How I knew my son was addicted to drugs

Learn about: How I knew my son was addicted to drugs from David Sheff,...
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How I knew my son was addicted to drugs

Well I was surprised when I found out he was using any drugs at all. He was only 12 years old and I found a bag of marijuana in his backpack. I was stunned. I had no idea. And then he sort of told me what I wanted to hear. That was stupid. I'll never do it again. And he did, of course. And his use escalated over the coming years, to the point that he was using marijuana. He was smoking a lot of pot. He was drinking. He began taking pills. Oxycontin. Vicodin. And things really descended when the first time that I now know he went out for the night and was given some methamphetamine, crystal meth. And I still didn't know. I guess the first time I realized we were in real trouble and that my son was on a path that could have led to his death was when he didn't come home one night. It was a Friday night. His curfew was midnight. And he didn't show up. And then it was 1 o'clock and 2 o'clock. And I was calling the policy and the emergency rooms to try to find out where he was. And he didn't return for 3 days, and by then he had been out using on the streets and was in terrible shape. When I finally got him he was near death.

Learn about: How I knew my son was addicted to drugs from David Sheff,...


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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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