Louis Theroux visits Central Valley, California – home to some of the most impoverished rural towns in America, where crystal-meth addiction is among the most prolific in the USA.
In Fresno, Louis finds a community ravaged by this cheap and highly addictive drug. It is hard to find anyone whose life hasn’t been touched by this drug in one way or another.
As he infiltrates the town, Louis comes face to face with meth abuse as addicts invite him into their homes. He becomes surrounded by the madness of daily addiction and the meth-addled confusion which is breaking this society apart.
Louis sees its impact through the eyes of the local police force and meets Diane and Karl, a couple who have sustained their marriage, despite 25 years of meth addiction and the loss of the custody of their five children.
At residential centre Westcare, Louis sees the work being done to combat the destruction caused by the drug. Run by ex-addicts, the centre offers a six-month rehab programme. Louis sees the extraordinary challenges faced by the centre which deals with a whole range of issues: from old timers, who repeatedly return to rehab programmes; to young meth-addicted families; and babies who are born, hooked, to mothers who are trying to care for them while trying to kick their own habit.
At Westcare, Louis meets Senteka, the mother of a teenaged daughter. Senteka is making a last-ditch attempt to kick meth in order to make up for missing her daughter’s childhood. As the majority of those attempting to kick their addiction eventually relapse, all Louis can do is hope that Senteka is telling the truth when she swears that she is “clean”.
Addiction is laid bare as Louis seeks out the stories and the people behind the drug.
Sunday 9 August
9.00-10.00pm BBC TWO