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Speaking to the World

David & Nic  Sheff

David & Nic Sheff

Authors & Substance Use Disorder Advocates


Portrayed by Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carrell in the major motion picture, Beautiful Boy, bestselling authors Nic and David Sheff present our nation’s epidemic of substance abuse disorder from the perspective of a recovering addict, his family and the critical challenges now facing our nation. The film, which is already generating Oscar buzz in advance of its October 2018 release, is based on Nic’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines and his father, David’s New York Times bestseller, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction. Both are passionate advocates and knowledgeable communicators on substance abuse disorder, suicide prevention, dual diagnosis and bipolar disorder, seeking to promote greater understanding of the connection between substance abuse and mental health. Read More >

Now in his thirties, Nic is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic whose substance abuse began at age 11. He is the author of three books: Tweak, We All Fall Down, and Schizo, his critically acclaimed novel about a teen’s downward spiral into mental illness. Nic drew upon his own history of self-harm and attempted suicide as a writer for Netflix’s controversial series, 13 Reasons Why and upon his experiences in rehab as a writer for ABC Family/Freeform’s series Recovery Road. Nic was also a writer on AMC's crime drama The Killing and has written several features and developed TV series with Warner Brothers, USA, Amazon, and Paramount Television. He has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey ShowThe Today Show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross and on CNN with Sanjay Gupta and ABC with Diane Sawyer.

David Sheff is the author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, a science- and research-focused look at drug abuse and treatment based on his years of investigation. Clean follows up on his #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, Beautiful Boy. David has been named to the Time 100, the magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people and received multiple honors and awards for his leadership on behalf of families struggling with substance abuse disorder. He is on the advisory boards of the Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus program to reduce substance abuse and prevent suicide among college students, and the International Bipolar Foundation. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, Outside, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Playboy, Esquire and other publications.

Together, Nic and David share the compelling and heartbreaking story that moved millions of readers and promises to be the most important film about substance abuse disorder of our time. Straight-talking, authoritative and sparing no detail, they make America’s addiction epidemic deeply personal—sparking conversation and inspiring action to overcome the greatest public health crisis of our time. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

On Prevention: You Need to Treat the Cause of Addiction, Not the Symptoms

Interview with Matt Lauer - David Sheff

A Story of a Drug Addicted Son

Addiction and Sexually Frustrated Flies

Interview with Oprah

Speech Topics

Drugs, Guns & Violence: How Addiction Feeds Every Other Issue

Addiction not only kills more people than any disease other than cancer and heart disease, it’s the number-one cause of non-natural death. As tragic as gun violence is, it takes about 15,000 lives a year while addiction takes 115,000. That’s 320 people a day. But addiction often causes or exacerbates gun violence and other issues. In some communities, 80 percent of crime is related to drug use. Addicts commit crimes on drugs and for drugs. Author and speaker David Sheff has dedicated his life to advocating addiction prevention and rehabilitation and discusses how taking action against this one issue would curb a host of other problems, such as gun violence, domestic abuse, and other social ills.

Addiction in the Family? You're Not Alone

Realizing that killing himself would not just affect his own life but affect those who loved him helped bring speaker Nic Sheff back from a drug-infused abyss. Knowing firsthand the perils of abuse, today Sheff reaches out to those facing the same struggles. His book, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, reassures young people in similar situations that they are not alone. By sharing his harrowing yet inspirational story in his book and in presentations, he shares his message that those battling addiction are not stuck in a vacuum—somebody out there loves them and will help them come back to the surface.

Letting Go: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction

Addicts don’t stop caring about the people they love. But as addiction takes over, it commands a person’s mind and body to the point where all they can think about is getting the drugs into their system while loved ones are sidelined, feeling helpless. In this powerful presentation, speaker David Sheff shares the story of his son Nic’s addition and the impact it has had on their family. Based on his New York Times best-selling book, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, and his son Nic’s bestseller, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, they tell the story from both sides of addiction in this riveting presentation.

What We Do & Don't Know About Treatment: Making Informed Choices When Confronting Addiction

In this keynote presentation, David Sheff, author of the best-selling Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, bridges the gap between the new science, traditional techniques, and personal responsibilities involved in addiction treatment. Read More >

Sheff combines the science of addiction treatment with real world experiences to provide audiences with useful strategies and an essential understanding of those who enter treatment. Breaking away from traditional programs such as 12 Step, he acknowledges that some treatments may work for many but do not work for all. In a close examination of addiction therapy and of the latest addiction medicines, Sheff explores how drugs work on the brain and how we can better treat addicts. Read Less ^

Prevention: What Works & What Doesn't

Having devoted recent research to exploring the topic of prevention, speaker David Sheff is at the forefront of what has become a main focus on addressing addiction. The basis for his forthcoming book, The Thirteenth Step, his findings look at the driving forces behind addictive behaviors, noting that most drug and alcohol use isn’t about the drugs and alcohol, but rather about life. In understanding that, we can finally find an effective way forward in successfully preventing addiction.