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Top 10 Must-See Documentaries About Addiction

The power of documentaries comes from their ability to combine realism and storytelling in a way that reaches the viewer in a meaningful way. Maybe you know someone who has suffered from addiction or you’ve experienced addiction of some kind at some point in your life. 

No matter what happened in your past or what your current understanding of addiction is, watching a documentary on substance abuse can help you adopt a sense of empathy and understanding. A documentary on addiction may inspire you to seek treatment or help others who are struggling.

Drug Addiction Documentaries

There has been a wide range of documentaries made on the consequences of addiction and the challenging yet inspiring moments of recovery. The top documentaries on substance abuse and addiction include:

  1. Dr. Feelgood: Dr. Feelgood tells the story of Dr. William Hurwitz, a doctor in Northern Virginia who served almost five years in prison for overprescribing pain medications. At first, Hurwitz’s medical practice thrived since he prescribed ever-increasing doses of opioids to patients suffering from chronic pain. Besides showing Hurwitz’s inner conflict, the documentary gives the viewer a glimpse into the nation’s opioid crisis. 
  2. The Trade: The Trade is a film that follows Jorge, a 17-year-old boy in Mexico City, who goes on a mission to find his 13-year-old sister after she’s been kidnapped by sex traffickers. The film also explores families in Georgia struggling with heroin addiction and follows law enforcement officials in Ohio who are trying to stop the flow of narcotics. 
  3. The Anonymous People: The Anonymous People is a 2013 documentary that shows viewers a glimpse of the reality of substance abuse disorders in America. 
  4. A New High: This documentary explores the experiences of heroin addicts as they relate to recovery and triumph. 
  5. Montana Meth: Montana Meth follows the lives of several meth addicts living in small towns in Montana. 
  6. Russel Brand: From Addiction To Recovery: In this documentary, Russel Brand uses the death of his friend Amy Winehouse as inspiration to make a movie about addiction. Brand poses several questions about the topic of substance abuse and recovery. Brand himself was an addict and became sober at the age of 27.
  7. Heroin(e): This Academy Award-winning documentary shows three women who fight on the front lines of the heroin epidemic in Huntington, West Virginia. 
  8. Take Your Pills: This 2018 Netflix documentary outlines the truth of prescription stimulant abuse in America. The film is shot over two years and takes an encouraging look at how treatment programs can work together and make changes early enough in the lives of young people to make a difference. 
  9. Generation Found: Generation Found is a documentary about a Houston community that comes together to start a youth addiction recovery revolution. 
  10. Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict: Ben Rogers, the subject of the film, came from a privileged background and had a promising future ahead of him. But that didn’t stop him from becoming addicted to heroin. Ben keeps a video diary of his struggles with heroin and the film shows several scenes of the impact of his addiction on his family. 

Getting Help for Addiction

If you are ready to get a new lease on life and start the journey to a life free of addiction, Gateway is here to help. We provide life-saving addiction treatment, serving the Illinois area for over 50 years. Contact Gateway today to receive care if you or someone you love is struggling with excessive drug or alcohol consumption. 

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