From Oscar and Emmy winner Ellen Goosenberg Kent (HBO’s Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 and Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq) and journalist/producer Perri Peltz (HBO’s The Education of Dee Dee Ricks and Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro, Sr.), and presented with support from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Risky Drinking takes a case-study look at the hazards of alcohol use and details the ways the medical community views and treats “risky drinkers.”
Nearly one-third of adults in the U.S. engage in problem drinking at some point in their lives. Health professionals assess drinkers at risk on a spectrum ranging from low-risk to an alcohol use disorder that can range from mild to severe. Risky Drinking challenges viewers to recognize when their drinking may be putting them at risk and offers information that could help millions of Americans lead healthier lives.
Through case studies and expert analysis, the film investigates the broad spectrum of risky drinking at different ages and stages in people’s lives, including Kenzie, a young professional whose weekend binge drinking exacerbates her fragile emotional state; Noel, a single mom whose drinking has gone beyond the social level; Mike, an ex-pat whose heavy drinking finds him on the cusp of losing his son and wife; and Neal, a young grandfather whose physical dependence may cost him his life.
In addition, addiction experts explain the science behind alcohol use disorder, as well as providing stunning statistics about its prevalence and hazards. These experts discuss the specific risks and treatment options for drinkers along the spectrum, from behavioral and pharmacotherapeutic, to support groups for moderation and abstinence. Among the medical professionals interviewed are: George Koob, director, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Carrie Wilkens, clinical director, Center for Motivation & Change; and Stephen Ross, director, Addiction Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center.
Risky Drinking was directed by Ellen Goosenberg Kent; produced by Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Perri Peltz; segment director, Perri Peltz; supervising editor, Geeta Gandbhir; editor, Alex Keipper. For HBO: senior producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.