David and Nic Sheff

According to David Sheff's memoir, Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction, his son Nic was always on "the cutting edge of popular trends." Unfortunately, that also applies to his decade-long use of meth, which he was using long before politicians were decrying it as the deadliest drug on the street. The son also recounts his years of active addiction and mental illness in Tweak: Growing Up on Amphetamines, which details the frustrating cycle of repeatedly getting clean only to take three steps forward and two (sometimes more) steps back. Though there were many times on Nic's path to recovery when he and his dad weren't communicating, they both share a common sense of helplessness, desperation, and self-loathing. In this way, Beautiful Boy and Tweak complement each other, though neither is necessarily a pleasant read per se. Still, reading both together sheds light on the dual perspectives of addiction: the user and those who love him.
Thu., March 6, 4 p.m., 2008

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