Parents' Guide to


By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Disturbingly detailed drug docu has violence, insight.

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What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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This docuseries offers a raw, inside look at what it's like to work in, and battle against, the rampant and profitable illegal drug trade. From speaking to Chicago-based gang members to discussing the challenges of federal law enforcement on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border regarding marijuana trafficking, it reveals the difficult, harrowing, and tragic aspects of being connected to the industry. It also notes some key events in history, such as the pharmacy lootings that took place during the violent 2015 Baltimore protests, that have led to recent sales of more potent and harmful drugs, and larger numbers of people overdosing and dying as a result.

Most of what's featured in Dope is disturbing, especially when you're listening to individuals working the trade normalize (and sometimes celebrate) violence, addiction, and murder. Scenes featuring people giving what amounts to step-by-step instructions on how to mix or cook drugs for street sales and showcasing the weapons they use are also disconcerting. But while Dope offers multiple points of view on the subject, it doesn't offer anything unexpected.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: December 22, 2017
  • Network: Netflix
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-MA
  • Last updated: June 7, 2022

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