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Famous Drug Movies: A Geographic Re-Telling

Drugs are a central theme in storytelling and plots of American movies. Just how often?  Wikipedia lists a whopping 707 movies on their current “List of Drug Films.”

These movies often contain road trips as well as drug trips. We mapped out both “trips” and locations of some of the most iconic movies that contain drugs as a central theme or have drugs in memorable scenes. Check it out: Creative Commons License

  1. Fear and loathing in Las Vegas

Trip: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starts in Beverly Hills and then goes on a strange and entertaining trip to Las Vegas. Eventually the movies “heroes” head back to LA on Interstate 15. Drugs: This one has it all! Cannabis, mescaline, thorazine, LSD, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, ether, opium, hashish, hash oil, heroin, adrenochrome, and more. The whole movie feels like one giant acid trip.  

  1. Blow

Trip: Blow doesn’t follow one direct path. Its characters go from Southern California to Boston at one point, while others get to Boston from Mexico. They also travel from Boston to Colombia to California, and then from California to the Otisville Correctional Facility in update NY. Drugs: Cocaine and Cannabis are the drugs of choice in this movie, hence the title “Blow.”  

  1. Traffic

Trip:  A movie strictly about the trafficking of drugs to Mexico. This movie goes from Mexico to Cincinnati, Ohio, over to Washington DC and then back to Mexico. Drugs: Cannabis, Cocaine, heroin, and crack cocaine all share the spotlight in Traffic.  

  1. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

Trip: This one quite obviously doesn’t focus on reality, as it takes the strangest and least lifelike “path”. Beavis and Butthead start in Las Vegas and hit a number of American landmarks on their way to Washington DC, including the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest National Park, and Yellowstone. They’re later seen driving up Interstate 81 in Virginia to eventually end up in DC. Drugs: Beavis and Butthead have a major “trip” when they try Peyote in the desert.  

  1. Road Trip

Trip: In the classic 2000 comedy, four friends take off on an 1800 mile road trip from Ithaca to the University of Tennessee and then to the University of Texas at Austin to try and retrieve a videotape mistakenly mailed to a girlfriend. Drugs: Marijuana is used quite often throughout the whole movie.  

  1. Due Date

Trip: In one of the most recent road trip movies, Robert Downey Jr reluctantly pairs up Zach Galifianakis as they travel from Atlanta to Los Angeles (with a stop the Mexican border and then the Grand Canyon). Drugs: The unlikely pair share lots of cannabis and Vicodin.  

  1. Harrold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Trip: In the midst of getting stoned, Harrold and Kumar go from Princeton University to Cherry Hill, New Jersey in search of White Castle. Drugs: Cannabis is Harrold and Kumar’s drug of choice, but  MDMA and cocaine can also be spotted.

  1. Dude Where’s My Car

Trip: Dude Where’s My Car has the shortest distance, as the whole movie takes place all around Sierra County, California. Still, there is a lot of drug use packed into a small area. Drugs: Cannabis. Lots and lots of Cannabis.  

  1. The Wolf of Wall Street

Trip: The Wolf of Wall Street is another one that shows the main characters going all over the world. They’re seen going from Queens to Wall Street to Long Island to Las Vegas to Long Island to Switzerland to Long Island to Italy and back to Long Island, then to New Zealand. Drugs: What drugs aren’t in this movie? Cocaine, Crack, Quaaludes, Cannabis, Xanax and Morphine all show up several times.  

  1. Flight

Trip: Denzel Washington’s flight crashes between Orlando to Atlanta early on in this movie. The rest showcases a textbook addiction case. Drugs: The pilot spins out of control with alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana.

  1. Leaving Las Vegas

Trip: Nicolas Cage is an alcoholic screenwriter who travels from Hollywood to Las Vegas as his life goes out of control. Drugs: Plenty of cocaine and alcohol leads to a depressing ending.  

  1. The Hangover

Trip: One of the best comedies of the decade starts out in California and then spends a blurry night in Las Vegas before heading back to CA in time for a wedding. Drugs: GHB and rohypnol give the characters a very hard time remembering what just happened.   While a number of these movies take a humorous take, the characters in movies like Flight and Blow show a much more realistic and devastating look at the lives of extreme addicts. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, contact The Ranch PA today.

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