Alicia's Reviews > Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff
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's review
Jan 28, 2009

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

This book connected with me on so many levels. It's about a father living in the Bay Area of California who's son has a very strong addiction to Meth. I've never been addicted to meth personally, but I still connected with this book. I think it's because my brother Jacob has has such a rough time for the past 4-5 years with drugs and alcohol.

One thing that really REALLY upsets me is when they call drug abuse or alcoholism a "disease." To me, a disease is something that you got through no fault of your own. Like a cold or cancer. But then the author makes a good point. Lots of the diseases we get ARE due to our own faults. Like cancer of the lung from smoking. Or syphilis from. . .well. . . you know. If you look at it that way, yeah, I guess many of my diseases are due to mistakes I personally have made. The author goes on to say that LIKE these other diseases you do all you can to fight it, but the ironic and twisted thing about drug abuse is that one of the symptoms of it is that you deny you have it and won't seek treatment.

The book is really a very good in depth look into the actual drug of meth. Why it was created, who makes it now, who uses it now, and how they use it. It also talks about what it does to your brain. One very scary thing it said is that it destroys the neural pathways in your brain and at a MINIMUM those take 2 years to repair. Until that happens, you are literally brain damaged and your desire and craving for meth is super strong. That is why meth has such a high relapse rate. Another factor is that there are no drugs like methadone (used to fight the cravings and withdrawals of heroin) that are for meth. And it has taken lawmakers WAAAY too long to accept that meth really is the demon drug everyone has been saying it is.

Finally, (wow, this is a long review, but I obviously really liked the book) the point of the book is that there are no easy answers. There is no magic wand that will make your kids impervious to drugs. There is no quick fix. It's just every day, every moment, fighting. I can really REALLY understand that as I work hard to lose weight right now. There is no fast answer, just me not eating crap and exercising. It seems simple right? The same way that it seems simple to everyone who isn't a drug addict: if you don't want to be an addict, then DON'T DO DRUGS!! Simple right? This book has really knocked me off my high horse when it comes to my feeling we are all untouchable by drugs. No one is out of it's grasp.

Basically, this book scared the S#*T out of me.

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message 1: by Scooping it Up (new)

Scooping it Up I was reading your review of this book and wanted to just mention that doctors do consider addiction a medical disease because it changes your brain chemistry and is VERY hard to change it back. It does something physiological to you, and it is indeed a disease that must be treated and fought for the rest of ones' life. I look forward to reading this book. Thanks for your review.

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