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High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction

Review

High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction

Our nation is currently facing a major drug crisis. HIGH: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction is a timely book written by bestselling authors, (and father-son duo) David and Nic Sheff. This powerful book provides insight on drug experimentation, details and side effects about drugs, statistics, stories from users and information about quitting. It’s appealing because it’s written by two people who have lived through it.

"HIGH is a straightforward book...but the teens’ stories tug at your heart....They don’t preach and they don’t judge --- which I think will appeal to teens."

Growing up, Nic was popular and a good student, but inside he felt insecure. Sounds like a lot of tweens and teens, doesn’t it? So, he tried pot to numb those feeling, eventually moving onto more drugs. After his first attempt at meth, he became addicted. It happened that fast! His life became a downward spiral of addiction, homelessness and doing things he once thought unthinkable.

HIGH is a straightforward book told through Nic’s experience and countless other addicted teens. Not only is it educational, but the teens’ stories tug at your heart as they open up about their struggles with addiction. Their voices give real-life perspective of what it’s like to be addicted. They don’t preach and they don’t judge --- which I think will appeal to teens.

Addiction doesn’t stop when the toxins leave the body. In fact, the user is facing the hardest challenges of their lives like addressing underlying problems (anxiety, stress or depression are very common). Nic feels that drugs robbed him of learning how to deal with stress, anxiety, failure and difficult emotions. He had to relearn how to handle his emotions. He explains that relapse is very common and dangerous. He encourages users to learn from their relapse. Nic believes that preventing relapses should encompass multiple strategies like joining a peer group, seeking physicians help and finding a sober home. He understands that quitting is scary and it’s very difficult to quit alone.

After learning that drugs are the leading cause of death for people under 50, I think HIGH should be read and shared with all teachers, parents and students.

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell on January 30, 2019

High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction
by David Sheff and Nic Sheff