13 Best Movies About Drugs on Netflix (June 2024)

Too much of anything can be bad, and the consequence of too much of drugs is something we are all familiar with. Not all of us have tried these drugs, but cinema has shown us the most graphic and disturbing images of drug addictions. But drugs are not portrayed in a negative light all the time. Sometimes, movies just show a bunch of teenagers having the time of their lives under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and it’s fun to watch that as well, as long as it does not influence us in the wrong way. Be it something educational that makes you aware of the consequences of taking drugs or just a fun watch that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Netflix has all kinds of films in the genre. Feel free to take your pick.

13. The Gentlemen (2019)

While ‘The Gentlemen’ doesn’t address it first-hand, it revolves around drugs, cannabis to be precise. We have Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), who owns a cannabis business and is looking for a buyer. But when someone tries to rob him of his cannabis, Pearson sends his right-hand man, Raymond (Charlie Hunnam), to find the person. The quantity of cannabis Pearson owns is a lot, and the money it brings in can make anyone take the chance and get rich faster rather than by buying it. A Guy Ritchie directorial, ‘The Gentlemen’ is a pure gangster drama made with sophistication and garnished with humor. The film co-stars Jeremy Strong, Michelle Dockery, Henry Golding, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant. You can watch it here.

12. White Boy (2017)

This true-crime documentary showcases the life of Richard Wershe Jr., aka White Boy Rick (given to him by reporters), who was an FBI informant and a teen drug lord. Living in 1980s Detroit, which was booming with crimes, violence, and drugs, Richard became an informant for the FBI when he was 14 but was arrested in 1987 at 17 after he was found in possession of cocaine. He received life imprisonment. He now walks a free man after his release in 2020. Directed by Shawn Rech, ‘White Boy’ can be streamed here.

11. Recovery Boys (2018)

In the gripping documentary film ‘Recovery Boys,’ director Elaine McMillion Sheldon takes audiences on an emotional journey through addiction, redemption, and recovery. The film follows four men struggling with substance abuse as they navigate the challenging path to sobriety. Set against the backdrop of a West Virginia-based rehabilitation center, ‘Recovery Boys’ candidly explores the complexities of overcoming addiction, emphasizing the strength and resilience required for rehabilitation. With raw honesty, the documentary sheds light on the personal struggles and triumphs of these individuals, offering a compelling and compassionate portrayal of the arduous road to recovery. You can watch it here.

10. The Legend of Cocaine Island (2018)

‘The Legend Of Cocaine Island’ may be a documentary, but it packs the same exhilarating punch you’d expect from a feature film. This is primarily due to the gripping tale it weaves, recounting the Florida-based businessman Rodney Hyden’s audacious quest for a quick fortune after his business crumbles during the 2008 financial crisis. Hyden embarks on a daring mission to locate a bag of cocaine worth approximately $2 million, rumored to be hidden on the Caribbean coast. Unbeknownst to him, undercover law enforcement officers send him a photograph of the purported cocaine stash, luring him into their trap. This documentary vividly illustrates the desperation that gripped individuals in the wake of the economic meltdown as they sought to salvage their lives. With a blend of humor and high-stakes drama, ‘The Legend Of Cocaine Island’ is an absolute must-watch. You can watch it right here.

9. Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy (2021)

‘Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy,’ created by Stanley Nelson, stands as an exceptional drug documentary, offering an unflinching exploration of the cocaine epidemic that swept through the United States in the 1980s. Through riveting storytelling and an impressive array of interviews and archival footage, the documentary unveils the complex web of corruption, politics, and social dynamics that fueled the crisis. It is a powerful exposé that not only delves into the harrowing impact of crack cocaine but also sheds light on the systemic issues that allowed its proliferation. Nelson’s meticulous research and empathetic storytelling make this documentary an indispensable, eye-opening examination of a dark chapter in American history. You may watch the film here.

8. Shiny_Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord (2021)

Directed by Eva Müller and Michael Schmitt, ‘Shiny_Flakes: The Teenage Drug Lord’ is a documentary film that recounts the story of Maximilian Schmidt, who serves as an inspiration for the series ‘How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast).‘ In 2015, a young adult managed to sell approx—4.1 million euros worth of drugs without ever going out of his house. His international drugs empire survived for 14 months, and in that time, Maximilian managed to use his website shinyflakes.com to change the drug trade in unthinkable ways. The documentary captures Maximilian Schmidt’s account of events that transpired once he set out to run the illegal business. Feel free to check out the film here.

