ADDICTION OFTEN BEGINS WITH A BEAUTIFUL BOY OR GIRL
NOVEMBER 12, 2018 By Dr. Robert DuPont in StatNews
In the American mind, drug addiction happens only to people “born under a bad sign.” That’s just not true. Worse, it implies that success in life protects individuals from addiction. Throughout my 50-year career working on drug abuse prevention and treatment, I’ve often seen drug addiction befall every kind of person.
That’s one reason I have been urging people to see “Beautiful Boy,” a new film about the relationship between a good father and his good son as the teenager dives into addiction. The film is based on a pair of best-selling books: “Beautiful Boy,” which tells the story from the father’s perspective, and “Tweak,” which tells it from the son’s.
Ninety percent of adult substance use disorders begin in adolescence because of the unique vulnerability of the adolescent brain to addiction. This movie is a cautionary story for teens and families. Another reason I am recommending the movie (and the books) is their riveting and relentless portrayal of how addiction hijacks the brain.
Love of parents not a match for addiction
The film shows the limits of treatment and family love in confronting the awesome and tenacious power of addiction. The movie does not let the viewer stray from that horrifying descent into this modern hell. It brutally and relentlessly portrays the chemical slavery that is addiction and the sustained helplessness of both father and son as they struggle to escape addiction’s iron grip year after devastating year.