By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Intense docuseries is brutal but a conversation starter.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series takes an objective approach to the drug industry, showing how it operates in different cities around the world and including its impact on all aspects of society. Early seasons of the series focus on specific drugs; later episodes look at the drug industry in different cities.
Positive Role Models
Most folks who work the trade are in it to make money, move up in rank in a cartel, or support a drug habit.
Violence & Scariness
Guns are visible. Conversations about the violence resulting from the drug trade and attempts to stop it, including the role of hit men and brutal cartel activities, are frequent. Injuries resulting from manufacturing drugs are discussed; images of dead, bloody bodies occasionally are visible. Many people associated with the drug trade are resigned to the fact that they will die as a result.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Prostitution is discussed; women are sometimes shown in tight-fitting or sexy clothing.
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Words such as "ass" and "hell" audible; curses bleeped.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Narcotics ranging from marijuana, cocaine, and heroin to synthetic designer drugs such as Molly are discussed in detail. Producers discuss methods of production. People are shown using drugs but not in a glamorized fashion.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Drugs, Inc. takes a detailed look at the drug trade around the world. The production, selling, and use of drugs (including serious addiction) are discussed in detail; people are shown manufacturing and using drugs, too. The language is sometimes strong ("f--k," "s--t" bleeped), and conversations about prostitution and drug-related violence are frequent. Guns and images of bloody, dead bodies are visible. All this is offered in an informative context, but it's too intense for younger kids. Parents of teen viewers might want to watch with them, and discuss some of the issues raised.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
DRUGS, INC. is a documentary series that shows how the billion-dollar illegal-drug industry operates around the world. From explaining how specific drugs are produced and trafficked to exploring the impact of the drug industry on specific cities around the world, it offers an in-depth look at different facets of the illegal-narcotics trade. Interviews with disguised drug producers, runners, and dealers highlight the day-to-day activities that keep the industry thriving. Users also share their stories. Meanwhile, law-enforcement officials reveal some of their efforts to stop it and highlight the many challenges they face on the job. It's a complicated business and one that has many devastating consequences.
Is It Any Good?
Drugs, Inc. offers a disturbing but interesting look at the different facets of the illegal-drug trade, which has proven lucrative to some and devastating for others thanks to violence, incarceration, and addiction. It highlights how drugs, and the processes by which they're produced and trafficked, continue to evolve to meet social and economic demands and how various laws and law-enforcement tactics change, too
Watching people producing potent drugs and nonchalantly talking about their roles in the business or their addiction is troubling, despite the fact that these narratives are being offered in an informative context. But interesting points are raised about the role of the industry in local economies and the pros and cons of legalization. The series also underscores the fact that there's no limit to the industry's global reach and no restriction on who is affected by it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the consequences of doing drugs. Is it appropriate to use drugs if they're illegal? How does drug use contribute to the overall drug trade? What is the impact of showing drugs and drug use in the media?
Does showing things such as the production or use of drugs on TV shows such as this one promote them, even if it's meant to be informative?
- Premiere date: July 11, 2010
- Network: National Geographic Channel
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: March 31, 2022
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