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6 Shows like Drugs, Inc.: Televised Crime

Adam Pothitos itcherThe war on drugs and other illegal substances is one of the most controversial subjects of modern culture. TV shows like ‘Drugs, Inc.’, ‘Intervention’, and ‘Weed Wars’ are both entertaining and informative as we can learn more about the people involved in dealing, taking and curbing such substances. ~ Adam Pothitos

The Two Sides of War

Opinions on the war on drugs vary wildly, depending on who you ask. Some will say that it has helped to reduce crime and ‘save people from themselves’. Others will argue that the drug war is ineffective and that the real problems lie elsewhere.

Regardless of your own views, ‘Drugs, Inc.’ shows us that there a lot of different people who are involved with illegal substances. Some are addicts, some try to prevent addiction, and all of them have witnessed the effects of the war on drug first-hand.


Shows Similar to ‘Drugs, Inc.’…

‘Underworld, Inc.’ (National Geographic Channel, 2015- )

Though this is an obvious recommendation, ‘Underworld, Inc.’ is actually far less popular than ‘Drugs, Inc.’. The show is like an expansion of the original series. As its name suggests, ‘Underworld, Inc.’ focuses on underground markets.

As such, the show covers everything from drug trades to gambling to prostitution. Each episode is concerned with a different activity, though there are a lot of overlapping themes.

Similarity Match: 95%
‘Underworld, Inc.’ is virtually the same show as ‘Drugs, Inc.’ with an admittedly larger scope of the criminal world than its predecessor.

‘Weed Wars’ (Discovery Channel, 2011)

‘Weed Wars’ focuses on the Harborside Health Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, California. Though the show only lasted four episodes, it’s still an insightful look into the status of marijuana during the legalization battles.

After medical marijuana was legalized, the dispensary industry exploded in California. And though the substance is now legal in several U.S. states, its status was very controversial even back in 2011. Because of that, ‘Weed Wars’ may be quite surprising for some people as it shows that dispensaries are just like any other business.

Similarity Match: 90%
‘Weed Wars’ focuses only on the titular substance but, like ‘Drugs, Inc.’, it manages to show a lot of different perspectives through the eyes of the many people who are involved with dispensaries.

‘Intervention’ (A&E, 2005- )

One of the longest-standing series of its kind, ‘Intervention’ chronicles the lives of people who struggle with addiction in all its forms. Some are addicted to drugs and alcohol while others are addicted to food, video games, or even shopping.

Since the subjects of ‘Intervention’ believe that they are being filmed for a documentary, the show attempts to show their real responses. Even though the series has definitely helped some people, there are times when it feels exploitative. After all, the people depicted in the show are often at the lowest point of their lives!

Similarity Match: 85%
Unlike ‘Drugs, Inc.’, ‘Intervention’ focuses entirely on addictions of all kinds which may or may not be drug-related. Still, the two shows are very much alike in style and format.

‘Banged/Locked Up Abroad’ (Five & National Geographic Channel, 2006-2013)

Each episode of this docudrama features a different story of people who were either arrested for smuggling drugs or kidnapped while travelling in another country. Notably, the series has also featured famous stories and people such as John McCain’s experiences as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Typically, the show usually contains interviews with real people which are presented by actors who reenact the story’s events. This allows the viewer to receive correct and factual information while still being engaged in the show.

Similarity Match: 80%
‘Banged Up Abroad’ deals only with the aftermath of drug use and trade. On the other hand, ‘Drugs, Inc.’ chronicles everything from dealing to rehabilitation.

‘Moonshiners’ (Discovery Channel, 2011- )

The manufacturing and distribution process of illegal alcohol is incredibly interesting. However, factual and up-to-date information about moonshine is actually quite hard to come by. ‘Moonshiners’ amends this issue by giving us a look at a variety of people who produce moonshine.

The show covers everything from the production of moonshine to the people’s attempt to evade the law. Most entertainingly, the show usually dramatizes events instead of presenting them, documentary-style. The moonshine producers are actually very interesting characters so you may be able to get past that.

Similarity Match: 70%
‘Moonshiners’ is more like a reality TV show than a documentary series. The show will still teach you a lot of things about the moonshine trade in the same way that ‘Drugs, Inc.’ teaches about the drug trade.


If You Like ‘Drugs, Inc.’, You Will Like…

TV series like ‘Drugs, Inc.’ usually portray normal people who, for one reason or the other, get involved in illicit activities. However, a lot of the things that these people do are supported by organized crime in its many forms.

‘Inside the Gangsters’ Code’ (Discovery Channel, 2013)

Louis Ferrante is a former mobster who spent eight years in prison and was truly rehabilitated. Once he got out, he started working on several multimedia projects, one of which was this show.

‘Inside the Gangsters’ Code’ is probably one of the most interesting shows about the culture of organized crime. Due to his unique status, Ferrante’s interviews are incredibly authentic.

Anyone who wishes to learn more about the culture of gangs and gangsters should definitely watch this show as soon as possible.


Wrap It Up

Even though they are not always accurate, series similar to ‘Drugs, Inc.’ are fun to watch. And if we learn something in the process, that’s just a bonus! After all, a single glimpse into such dangerous and illegal activities may be enough for some people.

If you’re aware of more similar shows, why don’t you share them in the comments below?

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