5 Fascinating Documentaries About Addiction and Recovery

The holiday season is upon us, and those of us who are lucky enough to have a break from work during the weeks ahead might be searching for some entertainment options. If it seems like you’ve exhausted your Netflix watchlist in COVID-19 quarantine, why not try one of these riveting documentaries about addiction and recovery?

1. Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery

Russell Brand, who played over-the-top rock star Aldous Snow in the comedies Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, made this film to tell the real-life story of his self-destructive path through heroin addiction and how he finally chose sobriety. The documentary touches on Brand’s friendship with singer Amy Winehouse, who died of a drug overdose at age 27. For this movie, he also interviewed leading addiction researchers to provide a more thorough understanding of the disease.

2. Heroin(e)

This Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary follows three women who live and work in Huntington, West Virginia, also known as the epicenter of America’s opioid epidemic. This city with a population of nearly 45,000 residents struggles with above-average rates of heroin use, overdose deaths and drug-dependent newborns. Heroin(e) bravely depicts the daily realities of life in this community and the impact of addiction. It leaves viewers with the hopeful message that compassionate people can make a difference.

3. A New High

Many films about addiction perpetuate the misconception that users must reach a “rock-bottom” point before finally seeking help, so a documentary focusing on everyday people working on their sobriety is an uplifting change of pace. The recovery experience is the central motif of this 2015 movie. Filmmakers followed a group of men and women in Seattle who trained to climb Mt. Rainier under the guidance of former Army Ranger Mike Johnson.

4. Dr. Feelgood

This documentary tells the story of Dr. William Hurwitz, a physician in Northern Virginia who served a nearly five-year prison sentence for overprescribing pain medications. Hurwitz’s medical office initially thrived because he gained a reputation for providing opioids to his patients, despite the drugs’ high potential for addiction. The criminal investigation of his practice revealed that he prescribed more than 80,000 prescription pain pills to one patient in under two years. Besides showing Hurwitz’s inner turmoil, this movie provides insight into the nation’s opioid crisis.

5. Take Your Pills

This 2018 film is a must-watch for anyone who relies on prescription ADHD drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. People often assume these medications can’t be dangerous because they are so common in America, especially among young adults. However, this documentary shines a light on their potential for misuse – particularly the ongoing “study drug” crisis on campuses nationwide.

Sober Living in a Supportive Recovery Environment

Regardless of your current understanding of addiction, learning more about the realities of substance abuse can help you become more empathetic to the struggles everyday people deal with in trying to form new, healthier habits. These documentaries about addiction and recovery may rekindle your dedication to your sobriety or inspire you to encourage others to seek help.

If you’re looking to reinforce what you learned in inpatient rehab, Segue Recovery Support is here for you. Our high-accountability sober living facility offers a safe environment for people in early recovery to transition from the structure of a treatment center to the “real world.” Contact us when you’re ready to learn more.