Louis Theroux is returning to the BBC with three brand new documentaries that will explore the darker sides of America.
Starting this Sunday, the three films will tackle drugs, murder and sex trafficking as Louis looks at the ‘uniquely devastating challenges’ America is facing.
You can watch the first trailer for Louis Theroux: Dark States here:
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In the first episode, Heroin Town, the popular broadcaster and documentary maker examines America’s love affair with prescription painkillers.
Following a crackdown on over-prescription, two million Americans who are addicted to high-strength painkillers are having to go elsewhere to satisfy their dependency.
Many have chosen to turn to a stronger and cheaper drug which is also easier to get a hold of: heroin.
For the first time in America in two decades, life expectancy is declining and many believe this is due to more and more people becoming addicted to heroin.
The drug now claims more lives in America than either gun crime and car accidents and police admit the arrests they make just aren’t having an impact.
Episode two, Heroin Town, sees Louis travel to Huntington in West Virginia to visit an Appalachian community which is being devastated by widespread heroin use.
Currently one in ten babies in Huntington are born dependent on opiates and the city also has a fatal overdose rate an astonishing 13 times the national average.
We will follow Louis as he meets users in this community and follow the emergency services as they attempt to deal with the situation.
At the centre of the most deadly drug epidemic the US has ever seen, Huntington sees multiple overdoses every single day completely overwhelming the police.
The following episode sees Louis travel to Milwaukee to spend time in one of the poorest cities in America.
In Murder in Milwaukee, Louis meets with members of the local community as well as the Milwaukee Police Department’s homicide team.
In District 5 the murder rate is currently around 12 times the national average meaning tensions between the police and the local African-American community are especially high.
Finally in Sex Trafficking Houston, Louis takes an in-depth look into what is considered to be one of the largest hubs for human trafficking in North America.
Interviewing women working in the city’s sex industry, Louis examines the relationship they have with pimps.
Can Sunday hurry up please so we can get our Louis fix…
In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Louis said:
I immerse myself in some of the most dysfunctional and disturbing aspects of American society.
They combine hard-hitting actuality with intimate interviews.
I have been granted access to the police in several states; I’ve got to know the people affected by crime; and I’ve also spent time with the perpetrators of crime, with the idea of understanding the causes of it, both on a systemic level and also in a very personal way.
BBC Two’s Channel Controller, Patrick Holland, added:
This is so exciting. It is always a real event to have a new series from Louis on BBC Two.
This trilogy promises to be hugely timely and challenging, it has never been more important to engage with the forces shaping modern America.
Louis Theroux: Dark States starts this Sunday at 21:00 on BBC2.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.