The best drug-related TV shows

Taryn Davies
Published: August 24, 2015

We’re not condoning the use of drugs in any way, but they’re great story drivers in both TV and film and one of the greatest TV shows ever created, Breaking Bad, centred on them.

This week all ten episodes of Narcos will premiere on Netflix and the newest original series from the streaming service has certainly built anticipation.

Narcos tells the real-life story of Pablo Escobar and his drug empire he ran in the late 80s.

The best drug-related TV shows

Narcos is incredibly gripping and gritty too, with a look at the different forces, including political, police, military and legal.

Wagner Moura stars as Escobar for the series, with Pedro Pascal and Boyd Holbrook taking on the roles of real-life DEA agents Javier Pena and Steve Murphy.

In anticipation of the new Netflix Original series we’ve rounded up the best drug-related TV shows.

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is without a doubt one of the standout series in the last 10 years. And if you have yet to watch it, we can only feel jealous that you get to revel in it for the first time.

Walter White is a former schoolteacher who is diagnosed with a terminal illness, and he sees his only option as cooking up crystal meth in a bid to cover the endless medical costs for both his son and himself and to help support his family.

The series sees us question Walter's intentions throughout and we're left questioning whether we actually like him at all throughout every episode.

Himself and his partner Jesse are on a downward spiral into a life of crime that not only includes cooking meth but murder too.

The series won numerous awards, got its own Mythbusters episode and even a Spanish remake of the whole series. Its influence on TV is undeniable.



The Wire

The Wire is a drama about Baltimore’s drug trade, and it's not only the storylines that will draw you in but the complex characters that aren't confined to their archetypes. One of the standout characters of the whole series is undoubtedly Omar Little, an incredible performance from Michael K. Williams.

The creator of the series, David Simon, utilises his former role as a police reporter, to ensure the series is incredibly realistic. There aren't "good guys" or "bad guys"; instead, there are just flawed human beings trying to survive amidst corruption.


Dark comedy Weeds sees a single mother sell marijuana in a bid to survive and support her family.

Much like Breaking BadWeeds features an ordinary suburban housewife plunged into a world of crime. Selling marijuana may seem harmless (at least compared to some other drugs that you could sell), but in her quest for cash after her husband dies, Nancy Botwin manages to destroy her entire family. So long, white picket fence.

True Blood

True Blood showed us that vampires don't have t deal with the fact that they're dead, they've also got addictions to kick. In this world blood is the drug and it's vampire blood they desire.

Some of the storyliens in True Blood were definitely questionable, but it still stands out as one of the more gripping vampires storylines we've watched.



Nurse Jackie

Vicodin, Adderall, Percocet, Oxycontin... it's just another day in the life of Nurse Jackie. The series follows a nurse who has her own drug habit she'd like to quite. There's not a lot the star, Edie Falco won't do to get her hands on the drugs, including lying, cheating and stealing.


All ten episodes of Narcos will premiere on Netflix August 28