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‘Clean’ fights ‘America’s greatest tragedy’ – Addiction

After his memoir
After his memoir "Beautiful Boy" about his son's drug addiction, author and journalist David Sheff wrote "Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy" hoping to change how American views addiction.
Clean book cover
After his memoir
A photo of author and journalist David Sheff.
David Sheff author photo

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After his desperate grappling with his son’s drug abuse, author and journalist David Sheff could not let go of the topic of addiction. His new book, “Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy,” is the product of five years of research and scientifically examines the causes of addictions and how to properly treat it, because the current methods are not working.

Sheff is known for his 2008 bestseller, “Beautiful Boy,” a memoir about his drug-addicted son, Nic. Nic also released a book that year called, “Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines,” which chronicled his side of the story. Sheff said that reading each other’s accounts brought them closer and caused them to understand what the other was going through. “Clean” is David Sheff’s reaction to his first book as his son relapsed in 2008 and is now five years sober.

Sheff’s book aims at proving that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated in a scientific way. He calls addiction “America’s greatest tragedy” because one in 12 people are addicts and 80 percent of them are not helped by programs like AA. Sheff cites stress and mental disorders as causes for addiction and believes in addressing those issues first to treat addiction as a symptom. He joins Larry to talk about the relationship between stress and addiction, a young boy’s story on becoming getting sober and how health insurance is not saving lives, and David Sheff shares own “twelve steps” to deal with addiction.

Have you or someone you know battled addiction? What techniques helped and what didn’t? Are current treatments for addiction archaic and ineffective? Is addiction a symptom of something else?

David Sheff, author of “Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy” and “Beautiful Boy” 

David Sheff will be discussing his book at the Regency Historic Lido Theatre in Newport Beach on May 9 from 7–9 pm. Click here for more details.