Former Alcoholic Celebrates First Year of Sobriety

Alcoholism is an ever-increasing problem in our country. In 2014, there were 8,697 alcohol-related deaths, which is an extremely concerning figure. An addiction to alcohol not only affects those in this country, but it is also a problem in the lives of millions of people across the world. And the issue encompasses more than just the addict; it also includes their close friends and families.

Alcohol changes the function of the brain, and it is this that leads to addiction and then makes it extremely difficult for the addict to quit. However, with the right help and support, it is entirely possible to overcome any addiction.

Heart-Wrenching Scenes

Take 32-year-old Joe Walker for example. Joe featured in popular documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux’s show Drinking to Oblivion, which highlighted the effects of alcoholism. Joe was a former medical student who has been admitted to hospital on many occasions because of his alcohol addiction.

During the documentary, many scenes showed Joe in and out of hospital, but there was one that was particularly emotional. This heart-wrenching scene showed Louis pleading with Joe to stay in the hospital instead of going to the shop to buy a bottle of vodka. This highlighted just how severe Joe’s addiction had become.

Life Has Improved Massively

Since the documentary was filmed, Joe has celebrated his first year of sobriety and hopes to celebrate many more. He says that his life has improved massively over the last year and this is all down to Louis’ documentary, which showed him that he needed to change or eventually face life-threatening consequences.

Thinking back to his experiences, Joe commented, “It has been an incredible year. I got my family back in my life, friends have been incredible and shown me nothing but love. Life has had its ups and downs, but I’m learning how to try and let go when things are tough and just let things ride out. Everyone has knocks, and I’m learning to deal with them a little better! The reaction after the show was incredible. I think it changed my life because I saw that I wasn’t judged. The reaction to the show was so overwhelmingly supportive that it helped me begin to accept myself and what had gone on. I’ve been hugged in the street, people shake my hand, and I’ve had the most beautiful messages through social media. It’s amazing how something can draw such love and humanity out of people. It’s incredibly humbling. I’m pleased that the show seems to have done some good, and I’ve met a number of people that have come into recovery having seen it. I feel free because there are no secrets, I put it pretty much all out there!”

Overcoming his Addiction

Joe faced many hurdles when attempting to overcome his alcohol addiction. By no stretch of the imagination was this journey an easy one. It took months of dedication and motivation to get him to where he is today, but one thing can be said for certain; he would not have changed it for the world.

There are many different paths one can take in regards to overcoming an addiction. It can often take a lot of researching and carefully considering the different treatments available from various clinics to find the one that would benefit you the most. Here at Recovery Lighthouse, we will ensure that you are fully educated on your addiction and the treatments available so that you can make an informed decision on which one you feel would benefit you the most. Contact us today for more information or any enquiries you may have.


  1. Joe Walker from Louis Theroux’s documentary on alcoholism has just celebrated one year sober! (Cosmopolican)