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If you are interested in learning more about the culture of drugs and substance abuse, there are plenty of documentary style films out there specifically to educate the public about the politics, law enforcement, and the tragic stories and fatal realities of addiction. The best drug documentaries on Netflix are those that depict either an in depth look at the political and economic elements of the war on drugs, or they are those who give an honest and revealing look into the lives of those suffering from substance abuse or addiction.

The best drug documentaries on Netflix may range from long term impacts on society from decades of drug history, or from the most recent developments in the war on drugs and how these changes affect society now. Now this is a matter of opinions, but most of the listed documentaries are rated fairly high out of 5 stars awarded by Netflix. These are the best drug documentaries on Netflix that are available to you now.

Best Drug Documentaries on Netflix- Political Preference

The following best drug documentaries on Netflix are described mostly as being more focused on the efforts of politics and law enforcement in the history of the American drug culture.

Drug Wars: Silver or Lead

Best Drug Documentaries on NetflixRated NR: 2008

3 ½ out of 5 Stars

This is a graphic documentary examining the drug wars waged in Mexican border cities like Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo Laredo where there is a large concentration of drug smuggling. Kidnappings, torture and executions are commonplace in these tormented areas, and brazen gangs are funded by cartel businessmen. The film takes a deeper look at the situation from the viewpoints of the drug gangs and their victims. Director Rusty Fleming includes disturbing images of the conflict as well as dramatic re-enactments in one of the best drug documentaries on Netflix.

High: The True Tale of American Marijuama

Best Drug Documentaries on NetflixRated UR: 2008

4 out of 5 Stars

Filmmaker John Holowach directs this absorbing documentary about the causes and effects of the war on drugs that also investigates into the not- so popular and often unnoticed politics and economics behind the scenes. This is one of the best drug documentaries on Netflix as it exposes the broken lives and casualties left behind by this relentless struggle. The director elaborates more on the infamous drug rehabilitation program Straight Inc., the growing battle against prescription pain medications and the abuse of such pharmaceuticals, and even the history of the marijuana legalization movement.

American Drug War: The Last White Hope

Best Drug Documentaries on NetflixRated NR: 2007

4 out of 5 Stars

Detailed and personal commentary from soldiers on both sides of the conflict that is the war on drugs makes this one of the best drug documentaries on Netflix. Kevin Booth’s insightful film walks into the dark truths of the American war on drugs, exposing it as the longest and costliest war in U.S. history. Taking viewers from prisons and inner-city streets to the halls of Congress and his own kitchen, Booth attempts to sort out the particulars of the national drug policy — and the reasons many suspect the effort has been an absolute failure.

How Weed Won the West

Best Drug Documentaries on NetflixRated NR: 2010

4 out of 5 Stars

Kevin Booth (American Drug War) again offers an intense chronicle into the exploding popularity of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state of California and the varied reactions of law enforcement. Focusing on the controversial story of Organica, a legal Los Angeles pot club that was raided in 2009, the film also gets a lot of input from a wide range of medical marijuana advocates in the community, including a former LAPD cop, making this one of the best drug documentaries on Netflix.

Best Drug Documentaries on Netflix- Look at the Lifestyle 

The below listed best drug documentaries on Netflix are described as being more specific toward showing the impact on individuals across national or even global areas who are afflicted with addiction and substance abuse issues and examines the narcotics that fuels such serious addictions.

The World’s Most Dangerous Drug

Best Drug Documentaries on NetflixRated NR: 2006

3 ½ out of 5 Stars

Cheap, powerful and highly addictive, methamphetamine, better known as Meth or Crystal Meth, has been called the most destructive and dangerous drug in the world. Lisa Ling is a correspondent for National Geographic who investigates why in this documentary charting meth’s impact across America, along with the rest of the world. From rural communities and suburbs to major urban areas, Lisa Ling travels the globe talking to those who’ve been affected by the potent narcotic and its devastating influence on the lives of addicts.

The House I Live In

Best Drug Documentaries on NetflixRated NR: 2012

4 out of 5 Stars

This documentary is a little darker and more clear cut. The House I Live In shines a harsh light on America’s “war on drugs” and its long-term impact on society, by focusing primarily on the people effected by the struggle with addiction and substance abuse, as well as those fighting to have it treated. This is one of the best drug documentaries on Netflix because it captures the stories of dealers, police officers, prison inmates and others affected by the crusade. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki earned 4 out of 5 stars for this very intimate look at the world of addicts.

Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded

Best Drug Documentaries on NetflixRated UR: 2014

4 out of 5 Stars

This is one of the best drug documentaries on Netflix because it is an expanded version of the documentary based on the recounting of the 1970s Miami drug market becoming the hub of international drug-smuggling operations. The documentary shows how the dealers adopted advanced technology to increase their profits and change the war on drugs. This new cut spotlights the 1970’s Miami club scene’s major players with over an hour of new footage.

There is a lot of information in these documentaries to increase awareness and give more insightful views of the growing drug problem in society, politics, and the economy. The best drug documentaries on Netflix may also give you an idea of how substance abuse and addiction destroys lives, and the results of living in these lifestyles and the scope of people it hurts. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 

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