Documentaries are growing in popularity as major streaming services like Netflix and Hulu release new series on well known figures in crime and pop culture. There are a good deal of addiction documentaries on these channels as well and even more produced by individuals sharing their own personal stories of addiction, recovery, its effect on communities, and the hope through it all.

Here are five addiction and recovery documentaries you can’t miss.

Fixed Up follows the lives of two women throughout their recovery journey. The 30-minute documentary won “Best Hope Film” at the 2018 New Jersey Film Festival and we recommend it for a first hand perspective on overcoming recovery challenges that come with living a sober lifestyle. Tawny Lara and B.Rae Perryman open up to share their past issues with substance abuse and mental illness on camera. The two discuss their personal insecurities and share stories of dealing with depression and anxiety.

Wasted takes an inside look at addiction and treatment from the eyes of Miek Pond, a Canadian therapist and alcoholic in recovery. Mike and his life partner, filmmaker Maureen Palmer, take viewers on a personal journey of discovery through the causes of addiction, the gaps in AA treatment, and the science and evidence-based research that are filling those gaps.

ASK explores the world of alcohol abuse, drug addiction, and codependency. The documentary has won a number of awards in several film festivals in 2017. The documentary explains issues faced in these situations by telling the real stories of people who have experienced them. The 1 hour 20 minute documentary is available to stream on Vimeo anytime you’re looking for some hope in recovery.


Dying in Vein transports viewers into four all-too-common opiate and heroin addiction situations. The personal viewpoints put you in the lives of an addict in recovery, a couple trying to get clean, a family grieving their son lost to addiction, and an ER physician as he tries to save patients. The documentary looks at the shame around addiction, how socioeconomic class affects access to treatment, and more. The documentary is available to stream on Hulu, Amazon, and other streaming services.

Do No Harm interviews several people on how the opioid epidemic has affected their lives and the lives of Americans for decades. The documentary was recently selected for the Reel Recovery Film Festival this October. The film aims to educate on the deception of opioid manufacturers and help communities recover from the damage it has caused.

What other addiction and recovery documentaries do you recommend?

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