David Chefs 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. Parent’s 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 Sheaf, Sheaf and his Emily 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 parent’s. 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).
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The tenement 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 Sheaf, his son Nice, is starting to show changes in the crowd of people he associates with. In the beginning phases of Nick’s drug abuse his teacher states, “l have noticed that Nice 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” (Sheaf 57).
The statement is explaining that Nice is being drawn n 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. Parent’s 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, Saigon, Smith). The statement gives an example of one of many behavioral signs of drug abuse. In Beautiful Boy by David Sheaf, Nice starts to display certain behavioral changes. His behaviors start to become secretive. An example of this is when Sheaf 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 Nick’s suspension for buying marijuana on campus… Nice had not told us” (Sheaf’s).
The communicative and open. In this situation he does not even inform his parent’s of his suspension. The signs and symptoms of teenage drug abuse vary. In Nick’s case some signs were more obvious than others. Different drugs cause different symptoms. Nick’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 Meet/ Methamphetamine/Crystal Meet Effects…
Including Long Term states, “It is popular among some users because it is readily available, of a purer quality, has longer- lasting effects, and is less expensive than cocaine or heroin on the streets” (Meet/ Methamphetamine/Crystal Meet Effects… Lounging Long Term). The statement is providing factual on why meet would be the drug of choice for many users. It has longer lasting effects and is less expensive. In Beautiful Boy by David Sheaf, Nick’s drug of choice is methamphetamine. Many users start off by using lower level drugs but soon without warning find themselves addicted to upper level drugs.
David Sheaf knows firsthand on how meet makes a person feels. He knows the effects of meet as he states, “Unlike cocaine, which is almost completely metabolize in the body (and has a half life of forty-five minutes), meet remains relatively unchanged and active for en to twelve hours” (Sheaf 106- 107). Chefs statement is saying meet remains in the body a lot longer while still providing a euphoric effect compared to cocaine. The use of meet not only affects the user but also the family and friends. Stress is one of many effects drug abuse causes on the family and friends.
Stress can be a serious, sometimes life threatening occurrence. Most parent’s want to see their children live healthy successful lives. The devastation a parent experience of watching their child fail can cause serious stress. David Myers, author f Psychology, knows the dangers stress posses as he states, “Prolonged stress together with unhealthy behaviors- can increase our risk for today’s four leading causes of illness and death… ” (Myers 549). Myers statement is saying that stress is unhealthy and can increase the potential of becoming ill or in worse cases death. Nick’s drug abuse causes serious stress on his family.
The constant thought of hoping everything is going to be alright can wear a person down. It can even cause serious health issues as it did to Nick’s father. Even after a near death occurrence David still as the stress of worry as he states, “Somehow I want to get back to normal and yet I don’t… That is, I do not want to get back to the normal of worry about Nice” (Shuffles). Chefs statement shows the stress he has about the constant worry of Nice. A parent’s will to see their child thrive can cause them to accidentally cause harm to themselves. Along with stress being an effect on an abusers family and friends, depression also has a role.
Depression can be one of many conditions a teenage addict can experience. Depression is not only a serious condition for the user but also for the family and rinds. A parent having to face the fact that their child is failing can be very drain, as he states, “I’m convinced that failing to acknowledge this crisis will be more confusing and more damaging than the truth. When I am alone, however, I weep in a way that I have not wept since I was a young boy’ (Sheaf 118). Chefs statement displays the emotional wear that accompanies a struggling parent.
The need to keep face in front of others can only last for so long. A person can only hold their emotions back until a breaking point is reached. Depression in terms of the user loud come before addiction or as a consequence of addiction. In most cases drug abuse is accompanied by depression. It can be difficult to distinguish between the signs of drug abuse and depression as the article Effects of Addiction states, “… Look at the signs of drug abuse, you’ll find that users often lose interest in activities that they used to love, or they lose interest in family and friends.
These are also signs of depression” (Effects of Addiction). The statement demonstrates the relationship between drug abuse and depression. Depression is a result of drug abuse, not only o the user but to the family. Drug abuse comes with many underlying problems for the family. Self blame can occur without the family realizing. Many families find themselves in the situation of self blame, while trying to cope with the fact that their child is a teenage addict. Parent’s will try to find where their child went down the wrong path and will blame themselves for the child’s mistake.
David Sheaf, author of Beautiful Boy, can relate to others who experience self blame. Even if a parent warns their child of the effects of drugs, self blame can still develop s David Sheaf states, “l however knew about drugs from first-hand experience. So when I warned Nice, I thought I might have some credibility’ (Sheaf 52). Chefs statement expounds on the idea that a parent can experience self blame even if all is done for the teen. It is important for a parent to remember it is not their fault. The teen has to take responsibility for their actions. The article Drug Abuse and Addiction states, “Avoid self blame…
Let the person accept responsibility for his or her actions, an essential step along the way to recovery for drug addiction” (Robin, Saigon, Smith). The statement rationalizes the importance of avoiding self blame. Letting the teen take responsibility can greatly improve their chances of recovery. While parent’s may shelter their teen and blame themselves it is in fact inhibiting the teen. Teen drug abuse has is high and low points. The recovery process is full of ups and downs. The Journey of teen drug abuse has a serious toll and the final effects of the user are one of them.
The effects of drug abuse are never good. They initially cause pleasure but in the long run cause mental and physical illness. The article Meet/Methamphetamine/ Crystal Meet Effects… Lounging Long Term states, “Long term heavy use of amphetamines may lead to malnutrition, skin disorders, ulcers, and diseases resulting from vitamin deficiencies. Regular use may contribute to lack of sleep and weight loss” (Meet/Methamphetamine/Crystal Meet Effects… Lounging Long Term). The statement clarifies the potential of what could occur from long term drug abuse. Some consequences are more serious than others.
The effects that the user has to face affect not only their mental and physical status but also their social status. Relationships change and trust is lost. The abuser is a completely different person from who they once were. David Sheaf, author of Beautiful Boy, is not surprised to states, “Nice shows up high at work and loses his Job… Vicki has never seen Nice like this: gaunt, white, nearly yellow, trembling limbs, sunken black circles around vacant eyes” (Sheaf 257). Chefs description of Nice expounds the thought of the abuser becoming a completely different person. The recovery process is a hard and difficult task.
Even though there is a chance of success, there is always an even bigger chance of relapse. Relapse occurs too often in the recovery process. The temptation of drugs can break a person down to their weakest point. The recovery process is difficult but not impossible. The article Meet Relapse states, “Meet relapse often occurs within 6 months of quitting. Between 2 and 4 months after quitting meet users often hit a wall, where they feel little pleasure in life and crave the drug” (Meet Relapse). The statement provides factual information on the occurrence of relapse. A variety of things could trigger a person to relapse.
If a person comes in contact with whatever connects then to their drug of choice, it could be enough to cause relapse. The temptation of drugs can break the will of any recovering addict. Nice, of Beautiful Boy, faces the temptation any other recovering addict faces. Unfortunately the temptation is too much as he states, “Z did a line. She asked me to do some with her. And I did. If she was going to go out, I was not going to let her go alone” (Sheaf 254). Nick’s statement shows that his ex-girlfriend was the connection between him and drugs. Sometimes the temptation of drugs is Just too much, even for the strongest person.