The Most Addicting Drug-Related TV Shows

This summer is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to new television shows. TNT is giving us the humid, woman-led crime soap that is Claws, while Freeform offered up a sneak peak at its latest feminist soap, The Bold Type, in June. The next great summer series coming our way is FX's upcoming drama Snowfall. The show will reveal how the crack epidemic spread in 1980s Los Angeles and will follow multiple people involved in the drug trade in one way or another. It will feature everyone from the daughter of a cartel kingpin to a CIA operative.
Although Snowfall, premiering July 5, is putting its own spin on the drug television show, it's definitely not the first series to deal with controlled (and deadly) substances. In fact, modern TV is filled with fantastic shows investigating how drugs ruin lives and make people fortunes.
To show you where Snowfall falls in this history, we found all the best drug-related television shows ever. Scroll through the gallery to find out which ones made the cut.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.
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The Wire

This HBO drama is usually regarded as one of the best shows in television history. The series deals with lots of political issues — from corrupt local governments to the school system — but the spectre of the drug trade is always there. The Wire proves the best series don’t have good guys and bad guys. Instead, they’re filled with deeply flawed, complex humans.
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Breaking Bad

What is it about drug-filled series that make such memorable television? Everyone who doesn’t count The Wire as their favorite show probably says Breaking Bad is their No. 1. The AMC drama follows one man’s descent into darkness after he’s diagnosed with cancer and begins producing meth to secure his family’s financial future. From there, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) falls down a rabbit hole of crime, murder, and instantly quotable phrases.

With an iconic show like this, it’s no surprise Breaking Bad merited post-finale spin-off Better Call Saul.
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Before there was Breaking Bad and The Wire, there was Oz, a prison drama showing how the drug trade could still flourish behind bars. The show, which started in 1997, also ended up being J.K. Simmons’ big break.
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Not all drug shows need to be serious dramas questioning what, exactly, is human morality. Weeds is simply a great Showtime comedy about a suburban mom named Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) who turns to selling marijuana to make ends meet after her husband dies. And you know Weeds is good since it comes from Orange Is The New Black mastermind Jenji Kohan.
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Nurse Jackie

Like Weeds, Nurse Jackie is a rare drug-related comedy. The show, starring Edie Falco, is about a New York City hospital nurse who has her own addictions to prescription painkillers. Yes, the Showtime series managed to make addiction and illegal activity funny.
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Only the strongest series can survive Netflix’s recent canceling binge. One of those winning shows is Narcos, which is inspired by the real-life Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Despite the show’s focus on Pablo, it’s told through the eyes of DEA agents, as opposed to the kingpin. Although it’s unknown when a new Narcos season will premiere, it’s already been renewed for seasons 3 and 4.
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Drugs, Inc.

Not all drug shows need to be scripted. National Geographic gave us Drugs, Inc., a documentary series about the ins and outs of the drug trade in America.
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True Blood

This HBO supernatural soap may seem like it’s only a bizarre ode to sexy vampires and Southern gothic storytelling, but it’s also about drugs. In this case, the drug of choice is vampire blood, and everyone in the town of Bon Temps can’t stop thinking about it.