7. Heroin(e) (2017)

This documentary tells the story of a town in West Virginia where heroin addiction and overdose is no less than an epidemic. With an overdose rate that is ten times more than average, the city of Huntington is threatened by something that may spread even further down to generations like wildfire. Filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon captures a different side of this drug war where three women are out on a mission to break this drug cycle forever. What makes this documentary important is the bravery that it portrays of three women who are out there making a difference without expecting anything in return. You can watch the film here.

6. Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (2020)

Hosted by Nick Offerman, ‘Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics’ is a documentary movie. The (Emmy Award-winning) Donick Cary directorial centers upon celebrities sharing their hallucinogenic drug usage experiences. Some of the tales are hilarious, and they are made more engaging through reenactments created using interactive animation. In case you wish to learn more about the hallucinogenic highs and lows of some of your favorite stars, then ‘Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics’ is a great watch. You can watch it here.

5. The Drug King (2018)

This film is set in Busan, South Korea, where Leo Doo-sam is ‘The Drug King’ and has built an impeccable empire around his smuggling business. His drug business has its foundation spread deep within the roots of the underworld. But that does not mean that he cannot be touched. Public prosecutor Kim In-goo is determined to hunt him down and look for a way in through man’s insatiable thirst to keep growing. The lead actor of the film does a great job playing his character, along with a few other stars of the movie who have also done well. The only problem with this one is that, at times, it feels like it has been extended far too long and loses its direction. You may watch ‘The Drug King’ here.

4. Divines (2016)

‘Divines’ revolves around a teenager who lives on the outskirts of Paris. Driven by an extreme urge to succeed and seek instant gratification, she decides to become a runner for a drug dealer. But her life starts to change when she meets a young dancer who shows her a life full of new and better opportunities. This French film is amazing, and the actors do a phenomenal job. The film’s depiction of life is so real that you will find yourself laughing when the characters of the film do and crying when they cry. A must-watch film in this genre, especially if you are a fan of French Cinema. You can stream it here.

3. 6 Balloons (2018)

‘6 Balloons’ tells the story of a young mother named Katie who notices that her brother Seth (Dave Franco) has relapsed from his heroin addiction. The film follows the journey of Katie, her little daughter, and Seth, who drive through the night looking for a rehab center. Dave Franco shows a very realistic depiction of a drug addict, which will even terrify you at times. He apparently lost 20lbs for his role in this movie to look like an actual drug addict. Even the lead female, Abbi Jacobson, displays solid acting skills with her character in the film.

Most of the reviews for this film are slightly misleading and have downgraded it from what it actually is. It is worth a watch and sucks you deep inside the emotions of a family dealing with the drug addiction of one of its members. This indie flick is definitely for you if you’re looking for a movie in this genre that portrays reality instead of showing unwanted drama and has a mindful narrative that can even be relatable for those who have experienced these addictions before. You can stream ‘6 Balloons’ here.

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2. Hillbilly Elegy (2020)

Photo Credit: Lacey Terrell/NETFLIX

Featuring stand-out performances by Amy Adams, Glenn Close, Gabriel Basso, Haley Bennett, and Freida Pinto, ‘Hillbilly Elegy‘ is a drama film that is based on J. D. Vance’s memoir of the same name. The film revolves around a Yale Law student who returns to his hometown in the Appalachian mountains for a life-changing break. In his time there, he reflects on three generations of family history and comes to terms with his life choices and prospects. You can stream the film here.

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1. Take Your Pills (2018)

Every generation has a pill, and so does this one. Adderall and Ritalin abuse has become extremely common these days in this fast-paced world where everyone is competing with one another. These pills were once only for kids with a small attention span but now are being used by everyone from college students to Wall Street employees. But no one’s thinking about the long-term consequences of these drugs. In a quest to become “Limitless,” we are slowly losing ourselves to the grind. Feel free to check out the movie here.

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