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Eight Inspiring Addiction Recovery Movies

Addiction Recovery Movies

Movies are entertaining, but they are much more. They can cause you to reflect on your life, make you laugh or bring you to tears when you least expect it, or lift you up when you need inspiration. If you are on the path of long-term sobriety, watching movies about addiction and recovery can help keep you inspired.

Below are eight movies about drug and alcohol addiction, relapse, and recovery for you to enjoy. 

  • 28 Days (2000)

For many people, admitting they have a drug or alcohol addiction is one of the hardest steps to take. In 28 Days, Sandra Bullock plays Gwen, a New York journalist in denial of her alcohol addiction. After getting into a car crash while intoxicated, Gwen is court-ordered to attend a one-month addiction treatment program. The film follows her journey as she denies her addiction, then accepts and confronts it. She comes to understand the consequences of her actions and to take her recovery seriously.

  • The Anonymous People (2013)

This feature documentary film is about 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from substance use disorders. The film provides an honest look at living in recovery and the challenges people face. It also celebrates the resilience and strength of people who have long-term sobriety.

  • Clean and Sober (1988)

Starring Michael Keaton, this movie tells the story of Daryl, a successful real estate agent struggling with cocaine addiction. His addiction causes him to embezzle almost $100,000. He loses the money on the stock market. Already in legal trouble, Daryl wakes up next to a dead woman who overdosed on cocaine. He decides to hide from the police at a drug treatment center where they will keep his anonymity. While there, he takes the help offered and recovers from his cocaine addiction.

  • A Star is Born (2018)

This romantic drama tells the story of Ally, a struggling artist played by Lady Gaga, and Jackson Maine, a seasoned country musician played by Bradley Cooper. As Ally’s career takes off, Jackson gradually succumbs to addiction. With the help of Ally and other loved ones, Jackson travels the road to recovery, often going through difficult times as he heals from his addiction.

  • Ray (2004)

A biographical musical drama (biopic) starring Jamie Fox, Ray tells the story of 30 years in the life of legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. As a child, Ray witnessed his brother drown. By the age of seven, he was completely blind. The film shows the struggles Ray faced throughout his career and with heroin addiction. His last arrest for drug possession resulted in a court-ordered inpatient addiction treatment center, where he successfully overcame his heroin addiction and achieved long-lasting sobriety.

  • Beautiful Boy (2018)

This film is based on the memoir of a father and son, David & Nic Sheff. The powerful drama follows the lives of the Sheff family from Nic’s teens into his 20s. Nic began drinking and smoking marijuana in middle school and using drugs, such as crystal meth, daily by the end of high school. According to a 2018 Today interview, once he tried crystal meth, his life changed. Nic spent the next ten years addicted to meth. The movie shows Nic’s struggles with active addiction, numerous relapses, and recovery. It shows how his drug addiction affected his parents, stepmother, and siblings. 

  • Half Nelson (2006)

Starring Ryan Gosling, this movie tells the story of Dan Dunne, an inner-city history teacher with a cocaine addiction. While in the classroom, Dunne has an amazing connection with his students. But his private life is in shambles as he struggles with addiction. Eventually, the facade of a functioning addict slips away, and Dunne must face the consequences of his addiction.

  • When A Man Loves A Woman (1994)

This romantic drama is about the struggles of addiction and recovery. Alice (Meg Ryan) and Michael (Andy Garcia) are deeply in love and seem like the perfect couple. Their problem is Alice’s struggle with alcohol. The film shows Alice’s alcohol abuse as it develops into an addiction. You see how hard the couple works to rebuild their life together and the difficulties Alice has as she struggles to keep sober. They fight together for their love and her lasting sobriety as she goes through recovery. 

You are Not Alone

Struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction makes you feel alone. If you or a loved one needs help with addiction, Canyon Vista Recovery Center is here for you. Located in Mesa, Arizona, our caring and professional staff will help you regain control of your life using a combination of psychiatric care, evidence-based addiction treatments, and holistic therapies. Take the first step on the path to recovery. Contact Canyon Vista Recovery today.

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