The latest documentary series from Louis Theroux will begin on BBC Two in early October.
The first in the series, Louis Theroux: Dark States – Heroin Town looks at America’s love affair with prescription painkillers, and focuses the lens on the country’s widespread dependency on powerful opiates.
A recent crackdown on over-prescription has left around two million Americans without access to the high-strength medications on which they have become reliant.
Vast numbers of Americans are turning to a cheaper and stronger opiate: heroin. Heroin now causes more American deaths than car accidents or gun crime, and now, for the first time in over two decades, the average life expectancy in the US is falling.
Theroux embeds himself in Huntington, West Virginia, an Appalachian community which is being devastated by the drug. He finds that one-in-ten babies in the area are born with an opium addiction, and the fatal overdose rate is more than 13 times higher than the national average.
In the first in this three-part series, Theroux spends time with the drug-using community, following them as they struggle to cope with the realities of their addiction.
Theroux recently looked at addiction in his 2016 special Drinking to Oblivion, in which he met people in the UK who are living with a severe alcohol addiction, and examined the effects that dependency had on their individual lives.
His latest series will explore the dark side of America, and the difficulties that are presenting devastating challenges to US cities: murder, sex trafficking and opiate dependency.
Across the series he will also travel to Milwaukee where the homicide rate is 12 times the national average, and to Houston, the fourth largest city in the US, but the number one hub for sex trafficking in the country. The US Department of Justice estimates that at least one in five of all the country’s trafficking victims are moved through the city.
Louis Theroux: Dark States begins on 8th October at 9pm on BBC Two.