Top 5 Movies on Addiction and Recovery

Oscar Awards

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With the 2016 Oscar Awards coming up this weekend, cinema fever has gripped Southern California. Many have gone out to watch the Oscar nominated films before the big night, while others decide to watch older movies from the comfort of their homes. In the spirit of the Oscars, we’ve decided to pick a handful of the best movies about addiction and recovery so that you can get into the Oscars vibe this weekend before watching the Academy Awards® ceremony.

1. My Name is Bill W (1989)

Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting

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This film focuses on Bill Wilson, a successful businessman and one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Wilson, played by James Woods, becomes an alcoholic throughout the course of the movie. The film shows his attempt to attain a sober life and his decision to found AA alongside Dr. Bob, played by James Garner. Though both struggle with alcoholism, they work together to create a powerful self-help organization.

2. 28 Days (2000)

Sandra Bullock

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Sandra Bullock stars as Gwen Cummings, a woman who is forced into rehab after having crashed a car while drunk from her sister’s wedding. Gwen rejects any type of help, even refusing to admit that she suffers from alcoholism. She treats her rehab as a joke and refuses to participate, seeing it as a threat. However, she interacts with many fellow clients and soon begins to find similarities between their lives and her own. Eventually, Gwen is able to acknowledge her alcohol addiction and begin to come to terms with the problems that came as a result of her addiction.

3. Clean and Sober (1988)

Morgan Freeman

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Clean and Sober features Michael Keaton as Daryl Poynter, a cocaine addict who faces a serious problem when he wakes up to find an overdosed girl lying next to him. To escape from law enforcement, Poynter heads to a rehabilitation center solely to exploit their anonymity guarantee. Yet during his time there he is influenced by counselor Craig, played by Morgan Freeman, who helps Daryl realize that he does truly suffer from drug addiction. With the help of Craig and his love interest, fellow patient Charlie, Daryl is able to acknowledge his substance abuse problem and begin a life of sobriety.

4. Basketball Diaries (1995)

Basketball Diaries

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This movie depicts the fall of Jim Carroll, a teenager who goes from basketball star to homeless heroin addict. Starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio, the film portrays Carroll’s worsening addiction and his involvement in drugs. To pay for his drugs, Carroll even ends up selling himself for sex. The film is commendable for its representation of the negative effect of drug abuse on youth. Carroll is constantly endangered by his surroundings as he continues to meddle with drugs on the street, though he is eventually able to find help and start a career in writing.

5. Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Requiem for a Dream

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This film graphically depicts the insanity that stem from addiction, with scenes that capture the horrors that come with the disease. Different types of drug addiction are shown throughout the movie, sucking the characters into bouts of recklessness that leave them delusional. Sara Goldfarb, a widow played by Ellen Burstyn, links all of their stories, as the film begins with her dangerous dieting for a TV appearance and the events that follow it. Requiem for a Dream will completely change the way anyone views addiction.

Watching films about addiction and recovery may help you recognize addiction tendencies in your loved ones. Be sure to also check out our top five famous recovery stories to get inspired. You or the loved one you’re concerned about can contact CASA Recovery for more information on our holistic addiction treatment, recommended by many of our past rehabilitation clients. Our Orange County addiction recovery center will help you heal with our treatment programs. Visit our team in San Juan Capistrano, CA today!