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1 Burnside Children's Young Adult- Biography

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines


Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines Cover

ISBN13: 9781416913627
ISBN10: 1416913629
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
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Only 1 left in stock at $9.50!



Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

What are some of the reasons that Nic gives for turning to drugs? What are his insecurities? In what ways do the drugs help him to escape these?

Is Nic happy when he is on drugs? Does he enjoy his life at these times? What does he mean when he calls his addiction a "horrible vicious cycle"?

When Nic relapses in LA in the second part of the book, what is his reason for using again? Were the other people in his life surprised that he relapsed? Was he? Did you see the relapse coming? Why or why not?

What does Nic want from his father? Why does his father react to Nic the way he does? How much do you think Nic's childhood relationship with his father contributed to his addiction?

What does it mean for Nic to give himself over to a higher power? Why is it so difficult for him to do this?

A number of the people in the book come close to dying — Lauren ODs on heroin, Spencer gets meningitis, and Nic suffers through various overdoses and infections. How do these brushes with death affect Nic's outlook on life? Does he ever believe that any of these people are actually going to die? How does Nic react when Jordan really does die?

Discuss Nic's relationship with Zelda. Why is he so drawn to her? Why does everyone in Nic's life caution him against becoming involved with her? How does she contribute to his addiction? Is there anything healthy about their relationship?

What causes Nic to get help each time he relapsed? What does hitting bottom look like for him? Why is his stay at Safe Passage more effective than his other attempts at rehab? Do you think it's because of what they do there, or what led up to his going there...or both?

Nic's addiction — and attempts at rehab — make him part of a specific subculture, one with its own language, values, and network of people. Why does this aspect of the drug culture appeal to him? Would you consider the friends that he makes while using to be good friends?

Nic mentions many times that he feels worthless, and that his addiction has caused him to irreparably damage his relationships with others. Do the actions of his friends and family back this up? Do they treat him as though he has no worth? Does anyone give him unconditional love?


Nic finds strength to stay sober in his family, his writing and other aspects of his life. Identify the people, hobbies and beliefs in your own life that you rely on for strength when going through a tough time.

Tweak covers less than two years of Nic's life, yet offers a lot of insight into him as a person. Write your own memoir, choosing a period of your life that you feel represents who you truly are.

Learning CPR ends up being an important skill for Nic. Find a CPR or first aid class in your community and sign up to get certified.

Exercise is very helpful to Nic when he is sober — it burns excess energy and helps him feel focused. Dust off your bike, join a gym, go for a hike, or run around the block. Find a form of exercise that helps you to feel focused and strong.

Nic's body goes through a lot when he is in detox. Research what happens to the body when drugs are being used, and the physiology of detoxification.

Spencer believes very strongly that helping others is an important part of sobriety, as it distracts you from your own problems and desires. Look around your community and decide how you can lend a hand. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, raise money for a cause that you believe in, or even help your parents around the house.

Evaluate your beliefs about drug and alcohol use and reflect on your own experiences or those of friends. Visit to connect with other teens and share stories about the impact of drugs and alcohol.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

devonp, July 23, 2008 (view all comments by devonp)
i loved this book. It hit very close to home having gone through things on the other side of the fence. i can't wait to read his dads book to get the full light on things. amazing!!!!!!!!!
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Product Details

Sheff, Nic
Ginee Seo Books
Biography & Autobiography - General
Situations / Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse
Social Issues - Drugs, Alcohol, & Substance Abuse
Health & Daily Living - Substance Abuse
Biography & Autobiography : General
Drug addicts
Methamphetamine abuse
Children s Young Adult-Biography
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 9
f/c jkt
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Children's » Nonfiction » Biographies
Children's » Nonfiction » Health » Substance Abuse
Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » General
Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » Personal Stories
Young Adult » General
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Biographies
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Teen Issues

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Ginee Seo Books - English 9781416913627 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A memoir written in the present tense, Sheff's first book graphically if self-indulgently recounts his addictions to various drugs, including meth and heroin, and his attempts at recovery as he reaches his early 20s. His narrative begins as he relapses, not for the first time, after 18 months of sobriety, taking readers down an exhausting spiral that includes a naïve attempt at dealing drugs; burglarizing his father's house; hooking up with a vulnerable ex-girlfriend and calling 911 after she overdoses; sleeping and shooting up in his car; and going back into detox. The cycle then repeats, in all its minute details. Flashbacks recall a privileged San Francisco childhood riven by divorce, youthful promise and subsequent degradation (prostitution, stealing from his young half-siblings). Nic's absorption in himself, often expressed as self-contempt, makes much of his account read like a therapeutic exercise, especially given its repetitious nature. While it's tempting to ask if Nic's journalist father's version of the same events, in Beautiful Boy (Nonfiction Reviews, Apr. 30, 2007), supplies the insights missing here, this book's unmediated, down-and-headed-for-disaster sensibility may, for some teen readers, produce the same transfixing quality as a highway accident. Ages 15-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Sheff narrates his story with many flashbacks that document in excruciating detail the drug underworld and how he dragged others whom he loved and himself down into a seemingly bottomless pit of despair. The author, in recovery (though not for the first time), nonetheless ends his memoir on a note of hope."
"Review" by , "A raw, directionless search for the truth."
"Review" by , "Sheff's ruminations are too repetitive (even obsessive), yet readers who know of his world will grab this."
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