Dependency on alcohol is on the increase. I am not out to spoil people’s fun and to tell people not to drink alcohol, rather to keep raising awareness and to help people to recognise if there could be an issue, because dependency affects all aspects of a person’s life and can affect everyone around them.

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