What You See In The Movies vs Real Drug Addiction

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Movies are a reflection of the society in which we live in such as the issues that people deal with all the time. Drug addiction is one thing that can be depicted in movies, but it is a skewed view of the situation. There is a big difference between a movie depiction of an oxycodone or alcohol addiction and what an addiction to these types of substances look like in real life.

Movies show this person and they give a shortened, microcosm of their spiral down into the black hole of drug addiction. It shows them hitting a rock bottom of them living on the street. Then it can show them getting help and their life going back to the way that it used to be, if not even better. It shows them getting healthy and getting their life and their family back by way of sheer willpower. That is very different from the way that it usually goes in real life.


How Addiction Usually Looks

In reality, as a person becomes addicted to a substance like oxycodone or alcohol, their life slowly declines until they reach a point of rock bottom. The movies don’t show the trauma that they cause to the people who love them, like their spouse or their children. It doesn’t show the destruction of these relationships. It doesn’t show how these people destroy their lives to the point of losing a career and being forced to move out of a house that went into foreclosure. If ever these things are explored in cinema, these effects are usually easily reversed or the people lost are more-or-less replaced.


The Worst Side of Addiction

Movies just do not give an accurate portrayal of what addiction really looks like. There are times that the relationships that were destroyed are never repaired and those people never speak again. In some cases that occur far too regularly, some addicts are killed because of the lifestyle that they were leading and the things that they did to their bodies.

If you or a loved one is dealing with a substance addiction, send us a message or call us at (866) 971-5531 to learn more about our South Florida rehab center.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director 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.