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overcoming an addiction

TV documentaryin development


Intoxication is an archaic state. People have always used a wide variety of substances to enter other states of consciousness. They dance to ecstasy, enter altered states of consciousness through meditation, swallow, snort, smoke or inject intoxicating substances. The collective state of inebriation, which was part of defined rituals in many cultures, seems to have lost this function in our Western societies. Instead, addictions have increased. And these are not limited to substance abuse. Buying, gambling, the Internet, even sports or sex can also be addictive if they are used to replace the inner emptiness or the lack of connection with other people.

Visible intoxication is tainted with the odor of the reprehensible. It represents the dysfunctional, and we no longer seem to be able to use it constructively. The substances that induce it are labeled by law as permitted or prohibited, and thus as good or evil. This defines both their availability and the places of consumption.

(IN)DEPENDENT explores the question of what may lead to addictions, how we can counteract them therapeutically and preventively, and what is going wrong in our current dealings with them. From the wide field of different addictions, we will take alcohol abuse, addiction to shopping and prescription drugs as examples. We examine where the boundary is between alcohol consumption, which is socially accepted and in many situations almost demanded, and addiction, which has to be concealed. Is it the fear of not being able to perform as required, of not functioning well enough or the desire to escape reality that drives over 150,000 people in Austria into pill addiction? And how sustainably can an inner emptiness be filled with excessive purchases?

In our attempt to find answers, we are more interested in prevention and healing than in individual disease patterns. We trace the question of what we need as individuals and as a society to free ourselves from compensatory pleasures and what it is that stands between us and a more conscious approach to our needs. To this end, we talk to people who are involved in addiction therapy or addiction prevention in their work and thus focus on those who strive for resistance and resilience.


Karin Berghammer

Barbara Eppensteiner

Andrea Ernst

Zorah Berghammer

Cordula Werner

Franziska Aringer

Christof Dienz


Karin Berghammer | berg hammer film

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