Before I go any further it is important for me to note that after much thought I decided that, even though this can be a touchy subject, and is certainly a serious one, there should still be a list put together of these very memorable films. Each film in this list has made its mark with an extremely important message about substance abuse and addiction. Now I’m not going to get preachy, or even take any kind of stand in regards to drugs. It is enough to say that these films are the most realistic I have ever seen on the subject. They don’t in any way glorify the use of drugs, nor do they over dramatize the negative consequences. These movies simply tell their story as straight forward and dramatically as necessary. I avoided comedies that poked fun at drug use like Half Baked, or any of the Cheech & Chong titles. I also purposely did not include movies about being high for the sake of being high, like Naked Lunch, or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. There are also movies like Reefer Madness that were propaganda films when released and now are just watched for their comedic value, and have no place here. So read on and take a look at these films. Many combine a touch of humor with very realistic drama, making for an entertaining watch.

#7 – Trainspotting (1996)

Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: John Hodge
Based on a Novel By: Irvine Welsh
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller

Trainspotting is actually a comedy about the Edinburgh heroine scene. Even though it’s very funny, it tells the pains associated with the drug quite well. There are several little stories, but the main plot follows Renton, who spends most of the film unsuccessfully trying to clean himself up and get out of the scene, despite the pull of the drugs and his friends influence. This is a really enjoyable film despite its dark subject matter.

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  • Bella

    What about Christiane F.? That is kind of an essential film in the drug addiction area I think. Though it’s not an american film but german, it’s a really strong film about the battle with drugs and prostitution. I really think that it’s missing from this list, but that’s just my oppinion :)

  • TD

    While I agree with this list (there are some very good movies here) I feel you’ve missed the mark by not including the Frank Sinatra film “The Man with the Golden Arm” (1955), “Candy” (with Heath Ledger and Abby Cornish), and “Where the Day Takes You” featuring a great performance by Sean Astin, who plays a Hollywood teenager addicted to heroin.