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  • In today’s world where streaming content online is the norm, chances are you’ve come across a film or two that has a story involving drug or alcohol addiction. 

    Addiction movies, whether you’ve suffered from substance abuse yourself or know firsthand the troubles that come with addiction, allow you to more deeply understand this chronic disease. 

    Many of the films on this list tell a true story that are likely to touch the lives of anyone who’s ever had to deal with alcohol or drug abuse.

    Here are ten movies about addiction:

    1. Requiem For A Dream (2000)

    If you’re interested in a film that deals heavily with many types of drug addictions, as well as the sometimes horrifying consequences, Requiem for a Dream is an excellent choice. 

    Starring Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto, this movie shows multiple characters battling various substance use disorders, from prescription amphetamine to heroin. It also shows how substance abuse can lead to mental health problems.

    2. Beautiful Boy (2018)

    Addiction can touch a life at any age and Beautiful Boy is a perfect example. 

    Touching on overdose and addiction, the movie follows a man (Steve Carell) and his son (Timothy Chalamet) as they navigate their personal relationship. 

    The son is addicted to multiple substances including methamphetamine. Despite this, the son continues to seek addiction recovery. This film is based on two books written by the real-life father and son. 

    3. Gia (1989)

    Gia is based on the true story of Gia Carangi, known as the first supermodel. The movie follows Gia (Angeline Jolie) as she shoots up heroin and struggles with addiction. Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell) is Gia’s lover in the film. 

    Gia teaches an important real-life lesson about how far addiction can go and how the drug of choice can surpass the importance of a loved one in the eyes of the person with addiction.

    4. Flight (2012)

    Denzel Washington stars in Flight, a film about an airline pilot who is investigated following an airplane crash. 

    The investigation reveals that the pilot was mixing alcohol with cocaine. This film exposes the pilot’s lifelong concealment of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as the stigma that comes with addiction.

    5. A Star Is Born (2018)

    Throughout the Hollywood years, there have been numerous versions of A Star is Born. The story follows a man struggling with alcohol abuse

    The latest version, starring Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga, is told through the lens of a famous country singer. The film shows that alcohol abuse can have devastating consequences for anyone, even those who live an extravagant lifestyle.

    6. Trainspotting (1996)

    Trainspotting follows Renton (Ewan McGregor) as he navigates the world of drugs in the streets of Edinburgh. As he tries to become clean and sober, he finds that overcoming addiction is far more difficult that he realized.

    7. The Basketball Diaries (1995)

    The Basketball Diaries follows a high school basketball player (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he struggles with heroin addiction. As he spirals out of control, his dreams of playing professional basketball begin to unravel.

    The film is based on the book of the same name by Jim Carrol. The author recounts his real-life struggle with heroin addiction as a teenager.

    8. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

    Set in the 1970s, Drugstore Cowboy follows a group of friends as they take cocaine, morphine, amphetamines, and other drugs. A dark tale, this film sheds light on drug overdoses.

    9. Less Than Zero (1987)

    Less Than Zero follows a college freshman as he returns home from school. Once home, he discovers that his best friend is addicted to cocaine. This movie serves as a great example of how there are both obvious and subtle signs of addiction.

    10. Drunks (1995)

    In Drunks, a man attending a 12-step recovery meeting tells of his struggles with alcohol and drug use. 

    The interesting aspect of this film is that, in-between scenes of the man’s personal struggles with alcohol addiction, we see glimpses of the other group members’ experiences with alcohol and drugs. This interesting concept shows how addiction can affect any of us.

    If you or a loved one have substance abuse issues, our addiction treatment centers can help. Our treatment programs include detox support, inpatient/outpatient care, and more. To learn more, please connect with us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2021 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Internet Movie Database (IMDb) - Top 80 Alcohol/Drug Addiction Movies

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on August 25, 2022
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