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Best Documentaries About Addiction and Alcoholism


Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 8/08/2022

Documentaries about alcoholism discuss alcoholism and its related topics. Most documentaries about alcoholism are also based on true stories. Many documentaries also follow the story of one person’s struggle and recovery from alcoholism. Furthermore, some documentaries are about the effects of alcohol, groups of people, and treatment centers.

Alcoholism is as a dependency on alcohol. People who abuse alcohol become alcoholics and suffer from many symptoms. These symptoms include alcohol withdrawal, sudden and powerful urges to drink, and binge-drinking tendencies.

1). Addiction

Addiction is a documentary on alcohol addiction. The documentary follows 9 different stories to see how alcoholism affects people’s lives. Each story shows a new side of addiction and follows how damaging it can be.

The documentary’s main idea focuses on how addiction leads to depression, death, violence, and other mental health conditions. Therefore, it follows the personal story of each individual’s experience with alcoholism.

Addiction is also a popular documentary that critics like the Washington Post consider “chilling.” The documentary has an IMDB score of 6.5 out of 10 and was nominated for several awards. Additionally, Addiction won an Independent Satellite Award in 2007 for its characters and in-depth analysis of drug addiction and alcoholism.

2). Drinking to Oblivion

Drinking to Oblivion was filmed in 2016 and follows Louis Theroux. Theroux meets with people who suffer from alcoholism and those who treat alcoholism. The documentary is based on four stories in London and how patients deal with alcoholism. Drinking to Oblivion’s main idea is to show viewers how dangerous alcoholism is for the mind and body.

The documentary was popular when it was released and it’s still popular today. It has an IMDB score of 7.7 out of 10 and 84% of people like it on the Google Play Store. Drinking to Oblivion was also nominated for an Independent Satellite Award, which the documentary won. Its main themes help with alcoholism by encouraging people to seek help. Furthermore, Drinking to Oblivion teaches people about preventing alcohol abuse disorders.

3). The Anonymous People

The Anonymous People is an alcoholism documentary that focuses on providing solutions to alcoholism problems. The main theme of the documentary shows people who suffer from alcoholism and addiction that recovery is possible.

The Anonymous People was released in March of 2014 and has an IMDB score of 7.4 out of 10. It has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 43%, though, which makes it less popular than some other alcoholism documentaries. Critics claim that the documentary listed more problems than solutions for alcoholism treatment.

4). Recovery Boys

Recovery Boys tells the story of four men who suffered from alcoholism. While the four men were alcoholics in the past, the documentary focuses on the recovery part. The story follows how the four men manage their recovery and support each other. Some themes in the documentary include friendship and teamwork. That said, the main point of the documentary is that recovering from addiction is possible but that it’s best to have some support.

Recovery Boys is also one of the most popular alcoholism documentaries around. It has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100% and an IMDB score of 6.6 out of 10. While Recovery Boys focuses more on opioids and other drugs, the main ideas are the same. The documentary was filmed in Morgantown, West Virginia.

5). My Name is Bill W.

My Name is Bill W. is a documentary about William Griffith Wilson and his struggles with alcoholism. Wilson is a war veteran who slipped into alcohol addiction after the war. While he amassed a fortune as a stockbroker, Wilson ended up losing his fortune because of his addiction.

The main theme of My Name is Bill W. is that addiction can ruin your life and cause you to lose your life, money, and family.

My Name is Bill W. is an older documentary. It was released in 1989, so it’s not too popular today. That said, critics like the documentary and that’s reflected in the IMDB score of 7.3 out of 10. It was also popular during the 1990s as the HIV and AIDS epidemic became more well-known. It also maintains a Google Play score of 92% and a 5 out of 5 on eBay.

6). Intervention

Intervention is a series about Hollywood and how celebrities check themselves in and out of rehab centers. Many Hollywood celebrities find themselves in these programs with little or no success. The film series focuses on how addiction affects the lives of the people who suffer from the addiction.

