Author, Recovering Addict & Subject of Beautiful Boy
Nic Sheff’s heartbreaking and inspiring struggle with substance abuse disorder is the story of Beautiful Boy, a major motion picture starring Timothée Chalamet as Nic and Steve Carell as his father, David. The film, which earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Chalamet, is based on Nic’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines and David’s bestseller of the same title. Sharing an unglamorized, authentic and heart-touching story of substance abuse and recovery that is deeply rooted in mental illness, Nic has been recognized as “a life-changing speaker.” His deeply engaging talks put a compelling human face on our nation’s substance abuse epidemic, encouraging those who struggle to embrace help and bringing hope to all who are touched by it.
Beautiful Boy Trailer
Letting Go: A Journey Through Addiction
The Lure of Addiction
On Prevention: You Need to Treat the Cause of Addiction, Not the Symptoms
Addiction and Family
Interview with Matt Lauer
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.
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, Nic shares the story of his addiction and the impact it has had on his 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.
Drug education for children is more important than ever. From how to navigate peer pressure to outlets for stress, to the potential consequences for experimenting, Nic lays out the facts to help kids educate themselves on drugs, alcohol and addiction. He will share anecdotes from peers and families who have lived through the addiction of a loved one, along with the cold, hard facts about what drugs and alcohol do to our bodies. He will provide all the information teens and tweens need to know about the realities of substance use.
When Nic was first diagnosed, he had never even heard of bipolar as a mental illness before. Sitting in a psychiatrist’s office in West L.A., he began reading the bullet points of the many symptoms, and began checking them off in his mind: The manic episodes characterized by periods of sleeplessness; being more talkative than normal; “flight of ideas;” racing thoughts; “excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences”—basically the story of his life. Even though he could recognize the symptoms in himself, he didn’t want the label that doctors, and others, seem to put on him. And along with each disorder came a mountain of medication. Nic decided he didn’t want to be a part of that process and self-medicated instead. Finally fed up with crashing and burning, Nic made the commitment to do whatever it took to get well and wants anyone out there who’s suffering to know that there is hope.
Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would develop addictions to many hard drugs, always feeling like he would be able to quit and put his life back together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. Nic plunged into the mental and physical depths of drug addiction. 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. It's a harrowing portrait — but one with hope.
"Nic Sheff's presentation was honest, heartfelt, and provocative, and the teens and young adults in our audience found him relatable and informative. While it's clear that Nic's struggles have left their mark on him, he nonetheless retains an open, hopeful spirit that makes him quite appealing. He is impressive for his bravery and unflinching retelling of his journey."
"We had a nice turnout for both the book-signing and the event, with students and others lining up again after his talk to get Nic’s signature. The college president attended and said the talk was great, and the students who joined us for lunch clearly had a marvelous time. One of them has been a fan of Nic’s books since early high school, and she never dreamed she’d someday be having lunch with him!"
"Together, David and Nic Sheff created a unique experience for our audience. David's story of a parent caught in the nightmare of his son's addiction, and Nic's devastating recounting of his intense struggle to get clean and stay clean made for a riveting dual presentation. David and Nic's love for each other was clearly evident; their respect for each other is hard-won and inspiring. Both adults and adolescents found enormous value in David and Nic Sheff's perspectives on addiction, treatment, and staying clean."
"David and Nic Sheff were fabulous keynote speakers at First Call’s 2013 Message in a Bottle Celebration at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. First Call’s primary goal at the event is to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorders by letting people know that help is available, treatment works, and a life in recovery is a wonderful thing. First Call is also committed to serving families impacted by addiction as well as individuals seeking recovery, so the Sheffs couldn’t have been a better fit for us. As speakers, they moved our audience and motivated them for change. As individuals, I watched both David and Nic engage with our guests deeply and personally, again and again, with profound presence—something I’ve rarely witnessed with guest speakers. We are so grateful that they could join us. David and Nic Sheff are ideal advocates for our cause and champions of hope."
"It was unbelievable! We had a packed house and had to rent extra tables. They each (Nic and his father David) did an amazing job and the audience fell in love with them. Thank you so much for all of your help in making this the perfect event for C.A.R.E."
"We had 400 people in the audience, the presentations (both Nic’s and his father David’s) were beautiful and riveting and we could have been there all night answering all the questions in the room. David and Nic are incredible people. Thanks again!"