The Top 5 Must-See Movies About Addiction

 In Addiction, Pop Culture

When it comes to addiction and substance abuse, it should be a top priority for movies to portray accurate representations of addiction and the stories related to it. Movies and television shows have the opportunity to tell stories to large audiences and it’s important that these stories are real and authentic. Many individuals struggle with drugs and alcohol and it’s crucial that these stories be told in genuine ways.

The movies listed will make you laugh, some will even make you cry, but most importantly, they will all make you think. A conscious warning should be made that some depictions in these movies are extremely graphic and could serve as triggers for potential relapse. It is essential that you seek guidance or support while watching these films, or even avoid watching some based on their descriptions.

1. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

According to a synopsis from IMDb, Requiem for a Dream exposes four paralleled individuals and their menacing addiction to heroin, cocaine, and diet pills (speed). Taking place in Brooklyn amidst the waning Coney Island, the drugs are very easily obtained and keep each main character in its cycle of dependence. The protagonist Harry Goldfarb is a typical heroin junky with an ambitious plan of “Getting off hard knocks,” with the support of his cocaine crazed girlfriend Marion and his longtime friend Tyrone. Meanwhile, his widowed mother is obsessed with the glamor of television and eventually finds her way to a dietitian who pushes her into the cycle of drug-induced enslavement.

Find out more here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180093/

2. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

In 1971 Portland, Bob, his girlfriend Dianne, and his friends Rick and his girlfriend Nadine are smalltime thieves of drugstores and hospitals. They spend their lives drugged and Bob is chased by the abusive police detective Gentry (James Remar). They decide to move to another city and soon Nadine has an OD, affecting Bob that decides to return to Portland and be clean. However, he is haunted by his dark past.

Find out more here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097240/

3. The Basketball Diaries (1995)

Jim Carroll (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a high school basketball player. His life centers around the game of basketball and his dream of being a basketball star. From time to time, he gets stoned with his friends, and eventually, he falls into the dark world of crime and drugs. Once his mother expelled him out of the house, he goes into the streets of New York, and together with his friends, they take drugs for which they steal, rob and even kill. As time passes, Jim’s situation becomes worse and it looks like he will never get out of his drug addiction.

Find out more here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112461/

4. Flight (2012)

Alcoholic pilot Whip Whittaker (Denzel Washington) does a miraculous job crash-landing a plane that has suffered a severe mechanical breakdown in midair. However, the mandated investigation into the incident will inevitably lead to the discovery that he was flying the plane while drunk and on cocaine. As he attempts to sober up, Whip befriends a fellow addict he meets during his post-accident stay in the hospital. Soon he fails in his attempts to white-knuckle himself to sobriety, and with the help of his favorite drug-dealer (John Goodman) and his lawyer (Don Cheadle), Whip must prepare to testify about what happened on that fateful flight.

Find out more here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1907668/

5. Beautiful Boy (2018)

Drawing from the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years. With performances from Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, the film depicts a raw and emotional battle of serious drug addiction and how it strains the relationship between a father and son.

Find out more here: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1226837/

Again, please note that these films are about addiction and substance abuse and are not meant to glorify addiction and the issues related to it in any way. These films should serve as a reminder for how difficult and consuming addiction can be as well as remind individuals in recovery where they once were, others are now. If you are currently facing the battle of addiction or know anyone in need of support for substance abuse, contact AmHealth Behavioral today.

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