Intervention also shows viewers the intervention process, which occurs when people sit down with someone and explain how the addiction is harming them. That makes the main point of this film about how addiction often strikes without people noticing.

Intervention maintains a high score from most critics. The film has an IMDB score of 7.8 out of 10. According to Google users, 85% of them liked the film. It was popular when it was released and ran for a total of 23 seasons. Also, there were 333 episodes in total.

7). Prescription Thugs

Prescription Thugs is a documentary that focuses on the prescription drug industry. The documentary focuses on pharmaceutical companies and how their prescription drugs cause drug addiction. Filmmaker Chris Bell makes it his mission to see why so many people end up addicted to prescription drugs.

Bell discovers that the big companies don’t care about the consequences as long as there is profit. Prescription Thugs‘ main idea is that addiction isn’t always the fault of the individual. While there are individual things that play into it, becoming addicted to substances can be induced by bad circumstances.

Prescription Thugs is well-received by critics and maintains an IMDB score of 7 out of 10. It also has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 69%.

How do Addiction Theme Documentaries Help for Alcoholism Treatment?

Documentaries bring attention to alcoholism themes in society by following stories of people who struggle with alcoholism. Bringing awareness to these issues helps the public learn and understand alcoholism.

Alcoholism documentaries are also useful for helping people understand alcoholism cures. Documentaries like Intervention reflect this well. Some themes in alcoholism documentaries are also relatable, which is good encouragement for people who need it.

Who are the Sober Celebrities?

Several sober celebrities don’t drink alcohol or use drugs. One of the most prominent sober celebrities is Bradley Cooper. Bradley Cooper struggled with alcohol throughout his 20s and has been on several podcasts about his addiction struggles. Cooper was interviewed by GQ in 2013 and spoke about how if he continued down the path he was going he would have lost himself to the lifestyle.

Another sober celebrity is Elton John. John was someone who partied a lot in his 20s but he’s been sober for the last 28 years of his life. Music legend Elton John decided to get sober in 1990 after witnessing the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Ever since, Elton John remains sober and doesn’t experiment with drugs or alcohol.

Demi Lovato is another celebrity who remains sober. Lovato rose to fame from her songs and voice. However, she struggles with self-harm, bipolar disorder, and bulimia. Lovato has been through rehab programs and support groups to help her remain sober. She’s sober as of 2012.

Some other notable sober celebrities include Dax Sheppard, Tyer, the Creator, and Zac Efron.

Are There any Award-Winning Alcoholism Documentaries?

Alcoholism documentaries have won awards for bringing awareness to alcoholism. One example is Drinking to Oblivion, which won the Independent Satellite Award.

Documentaries win awards because of the themes and emotional impact they have on viewers. While other types of media cover alcoholism, they’re not as intimate as alcoholism documentaries. Plus, alcoholism documentaries almost always follow real people and stories.

What are the Other Artworks for Alcoholism Besides Documentaries?

Besides documentaries about alcoholism, there are other types of art and literature that represent alcohol addiction.

We list other artworks about alcoholism below.

  • Movies
  • Books
  • Memoirs
  • Podcasts
  • Songs

You will also find other forms of media about alcoholism like online forums. Depending on your situation, other artworks for alcoholism are helpful resources.

What are the Alcoholism-Related Podcasts Besides Movies?

Alcoholism-related podcasts are long-form types of entertainment. In fact, most podcasts follow long conversations between two or more individuals. Also, podcasts aren’t always edited to remove content.

The Bubble Hour; by Jean McCarthy, is one of the best podcasts for alcoholism because it displays personal experiences. MaCarthy accomplishes this by hosting special guests on the show to share their alcoholism experiences. It’s a popular alcoholism podcast and the length of each podcast is 1 to 2 hours.

