10 Movies About Substance Abuse

10 Movies About Substance Abuse

The media is seemingly covered with alcoholism and addiction.

Just in case there is any doubt, here are ten movies about substance abuse.


Drug addiction can start early and no movie better depicts that than Thirteen. A young girl entering high school wants nothing more than to be like the most popular girl in school. After an act of robbery, they get involved and they get involved deep. Evan Rachel Wood’s character, Tracy soon begins to spiral out of control as she becomes involved with drugs, alcohol, sex and popularity.


Heath Ledger stars in a frighteningly truthful rendition of life addicted to heroin. The handsome poet falls in love with an art student who quickly gravitates to his addictive lifestyle. The only thing they love more than each other is the drug. Intense scenes of addiction, true battles of recovery and desperation are all viewed in this film about love and self-destruction.

The Hangover:

A comedy starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha. While it is laced with humor, The Hangover gives a very true example of how too much alcohol can lead to completely lost memories. Although the movie depicts everything as being funny, frightening things can happen to individuals involved with constant heavy drinking.

The Rum Diary:

Johnny Depp plays a hard-drinking journalist working on the islands of Puerto Rico. His alcoholism is quickly partnered by his equally alcoholic roommate. Scenes of hallucinations and intense over-drinking offer a look into a life in chains that is only worsened by his obsession with his boss’s wife.

The Basketball Diaries:

A young Leonardo DiCaprio plays a boy growing up in the dark streets of New York. He has a large future in the world of basketball that quickly falls as he takes a hard hit into the narrowing world of drug addiction. The stress of the game, a friend dying of cancer, teen sexual angst and an unhealthy appetite for heroin create a story that plunges into a life ruined by addiction.

28 Days:

Sandra Bullock stars as Gwen and gives a visual performance depicting the truth behind rehab. After ruining her sister’s wedding and wrecking the limo, Gwen is given the choice of jail or rehab. She chooses rehab, but refuses to admit she has a problem. After getting to know other individuals in the program, she begins to re-evaluate her life and accept the truth during her path to recovery.

Requiem for a Dream:

The most shocking visual portrayal about the truth behind addiction lies in Requiem for a Dream. The film follows four addicts and their failure in conquering the drugs that have them hooked. The film offers a look inside the reality behind the consumption of addiction. Viewers bear witness to the ugliest portions of the underworld that addicts reside in.


Two best friends with a depressing view on life start out on a road trip through California’s wine country. While one is taking one final trip before his wedding, the other is looking for a one-night-stand. The two of them search for something more while losing themselves in wine until everything is “sideways.”


Two lovers have a marriage bonded by their love for alcohol. When the wife decides to get sober, her relationship is put to the test. As the wife rebuilds her life, what if she cannot save her marriage as her drunken husband deteriorates? A true depiction of the choices that need to be made in order to recover from addiction, Smashed hands viewers that question of “what if?”

Leaving Las Vegas:

Nicholas Cage plays a raging alcoholic that has nothing left in the world, but to let the drink kill him. When he moves on to Las Vegas to complete his alcoholic suicide, he meets Sera, a prostitute who has some problems of her own. While their relationship is complicated, Sera is determined to save her new-found friend. A story of complicated life, love and the journey to save an addict who has given up.

If someone has found that their loved one has fallen into the traps of addiction, they should consider pursuing inpatient treatment. An addict can reach recovery with the proper care, even in a world laced with addiction-crazed media.

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Article by: 24Sober