From the old movies on substance abuse in the early decades, we now share some of the best movies dealing with substance abuse in the 1980s.
Altered States by Ken Russell, 1980
Featuring William Hurt in his debut film as Edward Jessup, the movie Altered States is about a professor (Hurt) who gets entangled on his experiments in his continuous study about schizophrenia. He comes up with the ideas about “the other states of consciousness” which he tries to prove by getting into a flotation tank and injecting himself with his “mushroom cocktail” from Mexico. The film is based on John C. Lilly’s isolation tank studies under the influence of psychoactives like Ketamine and LSD.
The Boost by Harold Becker, 1988
Starring James Woods, the movie depicts the realistic downfall of a recreational drug user who eventually becomes a cocaine addict and loses his entire life. He brings his wife down with him, and lost his job and their home, not to mention the loss of their unborn child. It could be the first film to show crack smoking on the big screen.
Drugstore Cowboy by Gus Van Sant, 1989
Matt Dillon plays the role of Bob Hughes who belongs to a family of addicts. They travel across the US Pacific Northwest to rob pharmacies and hospitals in the 1970’s. Bob meets a defrocked priest and lectures him all about temptation, which made Bob decide to let go of his addiction and face the challenges of starting over with his life.