Tweak

Growing Up on Methamphetamines

For Ages: 15 and up
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Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It's a harrowing portrait -- but not one without hope.
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Book Details:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439103333 | 
  • May 2009 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
List Price $9.99

Video

Author Nic Sheff Talks About His Riveting New Memoir Tweak

A heartbreaking and powerful memoir of a young man's plunge into the mental and physical depths of crystal meth addiction.

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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 see more

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