You Have Options Today
These days, the viewing options available to us on our various screens are seemingly limitless. From network television to the wide array of streaming services, there are options for most everyone.
You have your pick of reality shows, news and commentary, movies, musicals, sitcoms, comedy specials, sci-fi shows, crime dramas, medical dramas, legal dramas, family dramas (so much drama!), and on and on…and on. If you want to watch it, odds are you can find it out there somewhere.
If you are a person in recovery from a substance use disorder (or if you love someone who is), you might want to add an additional category to your watch list: documentaries—particularly those focused on recovery. Documentaries about recovery can help you feel less alone on your recovery journey. They can also provide insight to loved ones seeking a better understanding of addiction and recovery.
There are, of course, a lot of documentaries related to recovery. To get you started, we will highlight a few good options below. We’ll also include one powerful miniseries that isn’t a documentary, but is based on a true story.
In the early 1970s, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter, a major accomplishment, while “high as a Georgia pine” on LSD. But this look at Ellis’ life and career isn’t about celebrating drug use. Instead, it is the story of a fierce competitor who became an equally fierce advocate for those struggling with substance use disorders. Ellis’ story calls attention to an important fact: no one is just one thing, and so addiction does not have to be the defining aspect of your life.
This 2014 documentary about women facing the challenges of alcoholism and the stigma that comes with it suggests that excessive use of alcohol has become the third leading cause of preventable death among women ages 33 to 55. Women often feel the pressing need to hide their problem rather than address it for fear of being shamed by their communities. Lipstick & Liquor explores the consequences of that fear.
This powerful documentary features four women who struggled mightily with addiction for years and years. Each of them shares a story of extreme hardship in difficult circumstances and how they found their way toward recovery. In the end, Do You Care? is a story of hope that reminds us that there is help for those who find themselves in the grip of a substance use disorder.
Students, parents, and teachers might all be shocked by this documentary investigating the use of drugs used to treat ADHD (like Adderall) as “performance enhancers” for students who feel extreme pressure to succeed. Take Your Pills is a study of the slippery slope that misuse of pharmaceuticals can create. The so-called benefits may be appealing at first, but long-term use of these drugs leads to significant and often dangerous side effects.
While this miniseries starring Michael Keaton isn’t a documentary, it is based on journalist Beth Macy’s nonfiction book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America. The series is a powerful reminder of the ways in which prescription drugs—which ostensibly are created to help those who take them—can become problematic or even deadly.
We Can Help You Rewrite Your Story
If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, it is time to imagine how you would like a documentary about your life to end. We are confident that you wouldn’t want the film to end with your defeat. Instead, we suspect that you would prefer that your life serve as an example of how it is possible to regain your sobriety and redefine your life. That would be a story of strength in the face of difficulties—the kind of story that inspires others to overcome the challenges in their own lives. That’s a much better ending, right?
At French Creek Recovery Center, we can help you flip the script on your life so that you are not defined by your substance use disorder. We have the expertise, experience, and compassion necessary to help you get and stay sober. When you are ready to make a change, we are ready to help you accomplish your goals.