David Sheff, a professional journalist, has written a powerful account of his journey with his son, Nic, as he attempts to help him to recover from a meth addiction. This is a real-life story that is filled with a gamut of emotions such as fear, compassion, frustration and triumph. What is most compelling about his recollections is that they follow in an easy-to-read prose the daily struggles that both parent and son endure in order to get a handle on this deadly addiction. What Sheff ends up telling his readers is how to build a long-standing filial relationship with an addicted son by practicing love leavened with a lot of mercy and wisdom. On a more practical level, Sheff provides his readers with all the gruesome and sordid details of what it is like to become a crack addict, right down to the physiological and mental destruction such a dependency causes. I picked up the book because it was recommended to me by another colleague on staff who deals with crack users in her program. As I read it over a couple of nights, I couldn't help feeling that Sheff is a very unique person who expresses a solid commitment to seeing healing taking place in his son's life as well as his own. Seeing the tangible proof of Sheff's genuinely heartfelt desire to help his son while knowing that it might still not be enough make a difference is the real reward of reading this book. I was personally challenged to understand afresh what it really means to be a parent of a child going through such agonizing adversity.
on April 6, 2010
This is a book about a parent's agonizing journey through their child's addiction. With deep love and dedication, the author delivers a raw account of his son's fall into a life of drugs and his own struggle to do all he can to save him, save his other children and ultimately save himself. This book is the most open and powerful account I have ever read with no black and white answers, just honest and raw emotion. It is a must read for any parent struggling with their child's addiction. It offers a commonality of war and a solace in final acceptance.
on May 18, 2015
This book is very detailed on the progress of the addiction/disease, the alternatives, the support, the desperation about not enough help, and even suggestions of what support systems that can/could help. A super plus with this book is that this is the father writing, and the son that the book is about has also written a book of his own, Tweak, from about the same time period, seen from his point of view, or experience rather. It is quite unique and quite interesting and educational to see this from two perspectives, from the son, the user and the father, the enabler that became a supporter. If you choose to buy this book, which I highly recommend that you do if you either work with addicts, are an addicts parents or have a family member that has addictions, you should definitely buy Nic Sheffs book Tweak at the same time.
on July 30, 2014
Reading this story is very much like reading my own story with my son. So close to our family situation. Every parent who has a prodigal with addictions, needs to read this book. Knowing you are not alone in your struggle is of some consolation. A book full of honesty, encouragement and comfort. David Sheff has put into words, quite eloquently, what we parents feel, do and hope for, for our lost children.
I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling to understand the shackles of an addicted loved one.