Orthodontist Perry asks his patient, "Justin, do they teach you about the subconscious at school?" (0:05)
In a telephone call Perry tells Justin, "Your subconscious has taken its course." (0:27)
At a meeting with Justin, his parents, and the debate team coach, principal Mrs. Wood asks Justin whether he has suspected he might be different and recites a series of items, apparently from an ADHD inventory: "not as patient, can't finish what you started, terrified of being left alone but angry when you feel crowded?"
Justin: "A little."
Mrs. Wood: "It's classic hyperactive teen, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. We'd like you to think about a stimulant drug treatment for Justin."
Justin's mother Audrey: "You mean like Ritalin?"
Mrs. Wood: "It's one of the many drugs a doctor could prescribe. There's Adderall, clonidine, Tenex"
Audrey, a nurse herself, reading a brochure, is skeptical: "Excuse me, these symptoms they have here, they're pretty vague... ignores information, makes mistakes, seems restless, avoidance, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in, work that requires sustained mental effort."
After the meeting Justin tells his parents, hopeful about medication, "I can't focus on anything." We see Audrey examine a prescription bottle, apparently labeled "Amzopax." Justin washes down a tablet with orange juice. Graphics apparently intended to represent three different drug molecules drift across the screen. Justin reads Moby Dick, apparently in record time. He awakens his brother Joel to tell him, "I changed... I never thought that I would feel so clear." In class the next day he quickly volunteers to answer the English teacher's question about the novel. (0:32)
Justin taking pills. (0:36, 0:47, 0:48, 0:53)
Rows of prescription bottles in a medicine cabinet at school. (0:39, 0:40, 0:41)
Debate team coach Mr. Geary, apparently aware of the risks of interaction, cautions Justin, as he hands him a sixpack of beer, "One of these is going to go a long way with the pills you're on." (0:43)
At home, Audrey announces to the family, "I'm being transferred to the Maple Glen facility." Justin replies, "The celebrity rehab place." When Joel asks her which celebrities she might have encountered, she replies, "You know, I signed an agreement. I'm not supposed to leak names." (0:46)
Justin bends the truth more than a little in his application for admission to New York University: "Both my parents suffer from mental illness." (0:49)
Justin encounters Perry at a store. Perry tells him, "I was lost in a cloud of hippie psycho babble." Later in the conversation Perry asks him about his parents. Justin tells him his mother "got a new job working with drug addicts." When Perry asks him about his thumb sucking problem, embarrassing him in front of the store clerk, he tells him, "Actually, I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. It's a real problem. Now I'm on medication." (0:51)
An opposing debater finds Justin taking his medication in the men's room. He says, "You know this stuff's just speed right." Justin counters, "It calms me down." The other debater tells him it is only "three molecules different than cocaine... teachers are over medicating today's kids... whatever, speed freak." (0:53)
Mr. Geary meets with Justin: "It's my professional opinion that you've become a monster... Don't get grandiose with this." (0:55)
Justin tells Audrey he has stopped taking his pills. "They're just speed. They're just three molecules different than cocaine" (0:57)
At home in the kitchen Justin finds a book belonging to his mother, "One Year in Recovery" (1:03)
Justin and Rebecca share a bong. (1:04, 1:06, 1:10)
Visiting Maple Glen (rehabilitation center) after hours Justin encounters patient Matt Schramm outdoors. He tells Justin, "I'm Matt and I'm an addict." (1:15)
Justin talks to Joel about his own problems and the family. Joel, sensing reciprocity in their relationship, asks his brother, "You ever think maybe you're so busy being weird that I have to step up and be normal?" (1:21)
We start with an anxious kid, understandable in terms of some vaguely portrayed systemic marital/parental dysfunction. His orthodontist uses hypnosis to stop the thumb-sucking that kept the anxiety at bay. When his behaviors start getting him in trouble the school principal practically diagnoses ADHD. Getting a prescriber to buy into the diagnosis and dole out the drug apparently happens so readily that devoting screen time to the process would be gratuitous. The kid's functioning magically improves with medication. Does that confirm the diagnosis, or would speed make any kid start to excel in school? Then he takes a dive. Did this result from too much of the wrong drug? What role does marijuana use play? Finally off the drug, he seems to put it all together.