Top 5 Drug documentaries that chart the death and corruption of the illegal drug trade

From the grower to the user, RTD’s Drug documentaries chart the devastation of the trade in illegal drugs. The films document the plight of small farmers from Afghanistan to Colombia, whose only chance of earning a living is to grow poppies and coca. The documentaries examine the death and corruption fostered by the cartels running drug trafficking, and the plight of users hooked on substances that ruin their lives. For an unforgettable insight into illegal drugs here are RTD’s top 5 drug documentaries.

1. Afghan Overdose

Despite war and Western intervention, Afghanistan still produces 90% of the world’s opium. Regular raids by the police and military to destroy the poppy crops do nothing to stem the flood of illegal drugs. The small growers and middlemen take the brunt, with the drug lords free to re-start production at will. The documentary Afghan Overdose examines the authorities' losing battle against the opium trade.

2. Narco-song of Sinaloa

Sinaloa province in Mexico has become synonymous with death and corruption. The infamous Sinaloa drug cartel has become a law unto itself. In the film Narco-song of Sinaloa, RTD investigates the cartel and its effect on the local community. People are frightened to talk openly about the illegal drug trade, and the crew is threatened while filming.

3. The Coca Trap

For poor farmers in Colombia, the only way they can make a buck is growing coca, which can be turned into cocaine. Plans for crop substitution have come to nothing as corruption has eaten away at the money intended for the poor. In the film The Coca Trap, we see how coca-growing continues despite good intentions, as the money to be made from the illegal trade is too tempting.

4. Cold Turkey in Kyrgyzstan

For addicts getting off the drugs can be the hardest thing they do in their lives. A unique rehab centre on the Kyrgyzstan steppe offers a tough treatment claimed to cure addicts. Cold Turkey in Kyrgyzstan examines the work of Dr. Nazaraliev, whose controversial shock therapy appears to be a cross between torture and brainwashing. For many addicts and their families, it’s their last hope.

5. Black Lives: Addiction

Black Lives: Addiction enters the world of drug dealers in the United States. The film looks at the downward spiral of young black men who have few positive role models. How young Blacks are sucked into a life of drugs and dealing, and the difficulty of pulling themselves out of the quagmire.