Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction

What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on Nic.
Beautiful Boy is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional rollercoaster of loving a child who seems beyond help.

Amazon Best of the Month, February 2008: From as early as grade school, the world seemed to be on Nic Sheff’s string. Bright and athletic, he excelled in any setting and appeared destined for greatness. Yet as childhood exuberance faded into teenage angst, the precocious boy found himself going down a much different path. Seduced by the illicit world of drugs and alcohol, he quickly found himself caught in the clutches of addiction. Beautiful Boy is Nic’s story, but from the perspective of his father, David. Achingly honest, it chronicles the betrayal, pain, and terrifying question marks that haunt the loved ones of an addict. Many respond to addiction with a painful oath of silence, but David Sheff opens up personal wounds to reinforce that it is a disease, and must be treated as such. Most importantly, his journey provides those in similar situations with a commodity that they can never lose: hope –Dave Callanan

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2 Comments

O. Brown "Ms. O. Khannah-Brown" on October 12, 2014 at 22:34.

Brilliant and Moving Parental Memoir *****This is a stunningly written, intense and emotional memoir of a father’s struggle to deal with his brilliant, charismatic, and caring son’s addiction to methamphetamine. It is honest and authentic and raw and heart-rending and fascinating. It is unforgettable. As I read, I felt many emotions for both the father and son—everything from anger to sadness to grief to fear. I felt as though I was right there on the emotional roller coaster with the author.Even if you have no…

Deanokat on October 12, 2014 at 22:53.

An incredible, incredible book Being that I’m currently going through much the same thing that David Sheff went through–albeit on a smaller scale (if there is such a thing as a “smaller scale” of addiction when your own kid is the addict)–Beautiful Boy made me cry like a baby many, many times. I’m sure if you read it, it will affect you, too. So many of the thoughts the dad has are dead on with what I’ve experienced over the last four years. And the realization that he finally came to–that one way or another, your child…

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