Going Cold Turkey – Channel 4 pushes boundaries again

As I type I am watching Channel 4′s latest venture into controversial broadcasting. Going Cold Turkey is a week long documentary, part of Addiction Week, following a group of heroin addicts as they attempt to rid their bodies of the drug.
Channel 4 has always been at the fore of thought-provoking and challenging programming and this series is no different. At first it seems as though you are watching Big Brother for junkies but it quickly becomes apparent that this issue is not being exploited by the station.
On the first episode you are introduced to the people undertaking detox, given their backgrounds and shown interviews with their parents. General information on drug use is also provided. The programme airs twice daily at both 9:30 am and 11:00 pm; the first is aimed at young adults as part of the Channel 4 Education schedule.
The show raises questions, just like every other anti-drugs campaign; will the effect of this show soon wear off, meaning the next needs to be more shocking in order to work? Is this exploitation for shock or a genuine moral campaign? Will the people who need to see it, see it?
These questions are not easily answered, but you do have to commend Channel 4; they are always willing to target the heart of any subject and they pull no punches when doing so. This is certain to shock many people, it’s certain to raise great debate from a Political level down and it is sure to open many eyes.
This show features people whom are going through cold turkey; an anti-drugs advert in the extreme sense. It shows heroins effects on all levels, from the user to the family around them and it teaches serious lessons about the use of hard drugs. In my opinion, if just one person is changed by this show it was worth its while. There will always be drugs in this world, the only way to stop them is to show people how damaging they are, and the only way to do that is to show them the direct effect they have; no pamphlet or acted advert will ever make you aware of the reality of the situation; I urge you to watch this.


  1. Lee Cronin 23/02/2006 at 18:11

    This show is a desperate attempt for ratings. The studio with the hospital beds off it, the ominous cold turkey clocks on the walls, the silly experts talking bullshit jargon. Ever watch Brass Eye? Once again Chris Morris looked into the future and saw how horrible TV/Media would become. I’m appalled Channel 4 would stoop so low. It has no new arguments or information that you couldn’t find out from existing sources. It was one step short of having a text vote to decide who should be let out or ‘whose getting the bonus prize of a gram of smack. Lines close in five minutes…get texting!’ This is Nauesiating, condescending drivel and a yet another sad pointer towards the hole that TV is descending into. Not supposed to be entertainment I know but it wasn’t anything. Ever see a Documentary called Cold Turkey by Leo Regan? That was real. This was bo**ocks I’m surprised it wasn’t presented by the fu***ng crazy frog or Ant and Dec. There will probably be a ringtong with the noise of junkies vomiting available soon. Whats next? A Celebrity Version with Pete Townsend and Kate Moss or Junkie Swap where two families swap thier addicted member ‘Meet John, he’s a coke addict he’ll be moving into Billy the Crystal meth Junkies house for the next fortnight’ They’ll all be under the watchful eye of Davina Mc Call’ Can’t wait!!! (Dont; get me wrong i think heroin and addiction is terrible and I genuinly feel for people caught in the grip of substance abuse, but dear god Channel 4, must you take obviously weak and fragile people and put them under the spotlight like that, the cost of producing the show could have helped more people off heroin, surely thats the point!!!)


  2. I’m a huge Brass Eye fan, and yes I can see similarities, but I have to say that this was still a superb anti-drugs advert.
    C4 managed to hold it away from being tacky or make it look like it was taking advantage of the situation; it was informative and it didn’t pull any punches in my opinion.
    I can see TV going down the pan and I can see Brass Eye coming to be a reality, but perhaps not just yet.


  3. Lindsey Howard 27/04/2006 at 05:04

    can someone please tell me what happened inthe follow up programme of going cold turkey as i never missed one programme and i missed it.


  4. toni mallory 22/05/2006 at 04:55

    i also would like to know what happened to the follow up programme of going cold turkey. they said it would be around a month later but since it finished iv’e heard nothing more about it. I watched all the programmes and would really like to know how the 3 people are getting on now?


  5. Vicky Smith 27/05/2006 at 12:04

    Well not going to bang ona bout this, but im 15 and thought it would be interesting to watch something like this, you no how it is, alot of my mates do drugs and that. but in watching this it has kinda taught me that i would not like to end up like them people and rely on drugs evreday to keep me going, so in some ways i think that the programme really helped and was not just put out for a desperate attempt for ratings x-x


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