Everyone loves a good movie, especially when it stars some of your favorite actors and actresses. The best movies really come down to good acting, a good plot, and an ability for both to connect to the audience. Documentaries on addiction, about real people afflicted with substance abuse issues requires no acting and an inside look. There have been many movies made over the decades about all kinds of things, including substance abuse, addiction, and even recovery. With the media’s constant portrayal of substance abuse as a norm, watching movies such as these that show the truth are good for showing the true destruction. The following movies give a look at addiction, recovery, and the destruction of addiction. They can help you feel what the addict feels, what their family feels, and even leaves you hoping for the addicts recovery. They can be a way to understand what your own family and friends felt or are feeling, or what your recovering family member felt and feels going through recovery. These are just a few movies, there are of course many more. Here are Recovery Ways’ Top 10 Documentaries on Addiction: *Please note that some of these may be graphic in nature and show violence, paraphernalia, and individuals using drugs.
National Geographic created this documentary style series about illicit drugs being used and asks important questions while talking to traffickers, users, dealers, and many other people involved. It is an informative show about this billion dollar global industry and all its destruction.
Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery
Russell Brand is a fairly well known actor who was on the fast road to death because of all his partying and drug abuse. This documentary goes into his life, his addiction, and his recovery. He also makes a point to talk about the misunderstanding of addiction by users, non-users, and government. He talks to scientists and helps another addict take the first step in recovery.
Black Tar Heroin: The End of the Street
This is a movie filmed in San Francisco, California describing the lives of heroin addicts. It talks about some of the drug-related crimes and diseases these individuals faced over the course of three years.
Kids on Ice
This documentary follows the growing population of young people addicted to methamphetamine in Australia. It explores the limited resources of law enforcement and recovery treatment centers and the alarming rate of its spreading. It also touches on how damaging this drug is to the people who find themselves in its grasp.
This is a documentary about the psychological and physical damage done by methamphetamine. It follows several addicts and recovering addicts whose lives have been damaged by this drug. It also touches on the damage it is taking on the Native American tribes in the area.
This documentary talks to teens who have had near-death experiences because of drug abuse. The teens who share their stories are ones who don’t typically fit the substance abuser stereotypes. It talks about the peer pressure that is applicable to all teens. They tell their stories of comas, loss of control, and overdoses and how they fell into addiction.
Dope Sick Love
This documentary has no interviews or narration but follows a couple in New York City addicted to heroin. It shows them getting the heroin, shooting up, stealing heroin from other addicts, and all the horrifying moments. It shows how an entire life can revolve around getting the next high no matter what the cost. One of many documentaries on addiction, this one is extremely graphic and authentic.
Marijuana: A Second Class Addiction
This documentary follows a marijuana addict trying to maintain his sobriety in a society that largely views marijuana as a something that is non-addictive and should be legalized. It does not try to enforce the legalization or non-legalization but rather looks at the different viewpoints.
Oxycontin: Time Bomb
This documentary looks at the troubling addition rates revolving around this prescription drug. It also tries to find a solution to a problem that doesn’t seem to be anywhere near coming to an end. While it has helped some people manage their pain there are still many people who fell victim to addiction. It has become so popular because of the endorsement from doctors. Getting the epidemic to slow or even stop, it needs to be done from the inside. Doctors need to stand up for their patients.
Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict
This documentary is about a man named Ben who grew up in a loving environment, middle-class family, was a Boy Scout, and played in the school orchestra. Even with this set up for success he became addicted to heroin. He kept a video diary of his last months. It shows troubling moments, including phone conversations where he lies about being sober but while making his next fix. He wanted to show the true nature of addiction and how it took over his whole life.
These are just some of the documentaries on addiction showing the true devastation of substance abuse. Many movies glorify the use and abuse of drugs instead of showing the truth. If you feel like there are other documentaries on addiction that should be added to the list please let us know which ones and why you believe it should be added to the list in the comments. It may be one that helps someone else come to a realization about their own addiction and reach out for recovery. It is never too late to ask for help and get the treatment you need.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or a loved one is ready to live a life free from addiction, Recovery Ways can help. We are a premier drug rehab in Utah specializing in treating both addiction and mental health. Our program is state licensed and also received the JCAHO Gold Seal of Approval. If you’re ready to talk please call 1-888-986-7848 or contact us here.