9 Best Drug Addiction Movies That You Need Watching Update 06/2024

Best Drug Addiction Movies

It can be difficult to watch movies depicting drug and alcohol abuse and recovery. It can be upsetting to some people. A vivid reminder of how addiction affects all aspects of life is provided by these stories.

Drug and substance abuse addiction recovery is an ongoing process that we must monitor daily to maintain our sobriety and avoid slipping back into old habits.

Seeing movies on addiction and recovery can serve as a vivid reminder of where we’ve been and how we never want to return again.

If you’re looking for movies on addiction and substance abuse, check out this list.

The following are nine films on drug or alcohol addiction:

1. Barfly (1987)

Barfly (1987)

Charles Bukowski’s semi-autobiography, Barfly, is the subject of this book. A figure called Henry Chinaski, Mickey Rourke’s alter-ego, is shown in the film. Bukowski penned the script for the play.

A shabby flat and low-paying employment are Henry’s life in the film. To express his feelings, he relies on poetry as a form of self-expression. Henry was known as a “Barfly” because he frequently got into trouble at neighborhood bars.

2. Affliction (1997)

It is based on Russell Banks’ novel Affliction, which was made into a film. Wade Whitehouse, a police officer in New Hampshire, is the film’s central figure.

Wade is played by Nick Nolte, a guy who is isolated from his abusive and alcoholic father and ex-wife and becomes obsessed with the idea of uncovering a crime involving a deadly hunting accident in the movie.

3. Betty (1992)

Betty (1992)

Marie Trintignant portrays Betty, a young married alcoholic mother of two. When she cheats on her bourgeois husband, he discovers it.

Rich family evict Betty and take her children away from her in a heartbeat. Stephane Audran, who portrays Laure, takes in Betty and has a business partner who owns the restaurant where they met.

She later tries to seize control of the relationship and is kicked out for the second time.

4. Crazy Heart (2009)

Crazy Heart is a cinematic adaptation of Thomas Cobb’s novel of the same name. Bad Boy Otis Blake, 57, stars in the film, which recounts his life on the road as an alcoholic singer-songwriter.

Blake, played by Jeff Bridges, has been divorced four or five times and hasn’t spoken to his son in 24 years. In the course of meeting Jean, he begins to put together the pieces of his life once more.

Unfortunately, he relapses into alcoholism and is hospitalized after a drunk driving accident. In the end, Blake had to go through a rehab program in order to eventually get clean.

5. Clean and Sober (1988)

Clean and Sober (1988)

Daryl Poynter (Michael Keaton) is a successful real estate salesperson who suffers from substance misuse in the film Clean and Sober.

Poynter is a cocaine addict who loses a significant amount of his company’s money as a result of his habit. When he wakes up next to a woman who has suffered a heart attack, he finds himself in a precarious position. Poynter checks into a rehabilitation center as he tries to flee the situation.

It becomes clear to Poynter throughout his time in the treatment center that his life is in chaos and that he is an addict. As a result of falling for Charlie, Poynter nearly succumbed to a relapse.

6. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

“Drugstore Cowboy” is based on James Fogle’s novel about a former drug user and dealer, “Drugstore Cowboy.”

Matt Dillon plays Bob Hughes, the film’s central character. For the sake of their drug habit, Hughes and his crew break into pharmacies as they travel across the Pacific Northwest.

While the film focuses on a gang of young addicts, it also touches on crime, overdose, and the complicated lives they lead.

Hughes resolves to become clean after witnessing the overdose death of a buddy. He can’t avoid his drug ties, though, so things get complicated.

7. Everything Must Go (2010)

Everything Must Go (2010)

Nick Halsey, played by Will Ferrell, is fired from his job after 16 years because of alcohol-related occurrences. Then his wife decides to leave him, his company car is repossessed, and his credit cards no longer work.. Then, with the help of his AA sponsor, Nick is able to sell his possessions in a yard sale and make some cash.

Because of his financial predicament, Nick is forced to abstain from alcoholic beverages, which has resulted in severe withdrawal symptoms. The film follows Nick as he deals with divorce, relationships, and finding a place to live because of his alcohol abuse.

8. Trainspotting (1996)

Trainspotting is a film adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name. The story revolves around a group of heroin users in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Poverty, addiction, companionship, and relapse are all major elements in the film. Thematically, it’s a drama.

At 26, Mark Renton still lives with his parents, and he is the film’s protagonist. The story follows a group of heroin users as Renton tries to overcome his addictions.

9. When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)

When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)

As Alice Green, Meg Ryan plays Alice Green, a school counselor with an alcoholism disease in the film When a Man Loves a Woman When Green is intoxicated, she is careless with her two young children.

In the film, Alice’s husband Michael (Andy Garcia) is an airline pilot who helps her face the truth about her drinking problem and she joins a recovery center.

When her spouse is unable to cope with Alice’s newfound independence, the plot takes an unexpected turn. Because of his codependency, they come to discover that he didn’t pay attention to what was going on.

Final Thoughts on Movies About Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

Some individuals find it difficult to see movies on drug and alcohol abuse because they are so heartbreaking.

This may be due to the fact that they are based on novels written by people who have first-hand experience dealing with the issues at hand.

The following list of films on addiction is by no means complete, but it does include some worthwhile choices for your next movie night.


If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction or substance abuse, these movies may inspire some people to seek assistance.