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Read BEAUTIFUL BOY FORUM: Share Your Stories
Since the publication of Beautiful Boy, I’ve met hundreds of people and heard from thousands more. They represent millions of us—people whose lives have been impacted by their own or a loved one’s addiction. Many told overwhelmingly heartrending stories. People wrote or spoke about the ways addiction has consumed (and often still consumes) their lives. Their pain is so familiar to me--desperate and unbearable. Everyday I hear more stories. Sometimes I feel as if I’ll drown. Relapse, loss, anguish, rage, death – the stories often devastate me. There’s death everywhere. “Your family’s story is my family’s story,” people say. Over and over and over again. “But we had a different conclusion. My beautiful boy didn’t make it.” “My beautiful girl died.”

There’s grief and despair, but also hope – hope measured in years or months or weeks or a day. A woman in recovery for thirty-seven years. A girl who says she’s been sober three days. And everyone in between.

Through my experience as well as others’ I’ve come to understand the power of sharing our stories with one another. For me, it was an enormous relief to know I wasn't alone. I felt slightly less overwhelmed. In addition, others’ stories prepared me for challenges that would have otherwise blindsided me. They were no panacea, but I was grateful for even the most modest relief and any guidance.

This forum is for us – all of us -- anyone who has been touched by addiction
David Sheff
930 5,827 Sep 17, 2011 7:23 AM
Read HMH Forum 0 0 Jan 13, 2006 12:05 PM
In addition to a forum for us to share our stories, I’ve initiated this forum for us to explore the problem of addiction in America and to discuss new ways forward. In the afterword to the paperback edition of Beautiful Boy, I propose one option: the declaration of a war on addiction modeled on the war on cancer. Given the enormity of the suffering, its astounding that we – the collective we – are doing almost everything wrong in our fight against addiction. Four thousand Americans have died in five years in Iraq, whereas more than twenty thousand die each year of drug overdoses alone, and the number continues to rise. In many regions of the country, overdoses have or will soon surpass automobile accidents as the leading cause of non-natural death. Add the other casualties of drug use -- crime, accidents, suicide, drug- and alcohol-caused illnesses, lost productivity -- and you begin to fathom the enormity of the problem. After hearing countless stories from people who have been betrayed by America’s mental-health care system, I began to explore alternatives. This is a place to discuss them. I’ve determined that if we tackle addiction for what it is – as a healthealth crisis -- we could reverse the course we’re on. We could dramatically lower emergency room visits and decrease prison populations. We’d eventually free up billions of dollars to treat other illnesses, dramatically improving health care across the board. We’d save lives. We’d help families stay together and repair broken neighborhoods. We’d alleviate immeasurable suffering.
David Sheff
7,508 7,675 Sep 17, 2011 6:54 AM
by: laihooker »
Read Nick Kotz, author of Judgment Days / History
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nick Kotz answers readers' questions about his book, Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Laws That Changed America. The forum is open from March 1 - 31.
2 5 Apr 10, 2006 12:31 PM
by: texasranch »
Read Current Affairs 0 0 Mar 26, 2006 4:31 PM
Read Alan Lee discusses The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook and J.R.R. Tolkien
The Academy Award–winning artist took time from his whirlwind U.S. tour last fall to talk about his new book, The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook. You are invited to read Alan Lee's replies to fans, although the discussion is now closed. Please visit our J.R.R. Tolkien Web site to learn more about the book and the blockbuster films.
11 23 Nov 11, 2005 3:43 PM
by: moderator »

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