Emmerdale: Liv Flaherty’s teen alcoholism plot – how accurate is it?
7th September 2021

Emmerdale: Liv is hospitalised due to alcohol abuse

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Liv (played by Isobel Steele) started presenting symptoms of alcohol dependency in 2017. The Emmerdale teenager turns to drink when she is struggling and has been hospitalised several times after becoming ill from alcohol poisoning. The ITV soap has highlighted the issue of addiction in young people, with more death in 16 to 24-year-olds bring linked to alcohol consumption, according to Alcohol Education Trust. Express.co.uk spoke to an expert on the subject to see if Liv’s story in Emmerdale accurately portrays the growing issue.

Liv’s heartbreaking battle with alcohol addiction has stunned viewers who may not realise just how common the condition can be in younger people.

Carmela Coop-Rodia, the co-founder of a 100-day wellness coaching programme for women wanting to change their relationship with alcohol, explained: “Alcohol and young people are often seen as going hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to big birthdays such as 18/21, going off to university and enjoying Freshers’ Week.

“However, young people aren’t always as aware of the toxic impacts that alcohol can have on their bodies and their lives. “While they might think that going out on a weekend and getting blackout drunk is okay as they don’t do it all the time, or going out a few times a week but not drinking loads is harmless, it’s a gateway to habitual drinking which can cause huge problems, both in the short and long term.”

She added: “With drinking often encouraged in young adults, and it being something they form their social lives around, it can be difficult for them to have fun in other ways when it becomes so integrated into their lives.

“Not only do young people think drinking regularly or binge drinking is okay, but they often also think that their friends will find it unusual if they weren’t going to have a drink.”

This can be seen with Liv’s story in Emmerdale, with her relapse being the result of peer pressure from two teenagers who accused her of being “boring” for not drinking.

Liv woke up the next day in a terrible state, forgetting what had happened and if she had been attacked by someone.

The episode saw Liv being pestered by two young customers at The Hide, Hannah and George. 

They later explain that they are brother and sister. The pair kept bumping into Liv and tried to get her to have a drink, which she eventually did.

Although she tried to refuse, the pair told her not to be boring, and she was soon convinced.

George called: “Fancy a cocktail? Porn Star Martini, ready mixed?”

“You’ve got to try one this time,” Hannah added. “They taste amazing.”

Liv tried to decline, replying: “No thanks”, but was soon tempted. “Larger then?” Hannah asked, to which Liv responded: “I can’t.”

George commented: “Don’t be boring – this place is dead, we need something to liven it up with.”

“Give us a tour of the place,” Hannah suggested. “It will be more fun drunk than sober.”

“I’m supposed to be going home,” Liv protested as George answered: “Bit early for a curfew.”

“I’ve not got one,” the teenager said, and George continued to persuade her to stick around.

“You’re a big girl now you can do what you like,” he added. “So what’s stopping you?”

Liv looked worried before deciding: “Alright, one – one” as she opened a can.

The worrying peer pressure Liv faces, despite wanting to change, represents a reported trend in young people who are often persuaded to drink and fear being judged, even if they don’t necessarily feel like drinking.

For advice and support on alcohol addiction, visit https://alcoholchange.org.uk/.

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