A good television drama is, well… dramatic. Few things cause more trouble, drama, and destruction than heavy drug addictions. Here are 5 recent television dramas revolving around drugs and addiction.
As far a shows about addictions go, the undisputed heavyweight at this moment would have to be Vince Gilliam’s Breaking Bad. This is pure and simple, as the entire premise of the show is based on the manufacturing and distribution of crystal methamphetamine, a process in which one of the primary cooks has an on-again-off-again relationship with the addiction to the powerful drug. It causes him to ignore even the simplest of social values, whilst having squatters living in his home, spray-painting his walls, and stealing thousands of dollars at a time, from right under his nose and he doesn’t so much as even bat an eyelash to it. He’s so far gone that only a meth detox facility offers much hope for help.
The next heavy hitter is HBO’s The Wire. Among other subjects, this show is primarily about the heroin trade in modern-day Baltimore. It catalogs everyone from the street-hustling junkie to the upper-tier heads of these highly organized drug syndicates. In addition to the public officials and the law enforcement agencies that monitor said illicit activities by way of wiretaps, this program shows an unbiased multilateral account of the epidemic that is drug addiction in the world today.
Next on the roster, we have the nonfictional show known as Intervention. The format of this program usually goes as follows: a camera follows around the addicted party and documents their various derelict exploits to the point at which the producers bring in their family and loved ones to confront them on how their behavior has been affecting said parties. The conclusion is usually followed by a subsidized rehabilitation treatment but sometimes results in the absconding of the patient in the face of confrontation. However, this happens very rarely, as the program tries to emit a positive redemption lesson.
Though not primarily based on the sole premise of addiction, again, HBO’s prison drama OZ, has a rich history in documenting addiction over its 5-season span. Drugs are regularly passed around and violent assault occurs in virtually every episode. One of the underlying motifs tends to be the idea that this behavior is so much more prevalent within incarceration as a coping mechanism. If this doesn’t scare people straight, little likely will.
Last but not least, the most recent of these programs is Edie Falco’s portrayal as Nurse Jackie. She plays a hospital attendant who regularly commandeers the facility’s painkillers to abuse, and goes back and forth in a cycle of rehabilitation and relapse. It is a true tale of what helpful implements can be used for malice when fallen into the wrong hands.
One must take all these stories into account as cautionary tales, as none of them have been devised to glorify said indulgences. Entertainment value at their cores, there are still lessons to be learned here. No action is without reaction, and nothing is without cost.