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Top Inspirational Movies About Addiction

Top Inspirational Movies About Addiction

Top Inspirational Movies About Addiction

Substance abuse treatment is a long drawn out process. During this difficult and testing time, the person undergoes several physical and emotional challenges.  Here is a list of some inspirational movies about addiction that may help addicts to deal with their problems in a positive way.

It’s important to keep the motivation level up through this journey to recovery. These are some amazing inspirational movies about addiction that shed light on the issues of substance abuse and recovery, portraying them in a realistic manner.


The Basketball Diaries

Based on a true story, the Basketball Diaries follows the life of Jim Carroll. The movie deals with teenagers and addiction, explaining the overall impact of addictions on their victims. However, the movie has a positive ending as the protagonist fights his way back to drug-free life and regains his self-worth in the process. The Basketball Diaries is an inspirational movie for people who are going through de-addiction therapy and need feel-good movies to help them keep moving ahead.


Days of Wines and Roses

The film examines the impact of alcoholism on the life and relationships. The lead role is played by Jack Lemmon who starts a relationship with his secretary, played by Lee Remick. The relationship leads to Lee dabbling with occasional drinks.

As their relationship grows, both of them find themselves getting more and more addicted to alcohol. However, Lemmon finally addresses his issues with the help of therapy whereas his wife remains in denial. The film offers a positive message about the importance of de-addiction therapies.


28 Days

This movie deals with different types of substance abuse ranging from alcoholism to heroin addiction. The protagonist Gwen Cummings, played by Sandra Bullock, is in denial about her addiction to alcohol. She befriends a teenage drug addict in a rehab center.

Her new friendship and her interactions with other addicts in the recovery center make her to come to terms with her destructive habits. The movie focuses on the importance of recognizing the trigger factors faced by the addicts and the ways to deal with them.



One of the most iconic movies dealing with addiction, Trainspotting follows the lives of a group of friends. The film offers a hilarious take on addictions, while delivering a serious message. It shows the toll addictions take on people’s lives.


Clean and Sober

Many films follow the well-trodden road of depicting the addicts as malfunctioning derelicts. However, in real life, addicts come in all shapes and sizes. Many such addicts maintain a respectable façade in the society. Clean and Sober tells the story of one such high functioning addict, who manages to have a successful career while being addicted to alcohol and cocaine.

The protagonist enters a rehab facility but does not have any commitment towards a cleaner life. The movie underscores the importance of proper motivation. It shows that no outer action may help the addict in getting rid of their habit until or unless they have an intrinsic desire to lead a clean life.


Half Nelson

Half Nelson is another movie which deals with addiction and how it affects the value system of the person suffering from addiction. The film shows that the addictions may impact a person’s life in many covert ways as well.

Such impacts are not easily visible but they have far reaching consequences, which may remain lingering in the background. The movie highlights that the drug addiction recovery process should take care of both the obvious and more subtle effects of such dependence.


When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story

The film is based on the book of the same name and follows the lives of Bill Wilson and his wife Lois Burnham. Bill Wilson is addicted to alcohol and finally finds redemption with the help of his fellow alcoholic Dr. Bob Smith. The film also tells the story behind now iconic Alcoholics Anonymous. This uplifting movie underlines the fact that people can not only overcome their addictions but can go on to inspire and help others as well.


Requiem for a Dream

This cult classic film is as gruesome as it is inspiring. It is filled with drug-addled scenes which are not for the faint of heart. The film not only talks about substance abuse and its devastating impact on a person’s life but also discusses the mental illnesses which generally accompany such behavior.

Addressing such mental illnesses is essential if the person is looking to fix their addictive behavior on sustainable basis.


Movies Can Help With Recovery

All the above movies focus on different facets of addiction and substance abuse. These movies treat addiction with seriousness and honesty which is refreshing. If a loved one is going through recovery, introduce them to these movies to build up their confidence level.


P.S.  If you want to watch a TV show on this powerful topic, you cannot go wrong with watching the show Rescue Me!


Additional References:, New York Times, Film Comment, Rotten Tomatoes, Slant

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Northeast Addictions Treatment Center is a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center in Quincy, Massachusetts. Our team has been helping individuals with Drug or Alcohol Addiction live a life of Recovery since 2016.