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Movies About Addiction and Recovery

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Oscar Wilde wrote that “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” And while that can be debated, we know there is a benefit to reading books or watching movies that crossover into your life experiences. You may not always know someone personally who shares your experiences, however, watching a similar experience on a film, television, or device screen can help you feel less alone. It can also help you see things in your own life differently because you’ll likely watch a movie more objectively than you view your own life.  Finally, films about addiction and recovery humanize the problems you face for others. It’s not always easy to explain addiction and recovery to someone else, but it’s not too hard to get them to watch a movie about it. At Laguna View Detox, we love movies about addiction and recovery. 

Laguna View Detox’s Favorite Movies About Addiction and Recovery

Not only do we love movies about addiction and recovery, but we also have a few favorites. 

A Star is Born

A Star is Born (2018) does far more than show a famous singer’s struggles with addiction and recovery. The movie shows how we can find ourselves using drugs and alcohol to soothe our childhood wounds. It also shows how addiction affects the whole family across the generations. Bradley Cooper has been in recovery for years, and there are moments in A Star is Born when you can see how well he incorporated that experience.  

Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy is based on a book written by David Sheff, a New York Times writer who stood by his son through a long and heartbreaking road of methamphetamine addiction. The movie manages to capture the heartbreak of the father and the son while also demonstrating how complicated it can be to get sober.  Beautiful Boy delivers a realistic look at the effects of addiction on the family and highlights that recovery can take time. 

28 Days

28 Days with Sandra Bullock is a movie that shows one woman trying to find her way out of her addiction because the court ordered her to go to rehab. It is literally the consequences of her drinking landing in her lap and the events that follow. While it is a movie that seems to be loved or hated, 28 Days does offer insight into how hard it can be to make the changes needed to get sober. Watching Sandra Bullock’s character navigate early sobriety is sure to remind you of your own life just a little bit. 


Thirteen tells the story of an adolescent girl so desperate to fit in that she finds herself engaging with a world of drugs, drinking, sex, and crime. The film highlights how addiction does not have a minimum age requirement. Thirteen demonstrates how quickly bad decisions can spiral our lives out of control until we find ourselves so far over our heads we don’t know how to get out. While some feel the film oversteps in what can happen during teen addiction, some know better. There are a lot of movies about addiction and recovery but these four made it to the top of our list. 

How Laguna View Detox Helps with Addiction

At Laguna View Detox, we understand addiction and recovery first hand. We know it’s not as neat and tidy as it looks on the movie screen, and we’re here to support you with round the clock care for your addiction.  We are one of the leading private alcohol and drug rehab centers in Orange County. We provide luxurious, inpatient rehab treatment in one of the most beautiful areas California has to offer. 

Our staff includes some of the most experienced and most compassionate in the industry, and we’ll create a holistic treatment plan tailored to you. If you or your college student is struggling with drinking, we are here. We will care for you while you safely detox and then guide you through inpatient treatment and aftercare.  Contact us today and let us help you with your addiction!  

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