The Last to Know

Alcohol, prescribed drugs, and women - the myth, the stigma, the reality
Year Released
Film Length(s)
45 mins


Alcohol, prescribed drugs and women - the myth, the stigma, the reality through the stories of four fascinating women.

Featured review

Acclaimed at the New York Film Festival, this gritty, intimate documentary risks inviting us into the real worlds of four addicted women, three in recovery, one still drinking and using drugs. In their own words and in their own environments, these four very different women share their struggles with a generous and uncompromising honesty rarely seen on film.
Marion Sandmeier
Alcoholism, The National Magazine


Nearly one half of the estimated ten million alcoholics in the country are women, yet their special problems are totally ignored. Concealed by families, protected by friends and physicians, these women are kept invisible. They themselves are often The Last to Know. This extraordinary film speaks directly to these women by sensitively focusing on four intimate stories and shows how the medical community, the media and the values of society at large actually perpetuate alcoholism and prescription drug abuse in women.


I used to come out of blackouts to find myself in bed with complete strangers. This was Loretta, the nice married lady, I was brought up in Catholic schools, I was very well behaved, I was always a lady, a lady who was now wondering what the hell had I done the night before.
Loretta- quote from film
Loretta- quote from film
When I got sober, I got scared of people, scared to talk in front of people. When I was was drunk, I could dance on top of a bar.
Sharon- quote from film
Sharon- quote from film
Unforgettable... fascinating. A rare documentary history and profile from all walks of life who become substance abusers.
Judith Trojan
Wilson Library Journal
Moving and eloquent... an eye opener, one with both a heart and sense of humor.
Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle
Finally a film that asks the tough questions about alcoholism, mental health and the effect of the American culture on women's lives. Everyone should see this unforgettable film. My students talked about it for days.
Peter Dreier
Ph.D., E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, Occidental College
A powerful film with an important message.
Patricia Priesing
Voice of Youth Advocates

Awards and Screenings

First Prize, American Personnel and Guidance Association
First Prize, National Council on Family Relations Film Festival
First Prize, Athens International Film Festival
Cine Golden Eagle
Silver Eye Award, Association of Media Educators in Religion
The Henry Fonda Award, River City Film Conference
Award, International Rehabilitation Film Festival
Media Award, New Jersey State Task Force on Woman and Alcohol
Prize, Sinking Creek Film Festival
New York Film Festival
Cinema du Reel, Paris
Edinburgh Film Festival
President's Award Banquet Dinner, National Council on Alcoholism
John Muir Medical Film Festival
Film Award, American Medical Writer's Association
Chicago International Film Festival

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