I was hunting through Goodreads to find something good to read and stumbled upon this book after someone recommended it over another addiction book that I was considering. I like to read addiction books, above all else for the hope that people can change. There is also the “Intervention” type of reason that I like these books, it makes me feel a bit better about my own choices to see someone else so much worse off than myself. (Side note, I miss Van Vonderen)
Tweak is said to be a tale about “growing up on meth-amphetamines” but really it is a story of recovery and relapse. Even the great VV up there has suffered through relapse himself. Nic Sheff is our tour guide this time through a world of needles, meth, heroin and cocaine (although I am sure I left some out). When we first meet Sheff in his memoir he has just left LA where he has been sober over a year. He has headed to San Francisco and has pretty much just decided to screw it and go back on drugs. He has been part of 12 steps and has struggled with the spirituality side of things, but really just hasn’t found a reason to live besides getting high.
Sheff was raised by journalists, is a child of divorce (seems like most of the “Intervention” people are as well although sometimes we just look for a reason behind someone’s drug use when there aren’t always reasons). In some ways Sheff grew up too fast, his Dad treated him more like a friend and his Mom moved away after the divorce and he saw her only a few times a year. Sheff was raised in relative privilege, growing up in California often means knowing people in the entertainment industry and Sheff admits that fame became part of his addiction as things wear on for him. Upon arriving in San Fran at the beginning of the book, he quickly sinks back into addiction and within a few weeks hits another bottom but has the sense to reach out for help. His sponsor is gracious enough to be there for him and he again finds success in sobriety but it is short lived. Toxic relationships get the best of many of us and Sheff was no exception. It is hard to resist temptation when it comes in the shape of someone you love. During all of this drug abuse, Sheff also receives a mental illness diagnosis which is often the case with drug abusers. They medicate to treat the pain that they can’t describe then become at the mercy of what they used to seek relief.
So if drug tales are your cup of tea, I would surely suggest giving this a read.