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Nic  Sheff

Nic Sheff

Author, Recovering Addict & Subject of Beautiful Boy


“The event was wonderful. Nic was great to work with and his message was well received. He was particularly generous with his time during the book signing, listening to each person’s story and treating them with care and kindness as they opened their souls to him...All together it made for one of the most impactful events we’ve hosted in my 6 seasons here.”

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. Read More >

Sober since 2011, Nic continues to write and travel the country speaking about substance abuse, mental health, bipolar disorder and recovery. His talks cover areas ranging from prevention and talking effectively to teens to using prayer and meditation to quiet the unquiet mind. Nic is also the author of four books on these subjects: High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction, Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction, 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 Show, The Today Show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross and on CNN with Sanjay Gupta and ABC with Diane Sawyer.

A passionate voice and inspiring speaker, Nic hopes that the intense notoriety and media attention being paid to the film version of Beautiful Boy will elevate awareness, create more empathy for those who struggle with substance abuse disorder, and inspire more to recognize danger signs and get help. A self-identified “bipolar addict”, he also seeks to raise awareness of dual diagnosis and the frequent interconnection between substance abuse and types of frequently untreated mental illness. Honest, authentic and able to connect with a wide range of audiences, Nic tells the story behind what promises to be the most important film about substance abuse and its impact in decades, making a struggle that has touched millions of families deeply personal, urgent and unforgettable. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

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

Speech Topics

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 Journey Through 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, 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.

Just Say Know! Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol & Addiction

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.

Struggling with Bi-Polar Disorder

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.

Tweak: A Harrowing, But Hopeful Portrait of Addiction

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.

An Evening of Addiction, Hope, & Redemption with Nicolas & David Sheff