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Five Must-See Documentaries For People Suffering From Addiction

This entry was posted in Addiction Recovery and tagged Drug Addiction, Media, Substance Abuse on March 27, 2019 by Justin Baksh, MS, LMHC, MCAP, Chief Clinical Officer.

Several documentaries have been made for people suffering from addiction. Documentaries combine the power of a story with the realism of life. They can be a potent examination and statement on any topic including addiction and recovery.

There have been a number of powerful documentaries made on the tragic consequences of addiction and the difficult yet inspiring moments of recovery.

Seeing them can help a person struggling with addiction to feel a connection with others who have been where he or she has been. They can inspire someone to seek treatment and make a better life for themselves. To some extent, it may also help them stay clean and sober and avoid relapse.

Though documentaries on the subject of addiction are many, some stand out among the crowd. These five are our favorites.

1) The Anonymous People

Over 20 million people in the United States struggle with substance abuse issues. The Anonymous People, a documentary from 2013, takes a broad look at the problem. It follows the lives of a number of people in recovery, from corporate executives to volunteer workers.

The purpose is to destigmatize the subject of addiction recovery. Throughout The Anonymous People, people in recovery become brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, moms and dads.

The goal is to change the public’s perception of addiction and treatment and, they hope, its response to the problem.

The Anonymous People

The movie is a powerful look at the impact of addiction, its personal nature, and how we can better respond to the crisis of substance abuse.

2) Generation Found

The people who brought you The Anonymous People also produced Generation Found.

It is a documentary about a group of people in Houston, Texas who collaborate to provide addiction recovery for youths in their area.

They wound up creating the world’s largest youth and family recovery community.

The group is a diverse mix of people from all kinds of backgrounds and walks of life. This includes counselors, rock musicians, law school dropouts, oil industry executives, church leaders and even retired football players.

Generation Found

The film took two years to shoot and focuses on how treatment centers, alternative peer groups and recovery programs can cooperate with each other and make a difference, especially if they can provoke change early.

It is an uplifting and inspiring tale about the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Nonetheless, it also depicts the effectiveness of our efforts if we work together and look for smarter solutions.

3) Russell Brand: From Addiction To Recovery

Amy Winehouse was a famous musician who, like so many musical performers before her, died due to drugs at the age of 27.

She was friends with Russel Brand, who used her tragic passing as inspiration to make a documentary about addiction but with a different ending. Russell Brand became clean and sober at the age of 27 after spending years of partying and drug abuse.

In the film, Russell Brand speaks to a wide variety of people on the topic of substance abuse and recovery. He talks to:

Russel Brand

It is an engaging film that explores the topic and asks difficult questions.

Is addiction really a disease?

Does it help or hurt to criminalize drug use?

Is abstinence-based recovery truly effective?

He challenges established theories and questions the efficacy of government policy when it comes to addiction and substance abuse.

4) Montana Meth

Methamphetamines cause a host of physical damages in people who take them, including:

  • tooth decay
  • skin lesions
  • paranoia
  • brain damage

They ultimately can lead to the death of those who take them.

Montana Meth looks at the lives of several people struggling with meth addictions in small towns in Montana. It also explores the damage meth is doing to Native American tribes in the area.


The people in the documentary range from a former straight A student and gifted athlete who has dropped out of high school after one year of using meth, to a young woman who traded sex for meth until she finally stopped using, to a member of the Chippewa Cree tribe who, at the age of 22, has been taking meth since he was 11.

5) Ben: Diary Of A Heroin Addict

This documentary features footage shot by a young man hooked on heroin as he records his final days in his struggle with heroin.

Ben Rogers, the subject of the film, came from a privileged, middle-class background. He was a bright student with a promising future ahead of him, but all that withered away when he started taking heroin.

He kept a video diary of his struggles as he tries and fails to get clean. His family is desperate to help him but heroin is a drug that constantly haunts him.

Ben: Diary Of A Heroin Addict

One particularly poignant scene shows Ben mixing his next dose of heroin while telling his mother on the phone that he is clean and making a new start.

These films are entertaining and well made. However, it also provides a serious message for those who struggle with addiction, those who have struggled with addiction, and for those who never have but could use a reminder of why it’s important to stay drug free.

Experts Are Still Needed

While these films and documentaries may help the person struggling with addiction curtail their vices, chances are, without proper guidance, encouragement and support from families, friends and experts, things may still fall apart.

Addiction is curable and we can help you or your loved one regain their life pre-addiction phase.

We have been able to help thousands of people. You or someone you know may be next on the list.

Check out some of our Success Stories.

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