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Movies Dealing with Recovery and Addiction


Movies can make picturesque and idyllic moments out of anything. This can sometimes be nice to get you out of the everyday world and into a trance or a fantasy for just an hour or two. But movies also portray unrealistic situations, making a mockery of a situation or lessening its importance. This can be especially tricky when it comes to movies dealing with recovery and addiction. However, certain movies stand out and can actually correctly portray those with addictions or those in recovery.


Here are a few examples if you are looking for something to watch:


Ben is Back
Ben is Back stars Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedge as a mother and her drug-addicted son. Ben returns home on Christmas after being sober for a few months, but his mom is wary about whether or not he is truly sober. But old ways catch up to Ben and that causes a lot of problems for him and his family. This movie shows how addiction can reappear at any moment and not only does it affect the addict, but that it also affects those around them.


A Star is Born
In A Star is Born (the newest adaptation) Bradley Cooper stars as a successful, yet personally struggling musician who discovers and falls in love with another talented singer played by Lady Gaga. Cooper’s character struggles with alcoholism and portrays how the disease causes problems in his career and his relationships. This movie goes to show you that addiction can affect anyone regardless of status, and even then, it’s not so easy to overcome.


28 Days
Maybe one of the most straightforward movies about drug and alcohol rehabilitation is 28 Days starring Sandra Bullock. In this movie, when Bullock’s character crashes her sister’s limo at her wedding, she is forced to enter rehab rather than going to jail. The movie shows that people around you can also inhibit your recovery. In this movie Bullock’s boyfriend and the early death of her alcoholic mother, contribute to the way she is.


Trainspotting is probably one of the most graphic and honest movies about dealing with serious drug addiction. This movie takes place in Edinburgh, following the lives of a group of friends with bad heroin addictions. Starring Ewan McGregor (among others), this movie shows how the addiction not only ruins their lives but their relationships with those around them.


Traffic is a movie about the war on drugs in America and a conservative judge’s view on them. This movie goes to show you how big the world of drugs is and how intense it can be. It’s a risky game, sometimes ending in death.

Blog about TV show Shameless


Countless other movies deal with drugs and alcohol addiction. Some are more realistic than others, but regardless a movie is never a form of treatment. No matter how realistic, or even helpful, a film may seem, it is important to know that a film will always be fiction. That these movies do not replace rehabs, programs, or in-person support.