Entertainment

The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs  

Ranker TV
1.9k votes 662 voters 42.2k views 46 items

If there's one thing in society most people have had even a passing association with, it's drugs. TV shows about drugs are all about the sale, manufacture, trafficking, and use of illegal substances, but as most people know, drugs are all around us. That's what makes TV shows about drugs so interesting; they examine the nature of those illegal substances we all know too well, but in a way that either comes off as entertaining, informative, or just downright frightening. While there are plenty of great drug movies, what do you think are the best shows about drugs?

TV shows about drugs can be found throughout all the various genre of television. Some of the best TV shows like AMC's Breaking Bad tell the story of a dying man and his desire to provide for his family. Thanks to his background in chemistry, he goes into the meth manufacturing business and becomes a terrifying criminal mastermind. Other drug TV shows like Showtime's Weeds tells the tale of a suburban mom who starts out selling pot to the parents in her community, but quickly finds herself embroiled in an international drug ring. Whether you're into comedy, drama, or action/adventure, there are plenty of good shows about drugs, addiction, and abuse to enjoy. 

For more recommendations on TV series about drugs, browse this list and feel free to add any similar shows you think are missing!

list ordered by
1
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
Breaking Bad is an American drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, ...more
2
Snowfall is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Damson Idris, Carter Hudson, Emily Rios
Snowfall (FX, 2017) is an American crime drama television series created by John Singleton, Eric Amadio and Dave Andron. Set in 1983 Los Angeles, the series revolves around the first crack ...more
3
Narcos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Pedro Pascal, Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook
Narcos (Netflix, 2015) is an American drama web-television series created by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro. A chronicled look at the exploits of Colombian Pablo Escobar, as well ...more
4
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn
The Wire is an American drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the series was ...more
5
Queen of the South is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Alice Braga, Justina Machado, Hemky Madera
Queen of the South (USA, 2016) is an American television drama series adapted from the successful telenovela La Reina del Sur on sister network Telemundo and the book of the same name by Spanish ...more
6
Sons of Anarchy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior
Sons of Anarchy is an American drama television series created by Kurt Sutter, about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in California's ...more
7
How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Maximilian Mundt, Anna Lena Klenke, Danilo Kamperidis
How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) (Netflix, 2019) is a German coming-of-age comedy-drama web television series co-created by Philipp Käßbohrer and Matthias Murmann. Inspired by a true ...more
8
Weeds is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould
Weeds is an American dark comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. The central character is Nancy Botwin, a widowed ...more
9
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky
Shameless is an American television comedy-drama which airs on Showtime. This remake of the award-winning British series is set in Chicago's Canaryville neighborhood on the South Side, although ...more
10
El Chapo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Marco de la O, Humberto Busto, Alejandro Aguilar
El Chapo (Netflix, 2017) is an American crime television series directed by Ernesto Contreras and José Manuel Cravioto. A look at the life of notorious drug kingpin, El Chapo (Marco de la ...more
11
Drugs, Inc. is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Mike Secher, Alex Cameron Dimez, Derrick Hesselein
Drugs, Inc. is an American documentary television series on the National Geographic Channel that explores global narcotics production and trafficking. The series features drug dealers, ...more
12
Limitless is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper
Limitless (CBS, 2015) is an American comedy-drama television series developed by Craig Sweeny, based on the 2011 film. Brian Finch (Jake McDorman), a 28-year-old burnout and struggling musician, ...more
13
Patrick Melrose is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Benedict Cumberbatch, Holliday Grainger, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Patrick Melrose (Showtime, 2018) is a five-part drama miniseries directed by Edward Berger, based on the novels by Edward St Aubyn. From a privileged yet troubling childhood, Patrick Melrose ...more
14
Hamilton's Pharmacopeia is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
liveharmlessreptile added Hamilton Morris
Hamilton's Pharmacopeia (Viceland, 2016) is a documentary series. Host Hamilton Morris explores the history, chemistry, and societal impacts of the world's most extraordinary drugs.
15
House is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard
House is an American television medical drama that originally ran on the Fox network for eight seasons, from November 16, 2004 to May 21, 2012. The show's main character is Dr. Gregory House, a ...more
16
Underworld Inc. is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Underworld Inc.
Underworld, Inc. (National Geographic, 2015) is an American documentary television series. The series explores the illegal, underground market, featuring illegal trades including weapons, ...more
17
Skins is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Kaya Scodelario, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Dempsie
Skins is a British teen drama that followed the lives of a group of teenagers in Bristol, South West England, through the two years of sixth form. Each episode generally focuses on a particular ...more
18
Cops is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Andrew Fincher, Joe Guay, Wayne Anderson
Cops is an American documentary/reality legal series that follows police officers, constables, sheriff's deputies, and federal agents during patrols and other police activities including vice ...more
19
Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning
Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and first released on Netflix on July 11, 2013. The series, produced by Tilted Productions in association with ...more
20
Maniac is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Jonah Hill, Emma Stone, Sonoya Mizuno
Maniac (Netflix, 2018) is an American dark comedy television series created by Patrick Somerville and directed by Cary Fukunaga. Based on a 2014 Norwegian series, the show revolves around the ...more
21
Californication is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone, Evan Handler
Californication is an American comedy-drama television series created by Tom Kapinos, which aired for seven seasons on Showtime from August 13, 2007 to June 29, 2014. The show follows New Yorker ...more
22
Nurse Jackie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Edie Falco, Merritt Wever, Paul Schulze
Nurse Jackie is an American medical dark satirical comedy-drama series. It premiered on Showtime on June 8, 2009. The show's seventh and final season will premiere April 12, 2015. The show stars ...more
23
Dope is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
HaylieCorbett added Dope
Dope (Netflix, 2017) is an American crime documentary television series. Filmed from the perspectives of dealers, users and the police, this vivid series offers a bracing look at the war on
24
Oz is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen
Oz is an American television drama series created by Tom Fontana, who also wrote or co-wrote all of the series' 56 episodes. It was the first one-hour dramatic television series to be produced ...more
25
Drug Lords is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Drugs
Drug Lords (Netflix, 2018) is a documentary series exploring the stories of history's most notorious kingpins, their terrifying enforcers, and the men and women who've sworn to bring them down.