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If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help! Call us today at (855) 722-6926

TV Shows About Addiction

TV Shows About Addiction

Addiction is a disease that affects people of all age groups and backgrounds.

As more drugs are created, and new drug-related trends emerge, more teens and young adults are becoming entrapped by the lure of substance abuse. Experimentation with drugs and alcohol, however, isn’t new. Millions of people have been affected by addiction, and this ongoing issue has been shown on television screens for decades. While not all are accurate, a few television shows about addiction provide realistic glimpses into the adverse effects of substance abuse. Our drug rehab center Gilman is sharing a few popular tv shows about addiction and whether their portrayal of this problem is accurate.

7 TV Shows About Drug Addiction and Alcoholism


Intervention is one of the most popular reality TV shows about drug addiction and alcoholism. The show first aired in March 2005 as a U.S. docu-drama that staged over 270 interventions. Friends and family would send information about their loved ones to the show in hopes of being chosen as the group who receives help. Those selected would work with the production team to secretly film the addict’s daily routine. Eventually, the person is brought to an intervention led by a specialist. The person is then given a choice to go through a 90-day, fully paid addiction program or sacrifice their relationships with the people in the group. Business Insider worked with A&E at one point to see the effectiveness of the show. They discovered that 98.7% of people on the show agreed to treatment, and over half of them remained sober.1 The show is streaming on A&E, Hulu, Tubi, and more.

Recovery Road

Recovery Road is a teen drama about adolescent substance abuse that ran for one season on the Freeform network in 2016. The series follows a high-functioning 17-year-old named Maddie who’s faced with the ultimatum of entering a sober living facility or facing expulsion from school. The short series was based on a novel of the same name. The show was successful in its portrayal of the hardships associated with being a teenager and addiction, as well as the benefits of 12 step programs.


Euphoria has become one of the most popular HBO shows about addiction. It depicts the role of drugs in high school and follows the lives of several teens as they experiment with drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence. Rue, the main character played by Zendaya, is the show’s narrator and a 17-year-old girl with drug addiction. The show depicts her struggles as she attempts to balance school, family, friends, and addiction. The show provides a generally accurate portrayal of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and the problems common to high school students that often lead to substance abuse.

BoJack Horseman

BoJack Horseman is a six-season dark comedy about a horse that’s hit a rough patch. This adult cartoon show follows the mishaps of the main character, BoJack, after his TV sitcom is canceled. Following the loss of his career, he turns to drugs and alcohol to drown his sorrows. His addiction results in the loss of close relationships and contributes to his selfish behavior. It’s not until the episode named “A Horse Walks into a Rehab” that BoJack receives addiction treatment. Despite the fact that comedy trickled into the show, it’s a clear reminder of the hardships and loss that result from substance abuse.

Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland offers drug and alcohol treatment in Gilman that addresses addiction to substances like alcohol, benzos, cocaine, heroin, meth, opioids, and prescription drugs. If you’re like BoJack and struggling with addiction, we can help.

The Trade

The Trade is a nine-episode documentary series that packs a punch. Made in 2018, it offers insight into the opioid epidemic that began in the late 1990s when opioid prescriptions skyrocketed. The docuseries presents the epidemic from different perspectives, including those of cartel bosses, opioid manufacturers, and law enforcement. Topics range from struggling consumers to illicit distribution. In the process, it also portrays the effects of substance abuse in the form of failed relationships, broken families, relapses, and deaths. This Showtime documentary series offers a heartbreaking and realistic insight into the damage caused by the opioid crisis in the United States.

Many people are still struggling with opioid addiction. At Banyan Heartland, we offer a variety of resources to give individuals who are struggling with this disease a chance to live long and happy lives. Our resources include opiate detox, which assists patients in safely completing the withdrawal phase of sobriety. This is a crucial step in the recovery process that has been shown to reduce the likelihood of complications associated with withdrawal symptoms.


Skins is a British TV show about teen drug use that aired from 2007 to 2013. It follows the lives of teenagers in Bristol, England, and dives into topics like drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, and mental illness. The show’s main characters are often drunk or high, contributing to many of their reckless behaviors in the show. Skins also depicts the emotional turmoil and insecurities that often present themselves in high school.


Shameless is one of the most popular shows about drug addiction. First created by Showtime, episodes are currently available on the Showtime app, Hulu, and Netflix. It follows the lives of a single father of six kids, who spends most of his downtime drinking. Combining an absent mother and an alcoholic father leaves the Gallagher children no choice but to raise themselves. Their lack of parental guidance and financial struggles lead them to many problems and encourage behaviors that involve drinking and drug abuse.

Although many alcoholism and drug-related TV shows attempt to lighten the mood with humor, romance, and drama, nothing can take away from the harsh reality of addiction. This is chronic and progressive that can destroy every area of a person’s life. If you have a drug or alcohol problem or know someone who does, call us now at 888-280-4763 to learn how our residential treatment in Gilman can help.

Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.