Internet Substance Abuse Course is a Good Place to Get “Clean”

by: Mike Miller

Every once in a while a book comes along that has the opportunity to change people’s lives. “Clean” by David Sheff is one of those books.

Addiction swallows lives whole, and not only with overdose, illness and concentric cycles of rehab and relapse. As reported in

I don’t know about you, but the books written by those who have actually lived with and through addiction are the most compelling. There is nothing like personal experience. You cannot learn in a classroom or even a counseling office everything you need to understand what an addict goes through.

That’s why I respect the work of Sheff and his son, Nic, the addict. Perhaps you know the Sheff best for their 2008 bestseller “Beautiful Boy.”

In the last five years the two have written a small library of memoirs centered on Nic’s battle with substance use, with two by Nic (now 31, and sober).

Now comes “Clean,” less memoir than guide for those just entering the terrain

In “Clean,” Mr. Sheff traces the trajectory of addiction from cradle to rehab and beyond with the same question in mind: How does a promising clear-eyed kid from a good family wind up in an inconceivable sea of trouble?

In tomorrow’s blog entry we will continue to look at Sheff’s book “Clean” and try to understand addiction as an illness that requires medical attention.