DVD Release Date11 Best TV Shows About Drugs: Ultimate Guide for TV Enthusiasts in...

11 Best TV Shows About Drugs: Ultimate Guide for TV Enthusiasts in 2023

11 Best TV Shows About Drugs: Ultimate Guide for TV Enthusiasts in 2023

Substances. It’s something that most people have encountered in society at some point or another. Substances are all around us, even if we don’t always realize it. That’s why TV shows about substances are so captivating. They explore the world of illicit compounds that we are all familiar with, whether it’s to entertain us, enlighten us, or simply give us a thrill. So, when it comes to substance-related TV shows, which ones do you think are the most captivating?

The amazing thing about TV shows about substances is that they can be found in various genres. Take AMC’s Breaking Bad, for example. This show revolves around a man who is facing his mortality and wants to provide for his family. Utilizing his knowledge of chemistry, he ventures into the manufacturing of methamphetamine and becomes a formidable criminal genius. On the other hand, Showtime’s Weeds tells the tale of a suburban mom who starts off selling marijuana to her neighbors but ends up entangled in an international drug network. Whether you prefer humor, intensity, or thrilling escapades, there are numerous TV shows that tackle the themes of substances, addiction, and misuse.

So, which TV shows about substances do you find the most captivating? Share your thoughts on your favorite shows and discover where they stand among the rest.

1. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad, a TV show that spanned five seasons, captivated viewers with its meticulously crafted storyline. Throughout the series, we witnessed Walter White transform from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher to an unexpected drug lord, building an empire in the world of methamphetamine. Alongside him, characters like Jesse Pinkman and Gus Fring provided both support and challenges in his ambitious pursuit.

Breaking Bad’s remarkable performances and gripping narrative have earned it a prestigious reputation. It is not only regarded as one of the finest drug-themed TV shows but also holds a place among the greatest television series of all time.

Premiered: January 20, 2008
Actors: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

2. Snowfall

Set in the 1980s, Snowfall takes us back to a crucial time in Los Angeles, when the crack epidemic was wreaking havoc on the city. The show introduces us to a diverse group of characters, including a drug dealer, a luchador, and a CIA operative, whose paths are destined to cross during this tumultuous period. While it may not embody the raw realism of a show like The Wire, Snowfall brings a fresh and stylish take on the world of drug dealers.

Premiered: July 5, 2017
Actors: Damson Idris, Carter Hudson, Sergio Peris-Mencheta

3. Guns & Gulaabs

Guns & Gulaabs
A chaotic opium deal entangles a big-city police officer and a lovesick mechanic.

Premiered: August 18, 2023
Actors: Rajkummar Rao, Dulquer Salmaan, Adarsh Gourav

4. Narcos

Narcos, a gripping series, delves into the world of drug cartels. The initial two seasons revolve around the infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar, shedding light on his notorious reign. As the series progresses, it shifts its focus to the Cali Cartel, exploring their illicit activities. The popularity of Narcos led to the creation of its spin-off, Narcos: Mexico, which zooms in on the Guadalajara cartel during the 1980s.

Premiered: August 28, 2015
Actors: Pedro Pascal, Arturo Castro, Kerry Bishé

5. The Wire

The Wire
The Wire is often hailed as one of the all-time great television shows. It stands out for its commitment to ultra-realism, giving viewers a gritty portrayal of the complex Baltimore drug network. This authenticity can be attributed to the fact that the show’s creator was a former police reporter. While it’s often recognized as a powerful depiction of the drug trade, The Wire is about much more than that. It delves into the intricacies of the entire city and its various institutions.

Premiered: June 2, 2002
Actors: Dominic West, John Doman, Frankie R. Faison

6. Power

Power, the hit show on Starz, captivated audiences for six seasons, earning high ratings and becoming one of their most beloved series. It revolves around the life of James St. Patrick, also known as ‘Ghost,’ who dreams of transitioning from a drug dealer to a nightclub owner. This gripping storyline delves deep into Ghost’s constant battle to maintain a legitimate business while still being entangled in the drug trade. Moreover, it offers a raw depiction of his personal challenges within his family, providing a multi-dimensional portrayal of a complex and tormented individual.

Premiered: June 7, 2014
Actors: Omari Hardwick, Lela Loren, Naturi Naughton

7. Queen of the South

Queen of the South
Queen of the South, which is based on the telenovela La Reina del Sur, follows the captivating journey of Teresa Mendoza. From a humble background, she rises to great heights by establishing a drug empire in the United States, having fled from Mexico. It’s worth noting that the character draws inspiration from Sandra Ávila Beltrán, a remarkable figure in the world of drug trafficking. She stands out as one of the few women to have achieved the prestigious rank of ‘boss’.

Premiered: June 21, 2016
Actors: Alice Braga, Hemky Madera, David Andrews

8. BMF

Get ready to witness the remarkable tale of the Flenory brothers in the captivating series BMF. This show brings to life one of the most influential drug empires created by a family. Prepare to be immersed in a world where the drug trade intertwines seamlessly with the world of hip-hop, transcending borders and captivating audiences worldwide. Leading the charge, we have Big Meech and Southwest T, whose unbreakable brotherly bond takes center stage as they conquer the United States.

And here’s a fascinating twist: BMF features none other than Big Meech’s own son, “Lil Meech,” portraying his own father. This adds an extra layer of authenticity and connection to the story, as we witness the next generation stepping into the shoes of their legendary predecessors.

Premiered: September 26, 2021
Actors: Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory, Da’Vinchi, Russell Hornsby

9. Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy is all about this made-up biker gang in California. And of course, they’re up to no good with all sorts of illegal stuff going on. But at its core, the show is really about brotherhood, morality, and how corrupt the government can be. It’s been so well-liked that it even led to a spinoff called Mayans M.C.

Premiered: September 3, 2008
Actors: Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Kim Coates

10. El Chapo

El Chapo
There’s this super popular Netflix show that revolves around the life of El Chapo, a notorious drug lord. It takes us through his early days, his meteoric rise, and his eventual downfall. El Chapo is known for his expertise in building tunnels, and despite starting out as a low-level member of the Guadalajara Cartel, he eventually becomes the leader of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel.

Premiered: April 23, 2017
Actors: Marco de la O, Humberto Busto, Alejandro Aguilar

11. Power Book IV: Force

Power Book IV: Force
Power Book IV is the latest addition to the beloved Power Universe, and it’s a spinoff that focuses on Tommy Egan. After the events of the previous series, Tommy decides to start fresh and moves to Chicago. Being an outsider in a new city doesn’t faze him though, because he’s got big plans. Tommy is determined to disrupt the status quo and make a name for himself as the top dog in the drug trade.

Premiered: February 6, 2022
Actors: Joseph Sikora, Kris D. Lofton, Anthony Fleming