Movies to Watch When in Recovery from Addiction

By Chris Farni

 

When in recovery from substance abuse, you need some options of new activities which can help you recover and not feel as if recovery is the most boring option to be found. Such activities have many benefits, ranging from keeping away boredom to relapse prevention.
Are you looking for any suggestions? How about some movies!


Addiction is a common matter of discussion in movies and TV series. However, most of the films are inclined to, if not, worship drug and alcohol abuse. However, a few movies exist which do uncover addiction for what it represents in reality and show that there is a perspective of a better future through recovery. These movies give the addicted a necessary inspiration to pursue their recovery; and for the ones helping an addict – such movies provide good insight on how to help them or what to NOT do to refrain from causing  harm.


Speaking of specific movies, I would like to draw your attention to the two of them that I have recently watched:


Clean and Sober (1988)

 

The drama was released under the directorship of Glenn Gordon Caron, portraying the story a real estate agent (played by Michael Keaton) suffering from substance abuse.


Daryl Poynter is a relatively successful real estate agent. He has a cocaine and drinking problem, but does not realize how seriously it hits his life until one morning he wakes up to find a nearly dead woman in his bed (that he barely knows). She is being rushed into the hospital and dies from a cocaine overdose a day later. To add fuel to the fire, his boss calls him that day to inform him that a huge sum of money has gone missing from one of his accounts. Panicking, Daryl decides to check into an anonymous drug rehab, where he meets Morgan Freeman. A recovering addict himself, he now works as a drug counselor, and knows all the tricks Daryl tries to pull. Soon Daryl recognizes that he is an addict and discovers he just might be in the right place, after all.


Smashed (2012)

 

Released under the directorship of James Ponsoldt, the drama immerses us in the addiction, relapse and recovery life-story of an elementary school teacher Katie Hannah (starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead).


Kate and Charlie Hannah are a married couple, both addicted to alcohol. Katie is a primary school teacher and her husband does not work because he’s from a  rich and supportive family. After some time  (and a few unpleasant incidents happening at school or on the way home from a nightclub), Kate finally realizes her drinking has gotten totally out of control. She shares her fears with her co-worker who happens to be someone in  long-term recovery. With his help, Kate finds a support group that helps her start her road to recovery. However, sobriety proves to be not as simple as she thought. She relapses, but manages, with the help of the group, to get back on track, even if it means destroying her marriage.

Both movies make us think about a bunch of issues that people with substance abuse problem face. In particular:
The incapability to recognize having an addiction problem;
The realities of the detox struggle;
The hardships of the emotional readjustment to be capable of handling stress without having to use;
The struggle of getting out of a toxic relationship;
The cruel encounter with the first relapse and the struggle of combating it.