Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tweak (copy)

In this season of scary, my last two booktalks discussed a town lost to methamphetamines (meth) and the dangers lurking in our plant world. Combining their messages, I began to wonder if meth occurs naturally in the plant world and ran across a Wikipedia entry claiming it does.

“Methamphetamine has been reported to occur naturally in Acacia berlandieri and possibly Acacia rigidula, trees which grow in west Texas.”

Yes, I am skeptical. I find a normal path’s reversal odd since drugs derive from plants rather than researchers finding them in plants after they are synthesized. It could happen, I guess, but the path to drug use is happening and rather scary.

Two more books to scare you are Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff. The father and son actually wrote the separate memoirs at the same time. They also stopped writing about the same time when David suffered a brain hemorrhage and Nic relapsed into abuse.

The two recovered and finished their perspective manuscripts and decided to let each other read them before publication. David felt it was a fair arrangement since Nic’s abuse had hurt family and friends and he did not want Nic’s book to hurt anyone else. The experience brought them together and both books were published in February, 2008.

In Beautiful Boy we see every parent’s nightmare happening to David as he watches his bright, talented son descend into drugs. David prescribes to the tough love method and just before Nic hits bottom during the writing relapse, David is ready to say, “No, I will not give you money and contact your sponsor.”

By reading both books, readers will get a full understanding of secrets. For example, David claims his son was 17 when he started experimenting with drugs, but in Tweak we find Nic is 11 when he starts. They both claim it is the meth that brought Nic to his lowest, but I found Nic to be more enamored with heroin. It is odd to read how Nic associates the heroin “nod” to being cool and the meth “tweak” to being messed up. I am left wondering if heroin lurks in his future.

Whatever one may think of meth and books about the subject, these two are very useful sources. Whether one finds themselves on the path of patience with a user or the path of abuse, these two books are rough but arrive at hope.