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Beautiful Boy A Father's Journey through His Son's Addiction
Beautiful Boy A Father's Journey through His Son's Addiction

Beautiful Boy covers a substantial portion of Nic's life and deals with the elder Sheff's struggles of how to respond to a son whom he loves but who is also a danger to his family. Nic, then a senior in high school, steals money from his younger siblings and gets arrested for possession in front of them, leading Sheff to install a security system to prevent Nic from breaking in. Nic attends many rehabs throughout the memoir, and even with those he relapses many times. The longest stretch of sobriety Nic had, prior to his last relapse in the memoir, was almost two years. He then relapsed once again and went into treatment. By the end of the memoir Sheff tells us that Nic has been sober one year. He hopes with all his heart that this will be the last time, and believes in him once again. But in his mind he knows that a relapse can easily happen again and that it will be very difficult for Nic, his family, and himself. Another theme throughout the memoir is Sheff wondering about how much he is to blame and what he could have done to prevent his son's addiction.

Throughout the memoir Sheff attends numerous Al-Anon Meetings and therapy sessions. In these different sessions he is continually told of the three Cs: you did not cause it, you cannot control it, and you cannot cure it. Sheff has a difficult time accepting these statements throughout the memoir. At the end however, he says that he has come to accept two of the Cs, that he cannot control it, and he cannot cure it. He realizes that he has done everything he can do to try to help Nic, and knows that it is up to Nic to figure things out if he is to fully recover.

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