Signs someone is prone to addiction

David Sheff, award-winning author and father of drug addict, reflects on the signs that show someone is prone to some sort of substance addiction.
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Signs someone is prone to addiction

One of the things that is confusing for me, it was confusing for me and it is confusing for a lot of people in my generation, we were a generation that grew up with drugs and many of us used. Many of us smoked pot. We drank. I did. I used alcohol and drugs. So we might make the assumption we were okay, we survived it. I survived it. So we are making the assumptions that our kids are going to, too. And it´s dangerous to think that way because they may not use drugs for the same reason we were using drugs and also they may not have the same biology that we have. I would go out with my friends in college and we would get high. We would do everything that was available to us. But about one or two o´clock in the morning, it was pretty clear to me it was time to stop. I have to get up in the morning for school, but my roommate, he would like at me when I would say I am taking off. Are you going to come with me? And he would look at me like I was crazy because he was just getting started. He would then stay away sometimes all night and sometimes for two days, three days. He ended up becoming addicted and dying. He had an overdose and he died. When Nick was young, when my son was young, we took him and his friend out to the mountains to go skiing. And Karen and I, my wife and I, went to sleep and they were staying up to watch a movie. I didn´t know it at the time, but Nick and his friend went to the liquor cabinet and they got some big glasses and just so nobody would know they did it, they just took a little bit out of each bottle. So they made these big tall drinks, a mixture of whatever was in there, vodka, gin and scotch, bourbon, whatever, and his friend, Nick´s friend, took a sip and spit it out and said oh my god, that´s disgusting. Nick took a sip and he said that he just got this elation instantly and he drained the glass. That was the first time he ever drank at all. Now, what´s the difference between those two kids? I mean clearly Nick is a drug addict. He was then. Even he said the next morning when he woke up feeling like hell, I mean having the worst hangover, he said even as sick as he was, he was thinking about the next time he could get more alcohol. That´s the difference between a child who is going to become an addict and one who probably won´t.
TEEN, Substance Use, Alcohol Use

David Sheff, award-winning author and father of drug addict, reflects on the signs that show someone is prone to some sort of substance addiction.


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David Sheff


David Sheff is the author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, the follow-up to his New York Times #1 bestseller, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s AddictionClean is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public-health challenge of our time.

Beautiful Boy was based on Sheff’s article, “My Addicted Son,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine and won an award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.”  It was named the nonfiction book of the year by Entertainment Weekly.  

Named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People, Sheff also won the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence Media Award. Sanjay Gupta, MD, said, "As a clear-eyed chronicler of addiction, David is without peer.”

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