9 Books, Movies, and Podcasts to Learn About Opioid Use


Looking for ways to learn more about understanding opioids and the opioid crisis?

We asked some of our opioid treatment counselors for recommendations on books, movies, and podcasts to gain insight and understanding of opioid use disorder. Please share with anyone who is struggling or someone who is caring for someone who is struggling.

1. Dopesick


Category: Book + Film Series
Author(s): Beth Macy
Synopsis: Book and movie about the opioid epidemic, in support of medication-assisted treatment.
Where to Buy: Amazon
Where to Watch: Hulu

2. Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy

Category: Film
Directed By: Felix van Groeningen
Synopsis: Movie based on the memoirs Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff – chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery from methamphetamine addiction in a family coping with addiction over many years.
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

3. Chasing The Scream

Chasing the Scream (book) by Johann Hari

Category: Book
Author(s): Johann Hari
Synopsis: This book is the story of a life-changing journey that transformed the addiction debate internationally—and showed the world that the opposite of addiction is connection.
Where to Buy: Amazon

4. Painkiller

Painkiller (film) Directed by Mark Savage

Category: Film
Directed By: Mark Savage
Synopsis: This movie is about America’s fentanyl crisis.
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video | Apple TV

5. What Parents Are Saying — Prevention Wisdom, Authenticity, and Empowerment

Brian-Based Parenting

Category: Radio/Podcast
Hosted By: SAMHSA
Synopsis: Provides a platform for parents and caregivers to get informed, be prepared, and take action by having open and honest conversations with their kids about substance use and mental health.
Where to Listen:

6. Addiction and Recovery – A Ted Talk on “Addiction and Recovery: a How To Guide”

Addiction and Recovery - A Ted Talk on “Addiction and Recovery: a How To Guide” - presentation by Shaun Kingsbury

Category: Public Presentation
Presented By: Shaun Kingsbury
Synopsis: Shawn, a promising athlete, took a turn towards alcohol and drugs.
Where to Watch: YouTube

7. In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (book) by Gabor Maté

Category: Book
Author(s): Gabor Maté
Synopsis: Close Encounters With Addiction is a thought-provoking ebook adaptation of a lecture Dr. Gabor Maté gave in Los Angeles about his experience as a physician treating patients with addiction, trauma, and mental illness. It goes beyond simplistic self-help remedies to reframe everything you’ve been taught about addiction and recovery.
Where to Buy: Amazon

8. Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opioid Epidemic

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic (book) by Sam Quinones

Category: Book
Author(s): Sam Quinones
Synopsis: This book has accumulated tons of awards and accolades. “From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America.”
Where to Buy: Amazon

9. Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change

Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change (book)

Category: Book
Author(s): Jeffrey Foote, Carrie Wilkens, Nicole Kosanke, Stephanie Higgs
Synopsis: This book is about helping loved ones conquer addiction and compulsion problems through positive reinforcement and kindness.
Where to Buy: Amazon 

How to Get Help for Substance Use

If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance use or mental health challenges, there is a wealth of resources right here in our community.