Another alcoholism-related podcast to consider is the Sober Guy Podcast. Shane Ramer hosts the podcast and each episode runs for about an hour. Shane Ramer speaks to his audience about alcoholism recovery and speaks from personal experience. He also has special guests to speak about their experiences with alcoholism. Plus, some special guests are celebrities.

The last podcast to look at is Breaking Free: Your Recovery, Your Way. The podcast brings together real-life experience and evidence-based treatment modalities. Liv and Tiffany host the podcast and it lasts for 2 hours.

These podcasts have hours of content and personal stories you can listen to about alcoholism.

What are the Alcoholism-Related Songs Besides Documentaries?

Music will help you feel better, improve your mood, and help with alcoholism.

One of the best songs for alcoholism is Breaking the Habit, by Linkin Park. Linkin Park created the song to speak out about alcoholism. The song goes over the band’s experiences with alcoholism and focuses on getting sober. It was released in 2003 and has a runtime of three minutes and sixteen seconds.

One Day at a Time, by Joe Walsh, is another excellent song about alcoholism. One Day at a Time is about Joe Walsh’s personal experiences with alcohol and other drugs. Joe Walsh sings about his recovery and the steps he took to get his life back on track. One Day at a Time was released in 2012 and is part of Walsh’s Analog Man album. It has a runtime of three minutes and forty seconds.

Piano Man, by Billy Joel, is about alcoholism and the people it effects. The song focuses on the people who spend time in bars and their motivations. Piano Man has many lyrics about how people could have been successful but failed because of alcoholism.

Music touches every aspect of life, which is why it works for alcoholism. Songs about alcoholism focus on alcohol addiction, parties, and other alcohol-related topics.

What are the Alcoholism-Related Memoirs Besides Documentaries?

Memoirs are personal pieces of art. One of the best memoirs about alcoholism is Lit: A Memoir, by Mary Karr. Lit: A Memoir is a story about Karr’s struggle with alcoholism and how she fell into the cycle of drinking every day. The memoir was published in 2009 and has a positive reception among most critics.

Another alcoholism-related memoir is Dry, by Augusten Burroughs. Dry explores the life of Augusten Burroughs and his struggles with alcoholism. The memoir explores how it happened to him, what it did to his life, and how he was able to escape from alcoholism’s tight grip.

Dry was published in 2003 and there are several follow-ups that Burroughs created. Some examples are Magical Thinking and Running with Scissors.

Another alcoholism-related memoir is Girl Walks Out of a Bar: A Memoir by Lisa F. Smith. In her memoir, Smith talks about her experiences with alcoholism. Smith also shares her experiences as a young adult with stress and anxiety.

Smith also writes about how she recovered and the alcohol detox process. The book is 219 pages long and has a Goodreads score of 4.2 out of 5.

What are the Alcoholism-Related Books Besides Documentaries?

Alcoholism-related books are another tool people leverage to recover from alcoholism. Books about alcoholism help people recover through reading and personal stories.

Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank to Forget, by Sarah Hepola, is one of the best books about alcoholism. Hepola has a history of alcoholism and she drinks wine from her parents’ glasses secretly. When she is an adult, her drinking turns into blackouts. In her book, she tells her story with self-deprecating humor. The book is 209 pages long and has a Goodreads score of 4.5 out of 5.

We are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life, by Laura Mckowen, is another book about alcoholism. Mckowen realizes that when she quits drinking, she becomes more in-touch with her emotions. The book is 252 pages long and has a Goodreads score of 4.4 out of 5.

The last book to look at is The Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, by Annie Grace. In this book, Grace provides readers with methods to control their alcohol intake. She uses her background to explain how addiction works and how to overcome it. The book was released in 2015 as a self-help book that’s 274 pages in length. It maintains a 4.3 out of 5 Goodreads score, a 4.7 out of 5 Google Play score, and a 5 out of 5 from Barnes & Noble.

If you’re looking for treatment advice, reading books about alcoholism one of the best ways to get started.