Top 5 Movies About Drug Addiction [Infographic]

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Top 5 Movies About Drug Addiction [Infographic]


Movies about drug addiction aren’t always completely factual. However, they can be one way to learn more about how addiction impacts addicts as well as their loved ones. Watching movies about drug addiction, like these top 5 picks, is a gateway to understanding more about the world of addiction.

Trainspotting: No-Holds-Barred View of Heroin Addiction

In Trainspotting, Ewan McGregor plays the main character, a man who struggles with an addiction to heroin. This movie doesn’t gloss over the downsides of a heroin addiction. Instead, it focuses on the horrible realities that addiction can cause. Viewers who watch Trainspotting will see the gritty details of heroin addiction as well as some of the dangers of going through withdrawal without medical assistance.

Requiem for a Dream: How Drug Addiction Impacts All Types of People

The ensemble cast of Requiem for a Dream all struggle with different types of addiction. One woman develops an addiction to amphetamines in order to boost appearance, while others are addicted to heroin. Each character makes devastating choices in order to secure more drugs and continue his or her addiction.

Midnight Cowboy: Pulling Back the Curtain on Addiction

In 1969, when Midnight Cowboy was released, average Americans didn’t know what a heroin addiction was or who it impacted. In this film starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, the audience sees how ordinary individuals can succumb to the allure and addictive nature of drugs like heroin.

Traffic: Drug Addiction From All Angles

Many movies dealing with substance abuse only relay the perspective of the user or their family members. In Traffic, it’s possible to see how many groups react and respond to drug trafficking. The movie deals with officers of the Drug Enforcement Agency, drug users and drug traffickers in the United States as well as in Mexico.

The Wolf of Wall Street: Drug Addiction Can Cause People to Lose Everything

Leonardo DiCaprio has the starring role in the Wolf of Wall Street, a film following the career and success of a man in the financial industry. While there are some funny bits to the movie, and the emphasis is on the economy, drug addiction is a driver of the storyline. The main character might be at the top of his career while using drugs, but eventually, it catches up to him.

Real Life vs Movies About Drug Addiction

Watching movies can provide insight into the world of drug addiction, but it can’t provide answers. For help, resources, and treatment, call (866) 319-6126 to learn more about 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.