The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs

The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs

Series 2 - Episode 1



Chris van Tulleken returns with his provocative programme about our excessive reliance on medicines. This time he’s looking at the explosion in rates of medicating children, whether with “the heroin of childhood” (as one GP calls a popular liquid paracetamol remedy) or with prescription drugs to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Apparently, in the UK 60,000 children now take drugs to treat ADHD, even though the evidence for any long-term benefit is weak.

Van Tulleken conveys a sense of passion and urgency, while basing everything he says on good evidence. We see how a very patient professor teaches mindfulness to kids with attention problems, as an alternative to drugs. Initially the results are chaotic, but with one child at least, the effects are hugely heartening.


Part one of two. Dr Chris van Tulleken sets out to understand why so many British children are taking prescription drugs, and looks at possible alternatives to their medication. Chris investigates the alarming rise in prescription medication for ADHD, which has increased 800 per cent since 2000, and also examines the unnecessary use of paracetamol.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Chris van Tulleken
Director Tom Beard
Editor Stuart Davies
Executive Producer Dominique Walker
Series Producer Tomiko Newson