page title icon Here are some great films about drug and alcohol abuse | Drug & Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center

Drug and alcohol addiction is a complicated mental health problem. Research has shown that addiction to drugs or alcohol changes the structure of an addict’s brain, leading to drastic personality and behavioral changes. When someone takes drugs or drinks for some time, they become used to how it feels when those substances are taken; this includes things like euphoria and disruption of emotions as well as withdrawal symptoms if they try stopping the substance which leads them back into taking more.

Many film directors were interested in this topic. This is because drug and alcohol addiction has been a popular subject matter for many famous directors including Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, and David Fincher. These three directors have all created films that deal with the consequences of drug abuse on society in some way or another.

Drug and alcohol addiction is a daunting and often misunderstood illness. It affects people from all walks of life, but it’s the most difficult to escape for those who are in positions of power. This blog post will be discussing films about drug and alcohol addiction that portray these individuals struggling with their addictions against the backdrop of society’s expectations. 

The first film we’ll be talking about is “A Beautiful Mind.” 

It is a drama-drama film based on the life of John Nash, a mathematician who made groundbreaking contributions to game theory.

John Nash Jr. was born in 1928 and was the son of a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, one of the first major institutions to offer degrees in engineering. He went on to study mathematics at Princeton University where he graduated with honors and also received his doctorate. After studying for a year abroad, he became a research mathematician but then suffered from paranoid schizophrenia which forced him into psychiatric hospitals for many years until finally recovering with help from an antipsychotic medication that had just been approved by the FDA.

He struggled with schizophrenia and had a difficult time getting treatment for his illness because of its stigma. His wife, Alicia Larde, worked tirelessly to help him receive the care he needed while also raising their children on her own. Finally, they were able to find a doctor that helped John through experimental treatments which eventually allowed them both to live happy lives together.

It also features one character, Alicia Nash (played by Jennifer Connelly), his eventual wife and scientific collaborator. Nevertheless, the film is as much about their illnesses with bipolar disorder and alcoholism respectively. Moreover, this film won four Academy Awards in 2002 including Best Picture in 2001 which is understandable because it was up against an all-star lineup of very successful films that year like Moulin Rouge!

This is an excellent story that everyone should see at some point in their lives. If you are struggling with any kind of mental illness, I highly recommend this movie because it shows how our minds can be so powerful yet fragile all at once.

“The Lost Weekend”

The Lost Weekend is a 1947 biographical film about an alcoholic trying to stop. The Foggs are a typical family of the 1940s, and we follow them just before Thanksgiving Day through their ups and downs, leftovers, shopping for Christmas gifts all from the point of view of Don Birnam (Ray Milland), who is just waking up after what he thinks will be his last drinking binge.

He always wants more than he can have for him to feel satisfied, but after only one day without alcohol, he becomes sick and starts feeling better about himself. Alcoholism affects everyone differently, but this film captures the feeling well enough that people would be able to relate on some level. It also shows how alcoholism can affect relationships outside of just the person suffering from it as well as their friends and family members.

The movie doesn’t have a happy ending but it’s worth watching for its insight on alcoholism and how it can destroy lives if left unchecked.


Heartbreakingly honest, Smashed is the true story of Jenna, a young alcoholic who loses everything. Jenna’s been drinking since she was twelve and now, at twenty-eight, her life is almost over. She has destroyed her marriage; gotten fired from every job she ever held – including ones where she excelled; alienated herself from friends and family; isolated herself at home with a son to take care of and no money coming in. There are two major roads ahead of her: death down one path, sobriety down the other. 

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“Clean and Sober”

“Clean and Sober” is an autobiographical nonfiction film detailing the 1982 drug rehabilitation of comedian and actor Philip Michael Thomas.

The clean-and-sober true story behind “Clean and Sober” tracks a former addict who must soberly endure his last two weeks of treatment, teaching speech, suffering through group therapy sessions, and confronting his family to retake control of his life. 

His alcoholic mother (Dorothy Green) bounces from hospital to psychiatric ward as she looks for any way possible, including electroshock therapy, to make her stop drinking; she eventually gave up trying on her own altogether.

The film was directed by Glenn Gordon Caron and released in the United States on April 4, 1988. It starred Michael Keaton as Bob Kellerman, a renowned alcoholic journalist with a knack for alcohol-fueled journalism who takes one final assignment just as he starts going through withdrawal. The film also stars Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (who would later earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role) and Forest Whitaker. The cast was rounded out with veteran actors Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, and John Heard as well as musicians Dick Smith (Fleetwood Mac), Lenny Pickett (Drifters), Eric Clapton, and Carole King.

“Light Sleeper”

“Light Sleeper” is about a man named George who has, perhaps as some would say ironically, slept his life away. He’s married to a woman named Margaret, but she’s unsympathetic and he copes with her coldness by stealing moments of sex from other women he encounters in the city. His inability to stay awake when his alarm goes off causes him to miss all sorts of opportunities for intimacy and success in both business and relationships until he meets Helen, an artist who sets him on the right path. Eventually, though, their relationship begins to get too serious for George because of how lighthearted it is and so they end up breaking up.

Lead Actor: Peter Weller, Jennifer Beals, Carolyn Doyle — Supporting Actress: Meg Tilly, Lisa Blount, Joan Chen 

Director – Paul Schrader 

Setting – New York City. 

Release Date- October 12th, 1992 (United States) Light Sleeper is a 1992 American dark comedy/drama film directed by Paul Schrader about alcoholics in contemporary New York. It was written by Tom Laughlin and starring Peter Weller as Harry Kellerman.[3] The movie has an R rating. In the United States, it grossed $938,410 domestically.

“Hour of Glory”

Hour of Glory is a 2017 American documentary film directed by Jason Lapeze and Kevin McKinney. It premiered on PBS on November 20, 2017.

The first competition at the 1908 Olympics was held in May. Shortly before, Adolf Hitler had consolidated power as chancellor of Germany following his failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. With racial persecution increasing and money tight, he sought to use sports as a vehicle for personal success to help cement his image with German citizens building up nationalism through the world stage competition coming up soon.

The cast of “Hour of Glory” consists of Jared Harris, Matt Lucas, and Luke Treadaway. It was directed by Ashley Pearce and written by Paul Sullivan.

If you are looking for an amazing show, then “Hour of Glory” is a perfect choice.

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