OCTOBER 17-20, 2019

and year round


Clean - David Sheff - <span class="date-display-single">04/13/2018 - 12:00pm</span>


04/13/2018 - 12:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 301 & 302

David Sheff, the journalist who wrote the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction and the follow up book, Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy, discusses his work with WISC-TV investigative journalist, Adam Schrager. This event is presented free and open to the public in partnership with the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation and Safe Communities Parent Addiction Network. No pre-registration is required. Book sales and a signing will follow the presentation.


About Beautiful Boy:

What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff's journey through his son Nic's addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on Nic.
Beautiful Boy is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional rollercoaster of loving a child who seems beyond help. 


About Clean:

Addiction is a preventable, treatable disease, not a moral failing. As with other illnesses, the approaches most likely to work are based on science — not on faith, tradition, contrition, or wishful thinking. These facts are the foundation of Clean, a myth-shattering look at drug abuse by the author of Beautiful Boy. Based on the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine, Clean is a leap beyond the traditional approaches to prevention and treatment of addiction and the mental illnesses that usually accompany it. The existing treatment system, including Twelve Step programs and rehabs, has helped some, but it has failed to help many more, and David Sheff explains why. He spent time with scores of scientists, doctors, counselors, and addicts and their families to learn how addiction works and what can effectively treat it. Clean offers clear, cogent counsel for parents and others who want to prevent drug problems and for addicts and their loved ones no matter what stage of the illness they’re in. But it is also a book for all of us — a powerful rethinking of the greatest public health challenge of our time.

David Sheff

About Presenter David Sheff


David Sheff is a journalist and author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, the follow-up to his New York Times best seller, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction. Beautiful Boy, published in 2008, was based on his 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.” Clean is the result of the years Sheff spent investigating the disease of substance use disorder and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public health challenge of our time. 


In 2009, Sheff was named to the TIME 100, Time Magazine’s list of Most Influential People and the Partnership for Drug-free Kids honored him with a Special Tribute Award “in recognition of his voice and leadership for families who are struggling with addiction.” He also was awarded the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence (CPDD) Media Award and 2017 American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Media Award “to recognize his compelling portrayal of addiction and its personal effects on families and society as a whole.” Sheff has also written for The New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, Outside, and Esquire among other publications, and has published several other books, including one based on interviews with John Lennon, and an award-winning documentary about John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. He serves on the advisory boards of The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program and the International Bipolar Foundation. A graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, Sheff lives with his family in Northern California.



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