David Sheff’s Beautiful Boy is a heart breaking story about the struggles of raising a teenage addict. Raising a teenage addict comes with its ups and downs. No one wants to see their child hit rock bottom. On the brighter side, everyone wants to see their child succeed. Parents of teenage addicts go back and forth through these ups and downs; as a result they start to lose hope. People should become aware of the seriousness of the situation. Teenage drug abuse is becoming more common in households around America. In the novel Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, Sheff and his family show the struggles of teenage drug abuse by facing the beginning phases of drug abuse, the effects on the family and friends, and the recovery process.
There are many reason teenagers might try drugs, it is often a confusing and difficult time for the teen. It is just not a hard time for the user but also the parents. Most teens do not believe that using drugs will become a problem, Teen Drug Abuse states, “Most teens don’t think they will become addicted, and simply use drugs or alcohol to have a good time and be more like their friends” (Teen Drug Abuse). The statement is explaining that teenagers crave to be accepted by others. This craving will make teens try things they often would not and take risk they know are not worth it. In Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, his son Nic, is starting to show changes in the crowd of people he associates with. In the beginning phases of Nic’s drug abuse his teacher states, “I have noticed that Nic is being pulled by the students who the others see as cool, he says. They’re the ones who sneak cigarettes and- I’m only guessing- probably smoke pot” (Sheff 57). The statement is explaining that Nic is being drawn in by what others think is cool. He is experimenting with drugs to be a part of a crowd. Teen Drug Abuse explains the situation many teens find themselves in as they state, “…Many teens find themselves under continual peer pressure to continue to experiment with drugs and join the party” (Teen Drug Abuse). The statement explains that is not always easy to just stop taking drugs. The pressure from peers can be unbearable. The reason teens try drugs are often confusing and at times unexplained. A parent can help their child through this hardship if they are able to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse.
The signs and symptoms of teenage drug abuse can be obvious or concealed. Parents have to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug abuse. There could be physical warning signs, psychological warning signs, and behavioral signs of abuse. Some signs are easier to identify than others. The article Drug Abuse and Addiction gives examples of what could develop as it states, “Behavioral signs of drug abuse… Drop in attendance and performance at work or school” (Robinson, Saison, Smith). The statement gives an example of one of many behavioral signs of drug abuse. In Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, Nic starts to display certain behavioral changes. His behaviors start to become secretive. An example of this is when Sheff receives a phone call. It states, “The telephone rings. It is the freshman dean, who tells me that that Karen and I have to come in for a meeting to discuss Nic’s suspension for buying marijuana on campus… Nic had not told us” (Sheff74). The statement shows the changes in Nic’s behavior. He and his parents usually are very communicative and open. In this situation he does not even inform his parents of his suspension. The signs and symptoms of teenage drug abuse vary. In Nic’s case some signs were more obvious than others. Different drugs cause different symptoms. Nic’s drug of choice is methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine is some drug abusers drug of choice because methamphetamine is the most potent form of amphetamine. Methamphetamine is starting to take the place of cocaine on the streets, the article Meth/Methamphetamine/Crystal Meth...
Cited: Robin, Lawrence; Smith, Melinda; Saisan, Joanna. “Drug Abuse and Addiction.” Helpguide.
18 April 2012 http://www.helpguide.org/mental/drug_substance_abuse_addiction_signs_effects_treatment...
“Effects of Addiction.” Drug Addiction Support. 19April 2012
“Methamphetamine Effects: Including Long Term.” KCI 19 April 2012
“Meth Relapse.” Methamphetamine treatment. 18 April 2012
“Teens and Addicts.” Teen Drug Abuse. 18 April 2012
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