Louis Theroux: The City Addicted to Crystal Meth

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Central Valley, California, is home to some of the most impoverished rural towns in America, where crystal meth addiction is prolific. In Fresno, Louis finds a community ravaged by this cheap and highly addictive drug.

As he infiltrates the town, he experiences the reality of meth abuse, as addicts who are high (or ‘tweaking’, as it is known) invite him into their homes to see them take hit after hit of their favourite drug. Louis becomes surrounded by the madness of daily addiction and the meth-addled confusion which is breaking this community apart.

He sees its impact through the eyes of the local police, and meets Diane and Karl, a couple who have sustained their marriage despite a 25-year meth addiction and losing custody of their five children. He witnesses arrests of sons doing meth with their mothers, and family after family broken apart from generations of meth abuse.

At the Westcare residential centre, Louis sees the work being done to combat the destruction caused by the drug. Run by ex-addicts, it offers a six-month rehab programme. He witnesses the extraordinary challenges they face dealing with meth-addicted families – babies born already hooked, with mothers caring for them while attempting to kick their own habit too.

Addiction is laid bare as Louis seeks out the stories and the people behind the drug.

Louis Theroux: The City Addicted to Crystal Meth, 8.5 out of 10 based on 34 ratings

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  • Gabriel

    I will never do Meth!

  • Imightberiding

    I think good old Louis was finally shaken up enough by the topic of his story that he wasn’t his usual blatant sarcastic self. Powerful, devastating epidemic with hard questions & even tougher answers. I always enjoy watching Louis make people squirm & be-little his subjects with scathing sarcasm but I must say this time around the story was presented very well by Louis Theroux in this worthwhile doc. Could he be getting a little soft hearted in his maturing years? Nice one Louis, as painful as the subject matter was, I enjoyed this one.

  • PatienceHealingEmpathyHumility

    I feel uncomfortable with this documentary’s use of people when high, wait until they are sober and have a lawyer before you ask them. This is not to be laughed at – these people have kids, families, just like all of us.

    It’s an addiction – yes, more harmful physically, but still in line with excess coffee, shopping, alcohol and weed. People learn to numb their pain by consuming and this is what happens. The American consumerist culture = addictions, hence one of the highest drug use in the world. It’s easy to point your finger at these people and say “this isn’t me” but part of you knows you have a part of you like them, wanting to numb your pain, trying to escape your life for whatever reason.

    These people need less stress, love, support, and time to heal. They deserve it.

    • Ophelia

      I agree with almost everything you said, Patience. However, I think that it would be a tall task indeed to have a meth user clean up and get a lawyer… due to the assumptions that:
      1. Drug addicts generally shy away from any form of the law, be it in a uniform or a suit for fear of repercussions due to their chosen lifestyle.
      and
      2. Drug addicts, especially meth users, are generally far too engaged in damaging themselves and participating in illegal activities to hold too much concern for their privacy rights.

      I am an advocate for privacy rights, however I believe in this circumstance, these people are out on the streets using, and have chosen to invite the camera crew into their abodes. Therefore, they have relinquished their rights to privacy by agreeing to participate in this film, knowing or not, by the act of using in public and engaging in the film crew.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.hernandez.1213 Jordan Hernandez

    Good old Fresno. Gotta love my city!

  • Boredofbastards

    Firstly, many of these people don’t have many sober moments and this is life for them, predominantly so asking them for a sober interview would be a task and a half, also they have to sign a disclaimer, surely? I think Louie is always very professional and doesn’t really have much of a hard edge to him at all. I think if something is awkward that’s because it just is, either by subject matter at hand or the surrounding situation at the time. I never see Louie as antagonising, maybe US viewers see him as a bit blatant but in my experience most Brit’s are that forward anyway(including me). Out of many UK journalists I would consider Louie to have a slightly softer approach.

  • Ophelia

    “85% of women in treatment have been abused sexually, physically, mentally or emotionally.”… Perhaps we should be addressing the elephant in the room. If meth use is prevalent in women who have been victimized, then is it a stretch to say that perhaps more funds and resources should be directed towards reducing the incidences of victimization?

    I think we can all agree, that knowledge is power and a vast majority of persons who are abused in their adult lives come from childhoods where they were either abused as children or were witnesses to abuse.

    It is my opinion that yes, while drug abuse is a real problem for our country, the REASONS people turn to drugs are the issues that truly need to be addressed.

  • Ophelia

    On a lighter note, does anyone else think “Carl” looks and sounds like George W. Bush? I bet he could make a lot of drug money impersonating him!

  • georgianbrit

    I think Louis started out a complete twat who like another commenter said was a sarcastic piss taking chopper. He was obnoxious and his only goal was to make whom ever he was interviewing look stupid. This is not the only doc I’ve seen of him lately and I am going to stick my neck out and say that maybe his continual exposure to shit stuff has actually changed him into one of the best documentary creators and interviewers on the circuit. He comes across now as an intelligent, sensitive but firm interviewer that you can feel the emotion and concern from. I now people are going to disagree, but kudos to Louis. You have become a man my son and a fine man at that. Jolly good show!!!!!

  • ericonthego

    God bless everyone in the struggle to be freed from the beast of addiction to meth. I was enslaved to it for the better part of nine years. I thank God everyday he made a pathway for me out, as I am now five years sober and eager to help other addicts find a way out as well. Meth is the devil in a baggie – plain and simple. Although the path to sobriety is not easy, as there is a lot of wreckage (e.g. mental/emotional pain, legal issues, destroyed relationships, etc.) to deal once one gets clean, it is so worth it to live without using instead of using to live.

  • Anonymous

    it doesn’t matter if there is education, rehabilitation etc. etc. Like the nurse was saying…she is baffled by the fact that people can’t stop and won’t stop taking drugs when they have so many resources to quit. The trouble is that people now believe that life is pointless and worthless so why not use drugs to feel good while you’re alive. I used to have that attitude as well. The reason that so many people are going off of the rails is because they need God, they need a purpose for this life. God is the only one that can heal these people. He healed me from years of IV heroin use that almost took my life, praise Jesus’ name.

  • James Mccrae

    A couple of meth heads who just happen to be brother and sister are sleeping with eachother? Holy crap! Here in Britain we are lucky in the sense that methamphetamine has never become a massive problem like in other countries. Why, I don’t know. It’s not like the ingredients are hard to come by anywhere in the developed world. Maybe all our many drug addicts are simply happy sticking to the crack and heroin. Upon reflection, this seems most likely (I speak as a former heroin addict- clean over three years). I imagine I would be well and truly DOOMED if I ever tried meth.

  • IT IT 3 IT

    WHY is THEROUX continuing to deliver such
    routine and demoralizing themes?

    WHY is he continuing to BALK any address
    of the now fully uncloaked GLOBALIST capstone MAFIA
    and their unfolding agenda for EXTERMINIST EUGENICS?