Earlier this year I read two books written about teen drug dependency. One is written by the teenager who was addicted to methamphetomines, the other by his father. Each book is written about the same time frame in each of his lives, but obviously the perspectives are very different.
Written by now 20-something Nic Sheff, he tells the tale in raw detail of how he started using drugs very early in his young life. As you read it you really feel like YOU are on drugs. He chronicles leaving home, stealing money from his little brother, getting high, living on the street, prostitution, sex (lots of sex, although not too much detail) and how he nearly dies several times.
As a parent, it’s hard to read. You feel bad for the father having to watch this. Or you don’t, and you blame the dad. You have to read the dad’s book before you decide who is to blame — if anyone.
Written by the father, David Sheff, he accounts for how this came about, how his family dealt with it and the guilt he carries as a result. He takes you through his early divorce from Nic’s mother, how they live in different cities, his new marriage and family, and how much he loves his oldest son. He struggles with kicking him out versus taking him in and constantly wondering if he’s alive. He looses sleep while he deals with the pressure to help his son kick these drug habits and wonders if he’ll ever be the same again.
Both books are excellent reads, although you’ll probably find one more interesting than the other — they are so different. How often do you get the chance to read about the tragedy of drug use from two perspectives? They are both worthy reads that will educate you on how families deal with this every day in our country. While you won’t get the definitive answer on what “to do” or “not to do” to ensure your child doesn’t end up hooked on these deadly drugs, you will surely be more educated about the topic.
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