Author and Journalist
Preventable and Treatable: A Family Portrait
The Family Action Network (FAN) returns to its mission’s roots with a moving and provocative program featuring journalist David Sheff, author of the award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, a recounting of Sheff’s harrowing struggle to help his son Nic overcome his methamphetamine addiction, and Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. Co-presenting with Mr. Sheff will be his son Nic Sheff, author of two memoirs, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines and We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction. Together, the Sheffs will weave together their perceptions and experiences of Nic’s addiction and their family’s path through discovery, treatment, relapse and recovery. In an article for The Fix, Nic Sheff writes, “When I first read my father’s memoir Beautiful Boy, I understood just how much my addiction was killing him. I promised myself I would never cause anyone that kind of pain again. But of course, life is never so simple.”
Addiction is the worst problem in America – the cause of more deaths than any other non-natural cause, and most addicts start to use during adolescence. As FAN’s November, 2013 speaker Dan Siegel, MD points out in his new book Brainstorm, most adolescents are curious and attracted to risk, and impulse control isn’t fully developed. Biology, stress, and other pre-existing mental illnesses play key roles in developing addiction. In Clean, David Sheff offers a science-based paradigm for preventing drug abuse and treating addiction that is based on the principle that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. While not curable, addiction is both preventable and treatable, but current systems fail addicts over and over again. The cycles of failed prevention, substance use and abuse, treatment, relapse, recovery, relapse and, for some, medical institutionalization or penal incarceration, are woeful evidence of a pressing need for a reexamination of the entire addiction ecosystem. Come join us for a powerful, informative evening of policy, science, love and hope.
NOTE: Next-day workshop led by Al Ross, LCSW, Family Service Glencoe and Doug Bolton, Ph.D., Principal of North Shore Academy. Extending the Conversation: An Interactive Workshop, Thursday, February 6, 2014, 9:30-11:00 AM, Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, Join us for an interactive workshop and discussion focused on what parents can do if they know, suspect, or want to prevent their children’s use and abuse of substances.