Taking the first steps to help an addict

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Taking the first steps to help an addict

When a child becomes addicted, the first thing that we need to do is understand that they are in real trouble and our family is in real trouble. We have to do something and we don´t want to wait because this is a progressive problem, which means if it is not being addressed, it gets worse and worse and worse. So many parents, we are in denial. We don´t want to see what´s in front of our eyes because it is really scary. It is too scary. So we postpone addressing it. We pretend it is not happening until it gets so bad that we can no longer pretend that it is not happening. So once we actually grasp the fact that we do have a child who is addicted is what we would do if we recognize our child had any other disease, had the potential even of having another disease. We would go take them in to the best doctor we could find. In this case, we want to find an addiction specialist who can help us assess is there a problem; if there is a problem, how bad it is; are there brief interventions. They have brief interventions that can help stop addiction from progressing. Or is it beyond that and does the child need to be in some serious professional treatment.

See David Sheff's video on Taking the first steps to help an addict...


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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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