("A Father's Journey Through His Son's Meth Addiction")
"Beautiful Boy" is a riveting and unapologetic true story
about David Sheff and his son, Nic, and their years of struggle
and heartache dealing with Nic's methamphetamine addiction.
It is also the story of Daisy and Jasper and Karen and Vicki,
and all the other loved ones affected and abused by Nic's
choices in active addiction.
It is a story of lives, before, during, and after addiction,
and how quickly things change. During the course of his own
personal path of worry and fear and chaos, David seeks
balance to keep his own life going, and deals with an
avalanche of questions and guilt.
This story grabbed me on several levels; from the exquisite portrait
of a loving and affluent family (a life unknown to me,) to the
intimately detailed particulars of a young man's downward
spiral in his progressive illness (all too often witnessed by me
and millions more,) to the honest sharing of a father's journey
through guilt, resentment, and
Whereas Sheff has a very different view of some matters (like 12
Step programs) than I do, his convictions are well spoken,
and--again with that exception--well researched and well documented.
(He does explore the disease model of
addiction, but unfortunately comes out with a
perspective I don't share.)
Equal time seems given to all sides and all persons,
and he does a good job of showcasing just how cruel
drug use and addiction are, as well as how unique every
manifestation of it can be.
A gripping exploration of addiction, meth, a man,
his family, and the tenuous nature of life.
And thankfully, a lot of hope and learning.