In a new book, “Beautiful Boy,” journalist David Sheff tells the harrowing tale of son Nic’s transformation from honor student and athlete to methamphetamine addict at age 18. Now 25, Nic has written his own book, Tweak, an unflinching chronicle of life as an addict who stole from his family and resorted to prostitution to buy drugs. The books chronicle the Inverness, Ca., family’s struggle with addiction. The Sheffs discussed that struggle with U.S. News & World Report.
Says Nic: “When I started smoking pot in high school, there was this feeling inside of me, this emptiness, this insecurity and pain, and self-hatred. When I started smoking pot, it calmed that down. It was like medicine for me. The problem was, as I smoked more and more pot, I got more and more immune to the effects of it. When I did that line of crystal meth, I thought–I’ve found it, the feeling I’ve been missing my whole life. I felt powerful and beautiful and confident.” Says David: “When he was a teenager, we got calls from the schools. He was smoking pot. . I was probably like a lot of parents, confused. I took it seriously, I worried about it, but I also knew that a lot of kids smoke pot–I did–and then they move on. Then  he disappeared. I called police; I called hospital emergency rooms; I called all his friends. When he  showed up, four or five days later, he looked as close to death as he could get. Then it finally became clear to me: no more rationalizing, no more denying. We have to do something.”