When you aren’t at work or at your meetings, it’s important to keep yourself busy. Boredom is one of the many common threats to sobriety, especially in early recovery. At Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago, we know that finding fun things to do and filling the addiction void during your downtime is important to sustaining sobriety. That’s why we’re sharing a list of movies about addiction recovery that you can enjoy on your own or with friends and family.
While our drug and alcohol treatment center in Chicago doesn’t recommend frequent passive recovering activities like watching TV, these movies on addiction recovery share a variety of messages and lessons that can help you and your loved ones better understand addiction and offer encouragement in sobriety. Enjoy our list of the best addiction recovery movies on the market.
We’re kicking off our list of movies about addiction recovery with Ben Is Back, a family drama that tells the story of Ben and his fight for sobriety during the holiday season. Ben returns home for the holidays from rehab. While on an outing with his mom, Ben comes across some old friends and is separated from his mom when he chases after a dog that’s run away, causing a variety of issues. Families who have suffered from addiction can understand the worries that Ben’s mother feels when she loses track of her son in the town where his addiction began. It’s a realistic depiction of the impact of substance abuse on families.
28 Days is one of the most popular and best movies about addiction and recovery because of its portrayal of addiction and its impact on family dynamics. With Sandra Bullock as the main character, 28 Days tells the story of Gwen Cummings, an alcoholic that is shunned by her family, particularly her sister Lily. Following a drunken car accident, Gwen has the choice of doing jail time or going to rehab. After choosing the latter, Gwen eventually meets a group of people she grows close to in rehab and eventually gets sober. This movie highlights the importance of peer and family support in addiction recovery.
Banyan Chicago offers a variety of substance abuse treatment programs in Naperville that cover numerous substance abuse disorders. With our help, you or a loved one can achieve sobriety and enjoy a happy, addiction-free life.
Rachel Getting Married is another popular movie about addiction recovery that follows Kym as she’s released from rehab to attend her sister’s wedding. When Kym travels back home to go to her sister Rachel’s wedding, her behavior causes tension within the family, opening a Pandora's box of pent-up emotions. Rachel Getting Married is another addiction recovery movie that displays the effects substance abuse can have on a family.
Clean and Sober tells the story of cocaine-addicted real estate agent Daryl who admits himself into a rehab center to avoid jail time. With the help of a tough love, no-nonsense counselor and former addict, Daryl eventually comes to terms with his addiction and begins to follow a path towards sobriety. Once on the right track, a sudden loss threatens his sobriety, only to be saved by his recovery peers. Clean and Sober gives an honest portrayal of the harsh realities of addiction and the prevalence of addiction among everyday folk.
In Basketball Diaries, Leonardo Dicaprio plays a successful basketball player named Jim Carroll who takes up heroin abuse to cope with the grief of losing his friend to leukemia. Jim is eventually kicked out of his home when his mother discovers his drug stash. In order to fund their drug habit, he and his friends begin committing petty crimes. Jim eventually stoops to prostitution and is eventually entangled with drug dealers alongside his friends. In desperation, Jim reaches out to his mother, who turns him into the police. The movie ends with Jim’s release and sobriety.
A Star is Born became an instant sensation. As a remake of the 1976 film starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, A Star Is Born tells the story of a famous musician, his battle with alcoholism, and his love for a female singer. Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) discovers Ally (Lady Gaga) when she performs on stage at a bar. Just when she gave up on her dream of becoming a famous singer, Jackson brought her on stage and allowed her to showcase her talents. But as her career soars, the darker aspects of their relationship come to the surface. This is one of the few addiction recovery movies that portray the harsh realities of substance abuse in an honest light.
This movie is based on the true story of Lois Wilson, co-founder of Al-Anon, and her husband Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. After years of trying to help her husband recover from alcoholism and stay sober, he finally achieves sobriety with the help of a friend named Dr. Bob Smith. Together, the two eventually create Alcoholics Anonymous. However, his new career and newfound sobriety leave Lois feeling neglected. She eventually discovers that she isn’t the only person who’s been affected by a loved one’s alcohol addiction and goes on to co-found Al-Anon in 1951. This movie portrays the importance of combining an alcohol treatment program and family support when recovering from alcoholism.
This 1994 drama focuses on the impact of alcoholism on a family. Alcoholism and a drunken accident lead schoolteacher Alice Green to enter a rehab facility. After completing treatment and achieving sobriety, her husband Michael struggles to adjust to his wife’s newfound sobriety and independence, prompting him to move out. Through a variety of trials and stages of growth, Alice and Michael eventually get back together. When a Man Loves a Woman portrays the complicated emotions and dynamic of a relationship involving addiction.
This movie tells the story behind the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s about William Griffith Wilson, a World War I vet who turns to alcohol to cope with the trauma he experienced during his career and as a result of the 1929 stock market crash. This is a great movie to watch before or after When Love Is Not Enough. It offers an interesting insight into the truth behind an organization that has helped numerous people overcome their alcoholism.
Flight revolves around the life of airline pilot William and the impact his substance abuse has on his career. When he manages to save a plane from crashing, his intentions are questioned when cocaine and alcohol were found in his system. The movie follows his fight against the courts and his continuous cocaine and alcohol problems. His former girlfriend was also battling a heroin addiction, which only fed his drug habits. Overcome by remorse, William admits to having been intoxicated on the day of the crash and during the National Transportation Safety Board hearing. A year later, he’s sharing his story with other inmates and expresses his gratitude for his sobriety.
Russell Brand created this documentary following the death of close friend and famous singer Amy Winehouse. In the movie, Russell shares his past struggles with addiction. He shares an honest account
of the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding addiction in society and challenges viewers to learn more about this disease so they can do their part in helping others recover. Scientists with expertise in the psychology behind addiction and conversations about governmental policy regarding this disease are included in this film. Russell is eventually invited to speak to testify before the Home Affairs Select Committee, which was set up to properly manage addiction treatments in the United Kingdom.
Home Run is a Christian sports drama that follows the story of a professional baseball player and alcoholic named Cory. He signs up for the “Celebrate Recovery” rehab program in his hometown following a series of drunken incidents, including a car crash that injures his brother. Throughout his addiction recovery, he and his high school sweetheart get back together and he works on mending his relationship with his son and family members.
Last but not least, Recovery Boys is one of the addiction recovery movies on Netflix which follows the lives of four men as they try to mend their broken relationships after years of substance abuse. As a documentary, these opioid addicts fight to rebuild their lives in a place where opioid is prevalent among its residents.
These movies for people in addiction recovery not only offer insight into the harsh realities of drug and alcohol abuse, but they also offer hope. At Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago, we offer help to those struggling with substance abuse. To find out more about our levels of care and other addiction services, call us now at 888-280-4763.