America’s Medicated Kids

Parents in America are turning to psychoactive medication to help them cope with the challenging behaviour of their kids, even though the drugs, and sometimes the diagnoses, remain controversial.

In America’s Medicated Kids, Louis Theroux travels to one of America’s leading children’s psychiatric treatment centres, in Pennsylvania, to learn and understand what drives parents to put their kids on drugs.

Louis meets Hugh, a 10 year-old boy who has been diagnosed with ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and bipolar disorder. Moving in with Hugh and his family, Louis learns more about his controversial diagnosis and gets to know a family where even the dog is on medication.

We also meets Jack, aged six, a child who has been excluded from school for his explosive behaviour and who now takes antidepressant medication for his anxiety. And when 15-year-old Kaylee (diagnosed with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder) takes a day off her medication, Louis gets a glimpse of what life is like without the drugs.

From med checks to personal pharmacies, this documentary explores the world of psychiatric medication for kids, attempting to find the line between ordinary bad behaviour and pathology.

Are pharmaceuticals taking the place of old old-fashioned parenting?

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  1. Pretty ignorant comments. If the diagnoses are accurate, then the problem is biological, involving a chemical imbalance in the brain due to genetic/epigenetic differences. Nothing to do with parenting or nutrition.

  2. More like what happened to good nutrition!!! Instead of pumping yourself with all these nasty chemicals that are causing all these problems in the first place. Why not eat really well. When you do that. Your body functions to it optimal levels. You feel happier because the hormones are being regulated properly. Everything in your body start to function. Why can’t people wake up and see it all starts with good nutrition from clean healthy organic fruits and vegetable and organic produce. Dr’s are a waste of time. I never see them. And I never get sick anymore. Watch the documentary The Beautiful Truth. That will sum it all up for anyone who has no clue!!!!

  3. holy shit what happened to getting your ass slapped ? weak parents is the only real disease here.